Environment industries archive
Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.
Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.
Franca and Gino Scordo, proprietors of Cranwell Collision Repair, are justifiably proud of the green and red signs prominently displayed on the front of their Braybrook, Victoria building. These signs announce that the firm is a Quality Endorsed Company and has Certified Environmental Management. Behind the signs, the Scordos operate a body repair business that has undertaken major changes to achieve its ISO 14001 and ISO 9002 Certification. These changes are saving them money, enhancing their firm’s reputation and providing safer and more pleasant working conditions.
The Scordos worked closely with Robin Taylor, Manager—Maximum Velocity Performance at PPG Industries Australia, to develop and implement their Environmental Management System. The paint supplier (then known as Dulux) offered to work with its customers to prepare an EMS. Cranwell was the first collision repair firm in Victoria to take up the offer. It was concerned about some environmental and regulatory problems and about the poor environmental image of the collision repair industry.
Cranwell Collision Repair is a privately-owned company in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. It has 11 employees
Overview of the Process Used to Develop the EMS
Working together, the Scordos and Robin Taylor carried out an audit that closely examined all the processes used in the facility, going section by section through their operation. The audit looked at their operations, systems, current targets and impacts.
They identified aspects of their activities that created an impact on the environment, and determined the key ones: runoff water from car washing, dust from sanding, emissions from paint spraying, and solid waste from disposal of cardboard, metals, and other materials. They examined all the legal requirements that affected their business.
Once they identified environmental aspects of their operations, they looked for new procedures that could reduce the environmental impacts without affecting the quality of their collision repair work. This took a considerable amount of effort. They developed effective solutions for the key environmental issues:
Work on the EMS built on quality management systems that the Scordos put into place to achieve ISO 9002 certification in 1997. The EMS integrated its policy procedures and business practices with those required for quality management.
Care was taken to ensure that new procedures and approaches took account of OH&S issues, as worker safety is a basic requirement.
The EMS developed was documented in terms of its:
Implementing the EMS
Target: The EMS contains targets for achieving environmental improvement. It identifies, for example, a target of recycling 100% of cardboard, metal and bumper bars. A target date is included for implementing waterborne technology.
Staff Training: During the development of the EMS, only senior management worked with the supplier’s representative. They brought the nine staff into the process at the implementation stage. Senior management met with all staff, described the new procedures, and sought staff co-operation and participation. When new staff start work, senior management carefully explains the company’s approach and procedures. As required, management reviews procedures to ensure that all staff are aware of their responsibilities and that work is carried out in accordance with the EMS.
Monitoring: Gino Scordo is on the shop floor all the time and visually inspects activities to make sure they are done correctly. Job sheets are reviewed at the end of each day. Random audits of procedures are carried out to check conformance with the EMS.
Documentation: Management maintains graphs of waste generated and recycled. A wide range of records is kept to document practice and compliance.
Documentation is updated weekly by Franca Scordo and is kept in the main office.
Compliance Audits: Robin Taylor of PPG carries out follow-up audits every 6 to 12 months. Each audit takes between 4 and 12 hours. The main reasons for the audits are to comply with regulatory requirements and to identify potential areas for further improvement. After the audit, Robin Taylor discusses the results with the Scordos and seeks their suggestions on changes that could be made to address problems. Based on their decisions, they then draft corrective action plans and set targets for achieving changes and improvements.
Impediments to Implementation: The only real barrier Cranwell has found to implementing its EMS is the difficulty in locating firms that will accept some materials for recycling.
From the beginning of its work on an EMS, Cranwell was quite clear that it was aiming for certification. Because collision repair is seen as a relatively dirty operation, with little sensitivity toward the environment, a certified EMS was seen as a way of establishing Cranwell as an environmental leader in the field. Cranwell can advertise its certification to improve public perception of its operation.
Prior to applying for certification, Cranwell sought and obtained a change in its planning permit, allowing it to restructure the car parking area (to facilitate improvements in the car washing process). It also installed dust extraction units, fans and other equipment in the paint room, and purchased high volume low pressure paint guns.
The formal certification process began with a pre-certification audit. The auditors examined every section of the EMS, including the company’s environmental policy. They carefully inspected the workshop to see that every procedure included in the EMS was being implemented. Some relatively minor changes were required in storage procedures and in the wording of a few sections of the EMS.
The Scordos and Robin Taylor spent a total of about 210 hours over a nine-month period preparing the EMS, including working out and implementing the changes to the operation. This equates to about $11,000 of their time.
The major expense was about $30,000 spent to upgrade the operation to improve its environmental performance. Certification added another $5,800 to the cost, including $5,100 for the certification audit. The ongoing costs of maintaining certification are $1,500 a year.
Dulux (now PPG Industries) obtained a grant of $10,000 from the Australian Centre for Cleaner Production (ACCP) to underwrite its preliminary work on environmental management systems so that it could assist smash repairers in the preparation of an EMS. These funds were granted to ACCP by the Victorian EPA. The company has worked with two additional collision repairers besides Cranwell, both of them in Western Australia, and these two firms are now ISO 14001 certified.
Benefits of the EMS
The Cranwell EMS is producing substantial benefits for the firm and for the environment.
Solid waste disposal charges have gone from $198 per month to $54, through separation and recycling of materials, an annual saving of $1728. Prior to the changes, bins were collected six times a month, at a charge of $33 each time. Now there are only two pickups per month, and each is charged at only $27, because the bin does not contain any metals.
Paint costs have been reduced by about 10%, because less paint is used with the new processes. This is considered significant, because paint makes up about 6 to 8% of the cost of a repair job.
Sanding costs are about 20% lower, because of the new dustless sanding process.
All these savings have been achieved while maintaining the quality of the process.
Working conditions are now safer and a great deal more pleasant because both dust and paint fumes have been reduced.
Cranwell also believes the EMS has enhanced its image because customers ask about the ‘green ticks’ shown on the ISO 14001 certification sign. The insurance companies it deals with comment favourably on its achievement. It also feels satisfaction from knowing it is in compliance with all environmental regulations.
As a result of its efforts, Cranwell was the second place winner in City West Water’s Community Environment Awards. Fairfax Community Newspapers sponsor the awards, and the Cranwell achievements were featured in an article in the local newspaper.
Environmental benefits include elimination of runoff of contaminated water to the stormwater system, reduced air emissions from paint and dust, and much more recycling of materials.
PPG Industries also benefits from the high level of customer satisfaction achieved through working with Cranwell on the EMS.
The Scordos foresee ongoing changes to their factory to continue improving environmental performance.
Mrs. Franca Scordo
Cranwell Collision Repair
45 Cranwell Street
BRAYBROOK VIC 3019
telephone: (03) 9318 5410
fax: (03) 9318 5822
Mr. Robin Taylor
Business Management Services Group
PPG Industries Australia Pty Limited
CLAYTON VIC 3168
telephone: (03) 9263 9683
fax: (03) 9263 6999
mobile: 0412 827 014