FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 23, 2013
For more information,
Contact: Scott Bird
Voluntary program recognizes environmental management system
Gerdau’s Knoxville plant has again earned the ISO 14001 certification, an international distinction that recognizes the mill’s environmental management system. The plant first pursued and achieved this voluntary certification in 2007. Its 2013 certification recently became official.
During the ISO certification process, the Gerdau team analyzed plans for emergency preparedness, environmental policy and safety procedures, as well as opportunities for new environmental programs. The process also included an extensive review by independent auditors who assessed compliance through document review, observation and employee interviews.
“Maintaining this environmental certification is a significant achievement,” said Johnny Miller, Gerdau vice president and general manager. “I am grateful to our employees for the many hours of hard work they put in to help us achieve this status.”
Upholding rigorous environmental standards is important to the plant. “We place a high priority on being a good member of the Lonsdale community, and protecting the environment is an important part of our commitment to our neighbors. The ISO 14001 certification is a testament to our success in those efforts,” said Miller.
Gerdau’s commitment to the environment and surrounding community has included installing landscaping at the plant to add green areas; constructing buffer zones between the plant and the surrounding residential neighborhood; paving roadways and purchasing a street sweeper to further minimize dust from truck traffic inside the plant; and installing an onsite weather station to track wind speed and direction. Future plans include maintaining existing buffer areas and landscape maintenance.
Gerdau is one of the largest steel recyclers in Tennessee and the largest in the Knoxville area, recycling nearly 1.2 billion tons of steel in 2012. One ton of recycled steel saves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone.
Gerdau, a steel manufacturer with operations in 14 countries, recently increased its Knox County presence with an expansion into West Knox County and the addition of approximately 40 new jobs.
Gerdau is the leading producer of long steel in the Americas and one of the largest suppliers of special long steel in the world. It has over 45,000 employees and industrial operations in 14 countries with operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia, which together represent an installed capacity of over 25 million metric tons of steel per year. It is the largest recycler in Latin America and around the world it transforms millions of metric tons of scrap into steel every year. Gerdau is listed on the stock exchanges of São Paulo, New York, and Madrid and has around 140,000 shareholders.