New Zealand Steel and Pacific Steel’s flat and long steel products manufactured at the Glenbrook facilities south of Auckland and in Otahuhu have become the latest products to receive independent environmental endorsement from Environmental Choice.
According to Francesca Lipscombe, General Manager, New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust companies put their products forward for an ecolabel to both demonstrate their environmental commitment and to lift their credentials relative to competitors. Integrity, according to Ms Lipscombe is a big part of this.
“Not only has the manufacturing of New Zealand Steel and Pacific Steel’s flat and long steel products met our robust environmental criteria, they have exceeded the requirements under ‘fit for purpose’ another albeit smaller category of our specification. The Environmental Choice audit, by being so all-encompassing, delivers assurance about the overall integrity of a company. This differentiates our licensees from those in the marketplace who neither have the appetite nor the access to such a robust audit process.
“Integrity around environmental and performance claims are becoming an issue as imported product, such as steel componentry, with little known or variable credentials confuse the marketplace,” says Ms Lipscombe.
Ms Lipscombe highlighted that Environmental Choice was positioned as the ‘go to’ ecolabel for New Zealand companies and their product line-ups looking to achieve critical differentiation in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
Chris Kay, Marketing Manager, NZ Steel confirmed that both differentiation and demonstrating integrity were factors behind pursuing an Environmental Choice licence.
“Last minute product substitution is an industry wide problem that has the potential to completely undermine the anticipated performance attributes of steel products used in structural applications and for roofing/cladding. The Environmental Choice audit, however, includes a significant focus on being fit for purpose. This was part of the overall appeal as it underlined our overall integrity.
“New Zealand faces numerous stresses and strains as the expectations around construction, trades and materials remains high but increasingly there are instances where this is misplaced,” said Mr Kay.
The fit for purpose criteria used within the audit specification included identifying the applicable standards, specifications and or consumer/customer requirements; demonstrating how compliance is monitored and maintained (including quality control and assurance procedures); and maintaining records of customer feedback and complaints.
‘I don't believe any of the imported steel coming into New Zealand can match New Zealand steel in providing customers with this level of audited integrity and confidence,” said Mr Kay.
About New Zealand Steel Holdings Limited
New Zealand Steel Limited and Pacific Steel (NZ) Limited are wholly owned by New Zealand Steel Holdings Limited.
New Zealand Steel (NZS) is the country’s sole steel manufacturer and is unique in its use of ironsand to produce around 600,000 tonnes of steel per annum.
Pacific Steel’s (PS) rolling mill and wire mill businesses became a sister business to New Zealand Steel (NZS) when it was acquired by BlueScope from Fletcher Building (FB) in mid 2014.
PS has been certified to the Environmental Choice New Zealand (ECNZ) government owned and endorsed label since 2009/2010. This was to the EC41-09 Specification, which was limited to Long Products manufactured through the Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) route.
Since the acquisition, FB has decommissioned the EAF steelmaking plant and NZS has built a new billet caster at the Glenbrook mill to supply its billet requirements (using west coast ironsand). Subsequently, ECNZ has reviewed EC41-09 and replaced it with EC41-15 which recognises the oxygen steelmaking route and covers Flat Products as well as Long Products.
NZS made a submission to the DRAFT EC-41-15 Specification in June 2015.
Both NZS and PS were assessed to EC-41-15 in March 2016 and their products which carry the ECNZ label can be found at http://www.environmentalchoice.org.nz/specifications/ec-41-15/
These products are also eligible for points under the NZ Green Building Council’s Green Star rating tool, which recognises the ECNZ eco-label.