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BES 6001 Case Study - William Hare Ltd

Company background

Established in 1945, William Hare Ltd (WHL) is the leading independent steel fabrication company in the UK with an annual turnover in excess of £180 million. WHL has been associated with the steel frame design and construction of many landmark buildings in London, the UK, and internationally. The company has a 1,800 strong workforce based at multiple production and design facilities sites across the globe.

William Hare Ltd’s motivation

As a company WHL has a clear commitment which recognises that a successful long-term business strategy involves more than achieving an acceptable operating profit.  Across the company there is recognition that its operations have an effect on the local, regional and global environments.  WHL’s senior management team are committed to achieving continuous improvements in the company’s sustainability performance.  Furthermore, WHL recognises that its impacts on society transcends those directly employed and their corporate earnings and is committed to ensure the company and its employees can make positive contributions to society as a whole.

To demonstrate its commitment to underpin and measure these environmental, social and economic drivers, and to seek competitive advantage in the marketplace, WHL set out to secure BES 6001 certification for the structural steel products manufactured at its UK sites. 

In addition, WHL recognised that securing BES 6001 certification would help their customers secure additional BREEAM credits for their projects.  They also recognised that listing WHL’s BES 6001 certification on BRE Global’s Green Book Live service enabled clients to quickly and confidently establish the company’s sustainability credentials.

Certification process

The certification and audit process began in January 2012 with the production of a pre-assessment report based on a range of documentary evidence provided by William Hare Ltd.  There then followed two site visits in May and June to William Hare Ltd’s Bury HQ along with their production facilities at Bury and Scarborough.

These site visits enabled BRE Global auditors to review William Hare Ltd’s responsible sourcing related processes both at their HQ function from where the various policies and procedures were developed and managed, through William Hare Ltd’s front-line manufacturing plants where the policies were implemented in the production process.

By July 2012 the process was complete and William Hare Ltd’s had secured a ‘Very Good’ BES 6001 certified rating for all the products which entered the certification process.

Customer benefits

William Hare Ltd has been delighted with the results of their BES 6001 certification.  Brian Hughes, their Safety, Health and Environment Director notes that:

‘WHL is a market leader in the structural steel sector and has long been sourcing materials in a responsible manner.  However, up until now it has been a difficult and lengthy process to demonstrate to stakeholders the underlying approach towards sustainability. The BES 6001 responsible sourcing certification now gives WHL clients the confidence and peace of mind that third party certification has taken place to demonstrate the leadership and commitment of the organisation.’

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