The Stepping Stone that led to BS Certification

Dudson has been awarded BS EN ISO 14001 certification by the British Standards Institution in recognition of its ongoing commitment to the environment. But what path did the company follow that resulted in this achievement, asks Foodservice Footprint.


Dudson, the Stoke-on-Trent based foodservice tableware manufacturer, has long taken its corporate responsibilities seriously, strictly managing the impact of its operations on the environment. So it is good to hear that, in recognition of those efforts, Dudson has now received recognition from the British Standards Institution – certification to BS EN ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Standard.


The company successfully demonstrated its environmental commitment throughout every level of the business, with key objectives detailed in an environmental policy which has been communicated to both employees and external stakeholders. Dudson has implemented a number of initiatives to address key areas that could affect its environmental performance, including waste reduction and improvements to energy and water efficiency.


In the journey towards certification, Dudson’s Environmental Management System identified eight commitments to ensure that its activities prevent, minimise or control any significant environmental aspects, which can be summarised as follows:


• To comply with all relevant environmental legislation and regulations

• To prevent pollution • To set objectives/targets which are regularly reviewed to ensure continuous improvement

• To identify activities to reduce and/ or eliminate waste to landfill sites, including recycling wherever possible

• To increase the company’s efficiency when using raw materials, energy and other resources

• To ensure employees receive relevant environmental training in relation to their role

• To communicate the environmental policy to all relevant parties

• To review the environmental policy regularly, so that it continues to meet the requirements of both ISO 14001 and the needs of the company



“At Dudson, we recognise that we have a responsibility to manage the impact of production on the external environment,” says Max Dudson, Chief Executive Officer,“Our modern manufacturing methods have gone a long way to transform a product that has traditionally been costly to the environment, with resulting reductions in waste production and energy usage throughout the manufacturing process.”


Waste streaming programmes have been implemented and communicated to all employees, which have resulted in a fall in general waste collections of almost 69 per cent between 2005 and 2009. Recycling initiatives have had a massive impact on the collection of fired waste products, reducing them by more than 80 per cent over the same period of time. Investment in a new packaging machine means that all cardboard can now be recycled and used as an environmentally friendly packaging material.


The company has also focused on energy consumption, which has been reduced dramatically by using ThermECO* glazes, produced locally by Endeka Ceramics Ltd. One hundred per cent lead-free, ThermECO glazes enable Dudson to kiln-fire at lower temperatures, while efficient firing methods ensure the maximum number of items is placed for each fire, reducing the number of fires needed, and therefore reducing the amount of energy consumed.


And just how has all this been achieved?


To ensure effective internal communication of its environmental message Dudson has developed its own environmental ‘brand’ which is portrayed on all notices, information sheets and environmental newsletters. There are also a number of ‘Green Boards’ sited throughout the factory and offices specifically for environmental information, and a section of the monthly briefing (presented to all employees by managers), contains environmental news.


A cross-functional Environmental Performance Improvement Team made up of around 15 employees meets regularly to discuss ideas for improving the company’s environmental performance and reports on trial/initiative results. Most members of the team are trained environmental auditors, and are responsible for fulfilling the internal audit schedule, highlighting areas where improvements can be made and then following up the findings with the appropriate managers.


The support of the entire workforce has been instrumental in the company’s achievement, but the commitment from director level downwards has been the driving force. The Environmental Steering Group, consisting of senior managers who are responsible for carrying out actions needed as a result of environmental audits, meets regularly to discuss progress and ensures that continuous improvement measures are taking place.


Dudson has put the environment at the heart of its business strategy for many years, and the award of BS EN ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Standard is proof positive that the company’s strategy is working. However, Dudson recognises that certification is not the end game and the company’s Environmental Management System makes provision for continuous improvement and ongoing legal compliance, which will be assessed through regular management reviews.