What are some key sustainability aspects of your business and certified products?
UCI Manufacturing is the manufacturing division of UCI Australia, with an Australian manufacturing history spanning more than 40 years in the commercial furniture industry.
Having been at our current manufacturing site for more than 16 years, the move to this site was instrumental in achieving our ISO certifications in three critical international standards:
• ISO 90001 Quality
• ISO 14001 Environment
• ISO 45001 Safety
UCI Manufacturing is a real manufacturer, not an assembly line using imported components and materials. We are incredibly proud to use Australian-made raw materials throughout all our manufacturing processes.
Why did you choose to get a GECA certification?
In 2006, not long after achieving ISO 14001 certification, UCI Manufacturing set its focus on environmental product certification. The move to the new manufacturing site facilitated a change in mindset; with sizable investments in new equipment, there was a motivation to embrace continuous improvement.
In 2007, the “Aero Workstation” was the first UCI manufactured workstation to be environmentally certified by GECA. Considering it now, UCI Manufacturing was probably one of the first Australian commercial furniture manufacturers to achieve GECA product certification. This was just the start of many of UCI Manufacturing’s products being added to our certification over the years.
Did you have to make any changes to your products or services to obtain GECA certification?
The past 16 years have been an environmental journey for UCI Manufacturing, with some significant improvements implemented over that journey:
What do you think are the biggest sustainability challenges for your industry right now?
Being an industry representative on the Fit For Office (FFO) working group has highlighted the lack of interest in our industry regarding the next tier down along supply chains. There is little or no interest in the steel, aluminium and timber board industries in considering adding recycled content back into manufacturing new materials.
For some reason, Australia’s mindset is that digging it out of the ground is cheaper and easier than investing in upgrading base raw material supply chain facilities to utilise recycled material inputs. Instead, we are happy to ship these scrap materials offshore and buy them back as value-added finished goods instead of creating a true circular economy.