Nissan’s Sunderland plant has been reaccredited with the ISO 14001 certification, the international standard for environmental management.
To maintain certification (which Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK Ltd has held continuously since 1998) plant engineers set improvement objectives to control emissions to the air and water, manage waste, use energy efficiently and continually improve its environmental performance.
As part of this continuous improvement, and in addition to the plant’s ISO 14001 commitment, NMUK is now seeking planning permission to build a wind farm at the plant. This would cut carbon dioxide emissions at power plants by more than 10,000 tonnes per year.
If the application is successful, up to seven wind turbines will be installed on low-lying ground in the centre of the Nissan site, to minimise any visual impact they might have. This would be the first wind farm in the North East to be enclosed entirely within an industrial area and the first within the Nissan group.
In addition to cutting CO2 emissions, the facility would also significantly reduce other atmospheric pollutants at power plants. And importantly, in light of steeply rising energy prices, the farm would also provide an annual cost saving to NMUK, helping it to remain commercially competitive.
Senior Engineer at NMUK, Graham Bagley, said: "We’re delighted to be reaccredited with ISO 14001. It proves that the measures we are putting into place, to ensure we are operating in an environmentally responsible way, are working.
Continuous improvement plays a large part in achieving the ISO standard and the wind farm is central to our aim of cutting power plant emissions and generating energy in a safe and environmentally-friendly manner."
If planning permission is granted, the farm will be completed by next autumn. Once fully operational, the turbines would provide the plant with enough electricity to power the equivalent of 2,600 UK homes.
NMUK became the first of Nissan’s overseas plants to achieve ISO 14001, just two years after the standard was introduced in 1996.
Since then, other environmental initiatives introduced by NMUK include:
- Using almost 100% returnable packaging
- Creating and maintaining a feeding ground for wildfowl
- Removing paint residues by using hot sand
- Recycling waste water, solvent and sand (used in the castings process)