POLICIES & CERTIFICATIONS
QLM ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
As a company we recognise our legal and ethical requirements in regards to the environment and will, where within our control, endeavour to identify and minimize any environmental impact through waste reduction and process improvement. To achieve this requires commitment and involvement of all management and staff, working to develop a manufacturing system of the highest quality. This is achieved via a rigorous programme of staff training, product testing and traceability, machinery maintenance and process control in all aspects of production from order processing and art design through to manufacturing and despatch.
QLM Label Makers has begun the process towards ISO Certification to standard: ISO AS/NZ 14001:2004 (Environmental Management System). We aim to achieve compliance with this system across the group in 2021 and have developed a number of initiatives as part of this process:
• Lean Manufacturing: In 2008 qlm began a Lean Manufacturing initiative under the guidance of Contours Customised Solutions. qlm has developed processes for continuous improvement focusing on implementing sustainable practices that improve organizational performance. By doing this we aim to reduce or eliminate all types of waste and equipment losses as well as creating an environment where all levels are involved in achieving best practice. Some projects identified through this process include the sourcing and investment in leaner machinery:
• Matho Waste Extraction Unit: The chopping and compacting process of the Matho allows QLM Label Makers to significantly reduce waste volume and landfill with the ultimate goal to produce more environmentally friendly and sustainable by-products from our matrix waste.
• Turbo-Wash & Automated Wash-Up Unit (Plate Washer): Minimising water usage through speed and efficiency and the transfer of chemicals or inks to drainage points.
QLM elevates awareness of power and water consumption through the placement of Green Labels on electrical outlets and water units. All air-conditioning units are at pre-set temperature controls. Lean Manufacturing Projects regularly review these initiatives and we are currently looking at the replacement of units with sensors for lighting and pre-set dispensing taps.
• Reduction of Packaging Materials & Commitment to Principles of the National Packaging Covenant: QLM use no or minimal packing materials in all supplied goods and where packing material is required we utilize the waste material from label matrix rather than using additional material. Recycled materials are made available for printed material base stocks where available. Currently there is a limited range of products available and their carbon footprint in manufacture and transport is often taken into consideration when determining suitability by clients. Where we are unable to utilize recycled or re-used materials we endeavor to seek alternatives to minimize our impact on the environment. Our label substrates are free of halogenated plastics such as polyvinyl chloride and our printing ink are free from heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium. The implementation of the Matho Waste Extraction Unit was specifically aimed at reducing the waste disposed to landfill and our kerb-side waste collection. The impact of this is aimed at a 40% reduction and is subject to review periodically.
• Integrated Management System: QLM signed a commitment to an Integrated Management System in September 2010. This process requires the commitment and involvement of all management and staff, and is supported by major manufacturers with access to their latest product development and technical expertise. This includes suppliers of raw materials and finished goods that are used for our customers orders. QLM requires at least a commitment from suppliers to the concept of Quality Assurance with suppliers of sensitive materials being required to have a quality system in place. The team at QLM is committed to meeting customer needs for quality product and service in conjunction with ISO AS/NZ 9001 and ISO AS/NZ 14001, reviewed on an ongoing basis with regular staff training, company audits, monitoring our impacts and seeking external assistance.