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ISO 14000, Environmental Management, Sustainability

Benefits of Environmental Management
and ISO 14000

Kevin Wilson
Manager - Environmental for Carter Holt Harvey Tissue, Kawerau, NZ

Carter Holt Harvey Tissue is a pulp and paper manufacturing company in New Zealand which certified under ISO 14001.

For the last 10 years we have been working at continual (environmental) improvement. We established back in 1984 a programme of water reduction and progressively reduced usage a bit at a time. The consequence is that now we have reduced water usage by 55% since that time and plan to be down by 60% by 2000. This has resulted in considerable cost savings from:

  • reduced fibre loss at market value of pulp (50% less)
  • energy savings (15% less)
  • water costs (55% less)
  • less waste fibre disposal costs (50% less)
  • increased productivity on the paper machines from more consistent back water characteristics
  • less chemical usage due to less loss in the waste water.

We have been reduced solid waste that goes to land fill by over 30%. Our plan is for a zero waste to land fill. Even if this is not fully realized, the effect of this will be to ensure that we probably will never need to obtain another land fill site. The cost saving of not having to do that is huge and runs into several millions, not to mention the PR benefits.

We are also going to land treatment, irrigation, which is expected to have benefits in afforestation by reducing stress from drought conditions and by replacing nutrients in the soil. It is expected that the trees will grow more uniformly through having a steady water supply. This is peculiar to our volcanic ash soil. We treat the sewage from the local town through our effluent treatment plant and that benefits the community and gives us nutrients, thereby reducing impact on the environment. It also saves us having to add nutrients to our treatment plant with a consequential cost saving.

ISO 14001 just documented the procedures we already had in place, so on its own it is not responsible for any savings. In the future however, it may result in considerable savings by reducing the cost of obtaining discharge permits and enabling the company to obtain longer term permits. It may also reduce the costs of obtaining permits because there could be less opposition to any permit sought and hence less legal procedures to be pursued. These cost savings are seen as being quite large long term.

ISO 14000 ISO 14000 ISO 14000 ISO 14000 ISO 14000 ISO 14000 ISO 1400 ISO 14000 ISO 14000 ISO 14000 ISO 14000

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