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EMR – ISO certification: The challenges and opportunities of gaining the international standard

Nancy Gray – UK Environment & Regulatory Manager at EMR discusses the challenges and opportunities of receiving ISO certification. 


EMR - ISO certification: The challenges and opportunities of gaining the international standard f
Nancy Gray

“Over the past year, EMR has received ISO certification for its sites that represent 88 percent of tonnage purchased in the UK and Europe.

This achievement recognises our commitment to industry best practice in three key areas of compliance management systems: quality (ISO 9001), environmental management (ISO 14001) and occupational health and safety (ISO 45001).

By the end of this year a further 20 of EMR’s metal processing yards will also have achieved this goal, with the aim that all our UK sites achieve the standard by 2023.

As a business, we felt that the investment in time and training was essential.

From an internal point of view, having a management system in place – whether for quality, safety or environment – provides a structure to our operations and, as a result, improves efficiency, reduces risk and therefore lowers our costs.

Yet, it is also an important achievement because of the message it sends out to our customers and partners about the high standards that EMR strives for every day.

From blue-chip companies to public sector institutions, an increasing number of EMR’s customers look for ISO certification as a requirement when tendering their projects.

In particular, it gives them confidence that we are managing the potential environmental impacts of our process, and the material we process, in a structured way.

The ISO quality management system puts our customers right at the centre, ensuring their needs are met every time. It creates a feedback loop to ensure they are satisfied and puts in place measures to effectively correct any issues.

Of course, achieving excellence in customer service has long been at the heart of EMR’s mission, but the ISO certification helps us codify this and guarantee that we always meet our own high standards.

The same is true with our ISO certification for health and safety. Protecting our staff and the communities in which we operate has always been EMR’s highest priority and we have worked with governing bodies, such as the Environment Agency, for many years to help to improve standards throughout the industry.

Achieving ISO certification offers an extra level of diligence in providing a systematic approach to ensuring compliance with policies and procedures, as well as customer and legal requirements. It helps us to continually improve our processes and systems.

EMR has the advantage of partnering with its environmental consultancy arm, Mayer Environmental, to develop systems that fit the requirements of a modern, innovative recycling business.

This began with a gap analysis of our operations and systems, identifying areas where we could improve our processes, or update our procedures. It led to the creation of, amongst other things, new templates which are better tailored to the work we do.

Certification of our sites has then been confirmed after a rigorous audit by a UKAS-accredited third-party auditor.

EMR is a huge business with more than 3,000 employees around the world. This means that implementing processes and providing awareness training across some of our busiest sites can be a lengthy process.

Yet one thing is for sure, certification has provided our sites with a root and branch opportunity to seek out areas where we can do better and capture the excellent work our teams do each and every day.”



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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

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e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management [e2e] is the UK’s only salvage and automotive recycling network with nationwide, environmentally compliant sites delivering performance resilience and service reliability to the insurance and fleet markets.  The network’s online salvage auction drives strong salvage resale values and faster sales.  e2e’s salvage clients have access to the network’s stocks of over 5 million quality graded, warranty assured reclaimed parts. 

The power of the network model means e2e has the ability to influence industry standards and is committed to continually raising the bar whilst redefining the role and perceived value of the salvage operator.  Network members adhere to robust service level agreements, against which they are audited, in order to ensure performance consistency and a market leading customer experience.  

The salvage and recycling operating environment is evolving rapidly, and e2e is anticipating, listening and responding to changing market needs.  Regulatory compliance, ESG, reclaimed parts, customer experience, EVs, new vehicle technologies, data and reputation risk are just some of many considerations linked to the procurement of salvage services.  e2e will drive further added value to clients and members through the adoption and application of emerging technologies, continuing to differentiate its proposition and position salvage services as a professional partnership. 

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