Wesseling, Germany -- Aromatic polyester polyols manufacturer Stepan has achieved ISO14001 accreditation for its Wesseling manufacturing plant, near Cologne, Germany. ISO 14001 is the international standard that specifies a process for controlling and improving an organisation's environmental performance via a certified Environmental Management Programme.
"Environmental impact is becoming an increasingly important issue across the globe, with pressure to minimise that impact coming from a number of sources: local and national governments, regulators, trade associations, customers, employees and shareholders. Social pressures are also building up from the growing array of interested parties, such as consumer, environmental and minority non-governmental organizations and academia," said Gino Rombey, plant manager for the Wesseling site, in the company's 19 Feb announcement.
He added that, for Stepan, ISO 14001 accreditation "serves to demonstrate our commitment to social responsibility and to the polyurethane industry."
The award is timely as Stepan breaks ground on a major expansion to increase capacity for Stepanpol aromatic polyester polyols from 50 to 120 kilotonnes per annum, Rombey noted.
"The award of ISO 14001 accreditation is especially pleasing as it was achieved without recourse to changes in our well established Environmental Management Programme and is essential to developing our increased manufacturing capacity to better serve the polyurethane industry," observed Mark Perry, market development manager for Stepan Europe's Polyols business .
Perry also pointed out that the award will especially benefit customers involved in making rigid foam insulation board and panels "who are seeking to build their eco-profile for instance by earning BREEAM credits under the BRE Green Guide Rating system."
Noting that "the importance of these materials in building sustainable environmental solutions to the challenges brought about by global warming cannot be understated," Perry concluded that this point was "well made by the participation of ISOPA and PU Europe during the recent Bright Green Expo in Copenhagen and serves to underline the potential growth we see for the PUR and especially PIR foam insulation market."