A company-wide structure with environmental responsibilities at all levels
AGC Glass Europe has assigned responsibilities to all relevant levels and positions within the Group. At the highest level, the Division Heads have ultimate responsibility for establishing and reviewing the environmental policy for the Group. They allocate the necessary resources to support implementation of the policy, comprehensively observes progress in environmental performance and reviews the appropriateness and effectiveness of the EMS at group and division level.
The Environmental Management Representatives report to the Division Heads and advise them on environmental results in the divisions, set up conformity audits in the plants, and establish processes to improve environmental performance.
Division and Corporate Services heads implement the EMS of their divisions and establish environmental objectives and targets in accordance with the Group’s environmental policy. At plant level, the plant manager is responsible for matters relating to local and national environmental legislation/policy and for implementing an appropriate local environmental management system. In many plants, the plant manager is supported by a plant environmental specialist.
The Sustainability & Product Stewardship Department works together with the Environmental Management Representatives and supports management activities at all levels in a pro-active way, among other things by participating in the relevant European networks that play an active role in the development of legislation, technology and policies, and coordinating the exchange of information at all levels within the Group.
The information is collected from the plants so as to provide the Group with annual environmental reports.
This work is carried out in close collaboration with the R&D activities and other group functions such as Safety, Risk Management, Purchasing, Product Management, Technical Coordination and Technical Engineering.
Communication with our stakeholders
AGC Glass Europe aims to maintain a professional dialogue with its stakeholders about the environmental performance of its processes and products in an open and objective way. Our company actively shares this latest information with its stakeholders. The Sustainability Report you are reading now is another example of this.
In response to our customers’ requests about environmental and chemical data, we support the development of a globally accepted and harmonised system of Environmental Product Declarations (EPD). For this purpose, we fully support and cooperate in the EPD approach, a system for science-based, verified and comparable environmental data. See also our “Products” section.
We continuously hold discussions with our suppliers and our customers concerning the REACH(1) Regulations. The aim is to ensure that AGC Glass Europe uses pre-registered, registered and, when needed, authorised substances to protect health and the environment. AGC Glass Europe is a producer of manufactured articles and is mainly a downstream user of chemicals, and as such ensures communication within the supply chain.
(1)Regulation (EC) N° 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals, entered into force the 1st June 2007.
Communication across all levels in our company
We have also set up a system of dynamic interaction at group level involving environment experts, the R&D Centre, Technical Engineering, management and holders of relevant positions within the Group. This system aims to analyse potential environmental aspects at the birth of a project in order to achieve intelligent product/process design and therefore incorporate environmental/chemical management thinking from the very beginning of a process and not as an afterthought.
Within the Environmental Management System we exchange best practices and information about environmental incidents in plants. The objective is to improve the management of environmental risks in comparable situations and plants. We also share information through our environmental databases, which are accessible to all interested parties within the Group.
We have developed the Innowiz programme, where each AGC Glass Europe employee can post their “green” ideas. This is an excellent way to exchange information and best practices all over the Group, at all levels and on all subjects.
At plant level, open communication with employees and the authorities alike, concerning the environmental impact of the manufacturing process, is a serious responsibility of management and an essential part of day-to-day-business. A special logo – the AGC tree – is used to promote internal communication about the environment in the plants.
Operational control and emergency preparedness
We have established procedures at group level in order to monitor compliance with legislation and with our environmental policy. These procedures include e.g. reporting to group level concerning incidents and non-compliance at plants, environmental Key Performance Indicators (KPI) reporting and assessment of the environmental impact of new investments, right from the planning stage.
Great emphasis is also given to the implementation of Green Purchasing, to ensure that the products provided by our suppliers are managed in a way that respects the environment.
As a first step, we decided to focus on supplies of raw materials in order to be sure that no unwanted dangerous substances end up in our finished products. The next steps are to extend Green Purchasing to all substances, preparations or articles that we purchase and to promote the ISO 14001 environment management system with our suppliers.