INX International Ink Co. once again has been recognized for a commitment to environmental stewardship as its Charlotte, NC, facility is now certified ISO 14001 compliant.Official recognition followed the recent audit of operational practices at the world’s largest 2-piece metal decorating ink plant.
ISO 14000-level requirements are heavily oriented toward environmental issues, including standards for waste reduction, water and energy usage.Charlotte is the second INX International plant to be certified ISO 14001 compliant in addition to its ISO 9001 certification. INX’ Dunkirk, NY, facility was dual-certified in 1996, when it became the first ever ink facility in the U.S. to achieve ISO 14001 compliancy status.
“This achievement demonstrates how environmental responsibility also makes sound business sense,” said Rick Clendenning, INX International Ink Co. president and CEO. “I extend my congratulations to everyone at Charlotte on their accomplishments and a job well done by all.Their dedication exemplifies the team effort that drives success in INX’ companywide initiatives to improve performance in all areas.”
Charlotte general manager Al Baird also emphasized the plant-wide effort required to achieve compliance, with special mention for several people in leadership roles.
“Our ISO team, led by Mike Davis with Rachel Glowacki and Randy Besaw, did a great job of training all employees,” Mr. Baird said.“They implemented a system that not only adds value to INX, but demonstrates to employees the importance of their actions.”
Baird said support from INX’ corporate Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) committee, in particular Kevin Cochran, a veteran of the INX Dunkirk facility’s ISO program, further aided the drive by Charlotte to effectively meet ISO 14001 requirements.
Building on a strong track record
Numerous ISO-linked initiatives have long been an integral part of INX-Charlotte’s multi-faceted employment of lean manufacturing, Six Sigma principles and its Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) program.For example, in 2007 the facility was recognized for energy efficiency, with a new plant-wide lighting system that reduced annual power usage by 47 percent.This effort, spearheaded by plant superintendent Mike Davis, helped lower plant cooling costs substantially and annual lighting expenses by 59 percent, while increasing the light (measured by candle readings) in some parts of the plant as much as 40 percent.
Achieving ISO 14001 status is not an “end,” Mr. Baird said, but a step in an ongoing process that also includes annual audits to measure progress. He added that Charlotte is forging strongly ahead in 2009, with aggressive goals that include average monthly reductions per pound of ink produced for all waste (10%), water usage (4%), and electricity or kWh (33%).
“The experience we have gained in our accomplishments to date and the systems we have in place will help us reach all of our goals,” Baird said.
Janet Beasley, INX International vice president – quality systems, who is involved in companywide compliance programs, said all INX plants are ISO 9001 compliant and she expects more ISO 14001 certifications to be issued.
“ISO 14001 registrations are planned for our West Chicago and Homewood (IL) facilities in the near future,” Ms. Beasley said. “This further demonstrates the continuing commitment of INX International to our future and the environment.”