Special recertification of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001
DAS Environmental Expert GmbH has again been successfully recertified for the standards ISO 9001 for quality management and ISO 14001 for environmental management. The main focus was on the conversion and optimisation of the process landscape as well as the environmental assessment of the company along the entire value chain. The remote audit also presented a special challenge due to the coronavirus protection measures.
In 1999 DAS Environmental Experts (DAS EE) was certified for the first time according to ISO 9001. The standard allows important derivations for worldwide quality assurance from product development to service; especially for growing companies like DAS EE. Since 2012, ISO 14001 has also been one of the fixed control instruments for corporate development and underlines the environmental focus of the company.
Successful conversion of the process landscape
The structuring of companies in the form of business units and departments is common and advantageous. Departments quickly build up area-specific knowledge. Teams can live and develop their preferred way of working. Sometimes, however, there can be a loss of knowledge at the interfaces to upstream and downstream process steps. DAS EE has therefore decided to change the Integrated Management System (IMS) from a consideration of departments to a focus on process-related, i.e. cross-departmental, procedures along the value chain. In addition to the core processes of value creation, which consider product and project development as well as contract manufacturing, management and support processes are also examined in greater depth. This task goes hand in hand with the definition and monitoring of key process indicators that evaluate the efficiency of the new processes.
In addition to this extensive restructuring, the company decided to transfer the integral management system to the company’s own intranet based on a modern SharePoint. This significantly increases the findability and clarity of the processes. Using the intranet’s search function, all important information, such as applicable documents, can be quickly found in the required language version. The change of information is controlled and automated by a workflow. The result is a digital knowledge database that is available at any time, even on the move. The creation of this single-point-of-truth thus represents an essential component of the company’s quality assurance.
During the recertification process, the auditors ultimately found no major or minor deviations.
Collection and measurement of environmental factors
The recertification of ISO 14001 focused on the comprehensive environmental assessment of the company within the framework of its own processes, but also along the entire value chain. With regard to exhaust gas purification systems, the consideration of the entire product life cycle is an important aspect. Environmental considerations have been successfully integrated into product development and continuous improvement processes. In recent years, an increasing use of resource-saving components has been achieved. These include environmentally friendly packaging, energy-saving and recyclable components.
The company’s environmental matrix was also expanded to include suppliers and logistics partners. Plastic and film volumes have been reduced by 43% since 2018 (in relation to the systems produced). The volume of residual waste has been reduced by 25%. This was achieved by further separating the residual waste and reusing materials such as wood and valuable metals.
During the recertification for ISO 14001, the auditors were also unable to identify any major or minor deviations.
An exceptional audit structure
This year’s audit was scheduled for a total of four days. Of these, the first two audit days in April were carried out digitally due to the corona protection measures. Internal contact persons* could be invited to the audit at the click of a mouse and were thus available to the auditors more quickly.
“The investments in the expansion of our integrated management system and the environmental considerations were praised by the auditors. I am very pleased that the path we have taken has been so positively confirmed. I would also like to thank the team for the fact that the audit went so smoothly despite challenging circumstances.” summarizes Jana Thiel, Director Quality, Environment, Health, and Safety.