Sunseeker International is a British manufacturer of luxury motor yachts which is known across the globe.

The company employs more than 2,200 people and has distributors across all continents.  Sunseeker prides itself on its heritage of quality products, attention to detail and commitment to innovation. Upholding and enhancing corporate reputation is a core part of Sunseeker’s management philosophy. Working to meet the requirements of internationally recognised standards is one way to assure this goal is met.

Drivers for certification

Despite the meticulous detail that is put into the design of its yachts, Sunseeker has always been conscious of its environmental responsibilitiesSunseeker yahctities. The company operates in Poole Harbour, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Protection Area with wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. This means that Sunseeker needs to externally demonstrate environmental care and diligence regarding the potential impacts of its operations.

As well as proving its environmental credentials, the health & safety of Sunseeker staff, contractors and visitors is a top level priority for the company. Having robust processes and procedures in place to ensure that all legal and moral obligations are met is a critical part of ‘business-as-usual’ for the organisation and one that is managed through certification to global management system standards.

To help in its drive for environmental best practice Sunseeker sought the help of Alcumus ISOQAR to gain certification to the environmental management standard ISO 14001, which provides organisations with a systematic approach to meeting their legal compliance requirements. It also encourages more efficient utilisation of raw materials and energy, reduces waste and helps make cost savings along the way. Working closely with the Alcumus team Sunseeker was able to meet the stringent requirements of this standard within six months and was awarded its certificate accordingly – no mean feat considering the diversity of materials, chemicals, manufacturing plant and equipment, and business units to be brought into a single control structure.

Recently the company has added OHSAS 18001, the international management standard for health & safety management to its ISOQAR certification. Being able to demonstrate that the company has been independently audited to recognised industry standards by a credible certification partner is another way to enhance reputation and show compliance with legal and social obligations.

Why Alcumus ISOQAR was the supplier of choice

Martin Arnold is the Health & Safety and Environmental Conformance Manager for Sunseeker International. He explains the company’s decision to approach Alcumus. “We needed to develop cohesive plans to address local environmental and health & safety concerns. Having met with the Alcumus ISOQAR staff at a boat show and also having spoken on the phone, Alcumus seemed like a business that we could easily and cost-effectively work with to achieve our goal. The team has a very flexible approach to our requirements and the aptitude of the auditors is exemplary. Furthermore, the Alcumus ISOQAR service provides great value for money.”

Benefits of implementing management systems

Sunseeker has seen some tangible commercial benefits from implementing management system standards. Paul Attrell is ISOQAR’s lead auditor working with the company during the two phases of implementation and beyond. He says: “As one of the largest and most high profile companies based in the borough they fully realise their obligation to maintain their businesses around Poole and Portland Harbours. Each visit has witnessed an improvement in conditions of house-keeping within production areas and waterfront yards. Since implementing ISO 14001 Sunseeker has seen a significant reduction in waste. The company has also taken some effective measures to reduce gas consumption by introducing new and innovative solutions for heating large spaces. The amount of waste sent to landfill has dropped to approximately 20% of the pre 2013 levels with corresponding increases in recycling rates. With the recent addition of OHSAS 18001 brought under common management responsibilities and controls there has been a focussed commitment to the safety and well-being of all personnel on their sites and there has been a 30% drop in the average frequency rate of accidents and incidents amongst staff with an average of only 2 lost hours per month compared to 300,000 worked.”

Martin Arnold can also see the positive impact the certifications have had on the company. “The management standards have enabled us to consider the necessary requirements to safeguard our people, other parties affected by our work as well as our local environment and community. We have a much improved safety and environmental culture within the company and are now safer and more compliant as a business.”

“Certification helps us ensure that our activities are controlled and meet regulators’ requirements. We have much more rigorous policies and procedures to guide our actions and greater levels of uniformity of controls across our various sites. Being able to demonstrate compliance with the standards has resulted in a reduction in insurance premiums as our risk rating has been reduced by local authority regulators.”

Unsurprisingly, Martin confirms that the staff reaction to the new system has been extremely positive. “There has been a significant shift in our people’s attitude towards safety culture. There is a sense of responsibility for self and others by increasing awareness and ultimately everyone is now working to a collective goal.”

Looking forwards

Following the successful implementation of both the environmental and health & safety management system standards, Sunseeker is keen to develop its partnership with Alcumus further with future plans to achieve a third certification to ISO 9001 quality management.

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