Timberlands West Coast Ltd awarded International Environmental Management Accreditation

heli-operationTimberlands West Coast Ltd has been awarded the prestigious Green Dove ISO 14001 environmental management certification for the company’s forestry management methods.

Following months of extensive analysis and auditing of the company’s environmental management systems by numerous organisations and bodies, culminating with the world’s largest standards certification organisation, SGS International Certification Services Pty Ltd; Timberlands’ exotic and indigenous forest management was certified as meeting the international requirements and awarded ISO 14001:1996.

“We are delighted to receive this certification which acknowledges the hard work and determination of the company to meet these internationally recognised and environmentally aware standards,” says Warren Young, Chairman, Timberlands West Coast Ltd.

“The ISO 14001 award is a significant achievement in Timberlands’ history and, indeed, for New Zealand indigenous forestry generally. Timberlands is now aiming towards the requirements for Forest Stewardship Certification – the ultimate in sustainable forestry management standards.”

Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Tony Ryall says, “As the first New Zealand forestry company to receive this environmental management award for indigenous forest practices, Timberlands is helping to position this country as an important player in the global requirement for sustainable use of resources.”

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) developed ISO 14001 as the international benchmark for environmental management systems.

“Timberlands’ work ethic is of low impact environmentally sensitive best practice. The epitome of which is illustrated by our leading edge sustainable indigenous forestry management system. To receive global recognition for this and our overall forestry practice through the ISO 14001 certification endorses our strengths in this field,” says Dave Hilliard, Timberlands Chief Executive.

The ISO 14001 standard sets out requirements to ensure that an organisation complies with its own environmental policy. Criteria is set by ISO and includes an overall review of the company’s environmental standards policy and procedures, which must be appropriate to the environmental impacts of the company. This covers planning, including legal requirements, objectives and targets; implementation and operation such as responsibility, training, communication and emergency preparedness, checking and corrective action should any elements of the policy be overlooked.

“Vital to maintaining the accreditation is regular management review of the system, a commitment to continual improvement and monitoring by the SGS Group assessors” says Mr Hilliard.

“In the forests, general requirements range from the basic removal of all personal and work related rubbish, to the prohibition of oil dumping, prevention of watercourse contamination and ensuring adequate design of refueling sites to prevent spillage. All organised forest users, must adhere to the requirements and work to protect the environment. We would also appreciate casual users and individuals to follow these guidelines ” he says.

In addition, the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) principles embody the essence of the Rio Convention on biodiversity and sustainable development requirements, protecting the environment while sustaining and involving the community. Timberlands is now working towards FSC certification.

“We at Timberlands willingly subscribe to and embrace environmental awareness, protection and enhancement as a company ethic. This is most illustrated by our commitment to sustainable forest management; recognised as at the forefront of international forestry best practice, incorporating community and global ethics,” says Mr Hilliard.

Summary of Important Environmental Requirements within the Standards:

Remove all personal and work related rubbish – the burying of non organic material is prohibited.
Remove all discarded materials associated with the operation.
Dumping of sump oil and all dumping of lubricants, fuels and containers is prohibited.
Ensure emergency spill kit is present if there is greater than 1500 litres or fuels, or 200 litre or kilograms of chemical concentrate are on site or being transported.
Ensure the design and construction of refuelling sites is adequate to contain any spillage.
No contamination of any watercourse or drain is permitted.
Steps must be taken to ensure that no weeds are introduced to weed-free areas.
Toilet facilities may be available depending on duration of operation. Where provided these facilities should be used.
Contractors and service agents must adhere to Resource Consent conditions.
Cultural, archaeological and historical registered sites are protected.