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Environmental success for one of QPA's smaller members

ROTHERHAM Sand and Gravel, one of the Quarry Products Association's smaller members, recently achieved ISO 14001 accreditation. In doing so, says the association, they have proved the environmental code's detractors wrong.

The company took part in a QPA pilot scheme which was established following suggestions that ISO 14001 was a 'pipe dream' for smaller quarry companies, leading to increased administration and financial burden.

To investigate these fears, and to ease the path to ISO 14001 for smaller quarry operators, the QPA hired independent consultants to examine the progress of its larger members. This was collated into a manual containing detailed advice that Rotherham Sand and Gravel used during their accreditation process. In addition, Hanson Aggregates supported the company with advice based on their own experience of ISO 14001 and allowed access to their own corporation environmental codes.

Paul Scholey, managing director of Rotherham Sand and Gravel, said: 'The QPA were invaluable in helping us to achieve ISO 14001, not only with the provision of guidelines but also in facilitating the pooling of QPA members' knowledge.'

He called on the Government to abolish the proposed aggregates tax and offer an incentive to other operators to follow his example.

'The Government must look again at how to encourage good environmental practice and differentiate between those who do invest in the environment and those who don't....the aggregates tax is not an incentive,' he said.

Simon van der Byl, director general of the QPA, added: 'With the right framework of guidance and support, smaller companies can achieve ISO 14001 and we hope that Rotherham Sand and Gravel's achievement will persuade other companies to follow suit.'

Following the success of the pilot scheme, the QPA is to make the guidance available to all members.

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