Premier Interlink Gains Prestigious FSC Certification
Based in East Yorkshire, Premier Interlink is a market leader in the off-site design and manufacture, and on-site installation, of modular buildings. Most of its customers are in the education, healthcare, defence, commercial, construction and custodial sectors.
Formed in 1956, Premier Interlink has manufactured off-site from the start, and now produces up to 200 single- and multi-storey modules a month. Among its current projects, Premier Interlink is involved in the construction of a media centre, education facilities and marketing suites.
Premier Interlink (Waco UK Ltd) is part of Waco International, a global group of construction companies that provides modular building and scaffolding products and services. The group has more than 4,000 employees and a turnover of over £400 million a year.
FSC-certified timber and forest products are monitored and checked at all points of the supply chain, anywhere in the world. The FSC label ensures and shows that these products are from carefully managed, responsibly harvested and verified sources.
The FSC Chain of Custody system involves tracking FSC-certified material through the production process – from forest to customer, including all successive stages of processing, manufacturing and distribution. This enables customers to identify and buy products from well-managed forests.
Going for FSC
Premier Interlink has ISO 9001 (quality management system) and ISO 14001 (environmental management system) certification. It followed these with FSC certification in 2011.
“We went for FSC certification firstly to meet our clients' requirements and expectations, and secondly because it’s linked to our environmental improvements through ISO 14001,” says Premier Interlink’s Material Requirements Planning (MRP)/Logistics Manager, Mick Webb.
“We’re committed to reducing the environmental impact of our products and operations by adopting sustainable practices and constantly improving our performance. By gaining FSC certification, we’re demonstrating this commitment to our clients."
Preparing for Assessment
Premier Interlink used an external consultant to advise it on: the requirements of the standard; the documentation required from its suppliers; and what to do if any components required to build its products were not FSC certified.
Before the assessment, Premier Interlink compiled a list of suppliers approved by FSC, reviewed its procedures and introduced additional checks to make sure only FSC materials are used in its products. It also wrote its chain of custody manual, ensuring this complied with the requirements of the standard.
In addition it incorporated FSC-related procedures into staff roles and provided extra awareness training for all personnel.
Premier Interlink chose FSC-accredited assessor SGS to carry out its FSC assessment. “SGS responded well to our enquiry and was competitive,” says Mick Webb. “In all our subsequent dealings we found SGS to be approachable and professional.
“Although demanding on time, the assessment helped us to evaluate and improve our existing systems and supply chain.”
Peter Brown, FSC Lead Auditor at SGS, says: “Premier Interlink was extremely well prepared with very clear and detailed procedures in place. I conducted the assessment without issue and it was a pleasure to audit and work with them.
“Premier Interlink demonstrated a genuine commitment to maintaining the chain of custody system, and appreciated the long-term benefit of sourcing wood-based products responsibly.”
Benefits of FSC certification
“From a staff point of view, FSC certification is an extension of the robust management systems that were already in place,” says Mick Webb.
“Externally, now we’re FSC certified, our clients see we’re committed to ensuring sustainability in the supply chain. This enhances our reputation and gives us a competitive edge in our industry.”
Peter Brown, of SGS, says: “By becoming one of the first in its industry to comply with the requirements of the FSC standard and gain certification, Premier Interlink is now in a prominent position for potential customers who wish to source certified FSC products.”
On FSC-related matters, Premier Interlink won’t rest on its laurels. Mick Webb says: “When implementing new procedures, for example, we ensure the people who do the job are involved all the way through the changes – this makes it easy to maintain procedures since everyone has buy-in. As another example, we continually update and educate existing and new staff on all-things-FSC.”
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SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 67,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,250 offices and laboratories around the world.