Friday, 27 May 2016
New Zealand Steel and Pacific Steel’s flat and long steel products manufactured at the Glenbrook facilities south of Auckland and in Otahuhu have become the latest products to receive independent environmental endorsement from Environmental Choice.
According to Francesca Lipscombe, General Manager, New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust, companies put their products forward for an ecolabel to both demonstrate their environmental commitment and to lift their credentials relative to competitors. Integrity, according to Ms Lipscombe is a big part of this.
“Not only has the manufacturing of New Zealand Steel and Pacific Steel’s flat and long steel products met our robust environmental criteria, they have exceeded the requirements under ‘fit for purpose’ another albeit smaller category of our specification. The Environmental Choice audit, by being so all-encompassing, delivers assurance about the overall integrity of a company. This differentiates our licensees from those in the marketplace who neither have the appetite nor the access to such a robust audit process.
“Integrity around environmental and performance claims are becoming an issue as imported product, such as steel componentry, with little known or variable credentials confuse the marketplace,” says Ms Lipscombe.
Ms Lipscombe highlighted that Environmental Choice was positioned as the ‘go to’ ecolabel for New Zealand companies and their product line-ups looking to achieve critical differentiation in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
Chris Kay, Marketing Manager, NZ Steel confirmed that both differentiation and demonstrating integrity were factors behind pursuing an Environmental Choice licence.
“Last minute product substitution is an industry wide problem that has the potential to completely undermine the anticipated performance attributes of steel products used in structural applications and for roofing/cladding. The Environmental Choice audit, however, includes a significant focus on being fit for purpose. This was part of the overall appeal as it underlined our overall integrity.
“New Zealand faces numerous stresses and strains as the expectations around construction, trades and materials remains high but increasingly there are instances where this is misplaced,” said Mr Kay.
The fit for purpose criteria used within the audit specification included identifying the applicable standards, specifications and or consumer/customer requirements; demonstrating how compliance is monitored and maintained (including quality control and assurance procedures); and maintaining records of customer feedback and complaints.
‘I don't believe any of the imported steel coming into New Zealand can match New Zealand steel in providing customers with this level of audited integrity and confidence,” said Mr Kay.
Environmental Choice New Zealand (ECNZ) is a government-owned label and is operated independently by the New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust.
It is a non-profit charitable trust with assessments carried out by independent third parties.
The trust does not receive any Government funding.
The Environmental Choice label is New Zealand’s official environmental label and is New Zealand’s only Type I ecolabel. This means that it looks at the lifecycle impact of the product, is audited independently by a third-party, uses multi-criteria assessment and meets the ISO 14020/24 principles. The rigorous multi-criteria assessment and independent third party verification process gives businesses (and consumers) the confidence of having met the highest environmental standard.
For more information on the Environmental Choice programme, vist www.environmentalchoice.org.nz