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BES 6001 Case Study - Imerys TC

Company background

Imerys S.A. is a French multinational company which specialises in the production and processing of industrial minerals. Its headquarters are in Paris.  Imerys TC sits within Imerys S.A.’s Ceramic Material Operating Division.  This Division is responsible for the manufacture of terra cotta (clay) tiles and accessories as well as slate, minerals for the ceramic and glass industries, and kiln furniture for the tile and ceramic industry.   

The Imerys roof tile heritage dates back to 1811 with the Huguenot Fenal brand who invented & pioneered the Gillardoni mechanical press in 1841.

Today in France Imerys TC is the market leader with 13 factory locations and is one of the largest clay roof tile producers in Europe. The Imerys S.A. employs nearly 16,000 people worldwide at 253 industrial production sites in 50 countries.  It has an annual turnover of 3,700 million Euros.       

Imerys TC’s motivation around Responsible Sourcing

In their 2012 Sustainable Development Report Imerys S.A. recognises that it’s international reach and scale gives it special responsibilities with respect to its key stakeholders – employees, neighbouring communities, clients and shareholders.  To this end Imerys S.A. developed a particular focus around six areas of endeavour:

  • Governance and ethics – a focus on ethics and transparency
  • Environment – controlling the environmental impact of its activities
  • Innovation – innovate to improve environmental benefits
  • Human resources – increase diversity and encourage professional development
  • Health and safety – improvements encompassing management, employees, contractors, visitors and neighbouring communities
  • Communities – a focus on developing constructive, transparent and harmonious relations

These six areas map very closely onto the BES 6001 responsible sourcing framework and so, to demonstrate its commitment to underpin and measure these environmental, social and economic drivers, and to seek competitive advantage in the marketplace, Imerys TC set out to secure BES 6001 certification for the clay tile products manufactured their three Northern France production plants: Saint Germer de Fly, Phalempin and Wardrecques. 

Furthermore, Imerys TC recognised that a significant proportion of the tiles manufactures at these three Northern France plants were exported to the UK.  Securing BES 6001 certification for the tiles manufactured at these sites would, when specified within a project seeking to secure a high BREEAM rating, help their clients’ secure additional BREEAM credits within the responsible section of the methodology.  Imerys are the market leader in France and are a large exporter worldwide.  The company has a need to demonstrate that its level of fulfilling recognised performance standards meets and surpasses its competitors, particularly in key markets like the UK.

Certification process

The certification process began in September 2014 with Imerys beginning to assemble its evidence in support of the audit process.  By November 2013 BRE had completed a pre-assessment report based on the documentary evidence provided by Imerys TC.  This report identified some Non-conformities and Observations between the evidence provided and the standard’s requirements.  The Non-conformities would need resolving before the certification could be completed.  There then followed two site visits in January 2014 to Imerys TC’s production facilities at Saint Germer de Fly and Phalempin.  The non-conformities were successfully resolved between the receipt of the pre-assessment report and the end of the site visits.

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

By the end of January 2014 the process was complete and Imerys TC had secured a ‘Good’ BES 6001 certified rating for all the clay tile products manufactured at the Saint Germer de Fly, Phalempin and Wardrecques plants.

Customer benefits

Imerys TC is delighted with the results of their BES 6001 certification. Jamie Taylor-Holt, their UK Business Development Manager explains…

‘We believe investing in the BES 6001 accreditation scheme is a positive move forward as Imerys TC is proud of its environmental credentials & performance in relation to sustainability. It has become more important than ever to ensure major manufacturers like Imerys TC continues to consider the impact to environmental, social and ethical issues.  We are confident that the combination of Imerys TC’s BES 6001 certification, alongside our A+ BRE Global Green Guide rating and associated EPD helps demonstrate in a very practical manner that Imerys TC are in the premier division of clay roof tile manufacturers, not just in the UK but in Europe.    

BRE provided us with a professional independent assessment of our business which will encourage us to look for and consider any proposed changes that could help us improve our responsible sourcing performance in the future.’

Service provided by BRE Global Ltd