Not all certifications are equal. While some certifications are a legal requirement, others can be perceived as little more than an extra badge for the company website. For organisations like Stormtech, which strives for excellence in both its products and processes, certifications provide a critical industry barometer.
“Our philosophy is that the Australian standards set out the minimum requirements for compliant construction”, explains Troy Creighton, Stormtech’s CEO. “We take the minimum as a fail and we apply, as far as we can determine, best practice. Our drains are tested by the CSRIO and come back with a pass or a fail – but we’ve never had a fail because we pre-test everything in-house, well in advance. We know our products far exceed Australian Standards before new changes come into effect because we’re already looking at the next target”.
So, for an organisation that strives to exceed every applicable Australian standard, what’s currently on its certification radar?
- Global GreenTag – Level A Gold Certification
Sustainability is a core value for Stormtech; which is why we actively sought-out a partnership with Global GreenTag, approved by the Green Building Council of Australia.
“GreenTag has been instrumental in developing green certification for products for like ours, that don’t really fit into the commodities category”, explains Creighton. “GreenTag helps us to measure how green our products truly are, but it also keeps us on top of of emerging ethical issues, such as modern slavery, and has helped us to earn our position as the only drainage manufacturer with Level A Gold GreenTag™ certification”.
- Vinyl Council of Australia – Excellence in Product Stewardship
While Stormtech doesn’t manufacture PVC, it uses much of the material in its drainage channels and took the decision early on to engage with the Vinyl Council in order to adopt best practices, where possible. “The Vinyl Council has worked incredibly hard over the past 10 years to ensure Australia is taking a global lead and targeting world best practice for the use, reuse and end-of-life management of PVC – not just the upstream manufacturing process”, explains Creighton.
“The next big challenge is how we can improve the management of UV stabilisers, like Titanium Oxide (TiO). In its powder form, TiO must be handled very carefully, but once it’s bound within the PVC it’s zero risk. We only work with suppliers that apply best practice and were recently awarded the Vinyl Council’s certificate of excellence in product stewardship”, reveals Creighton.
- WaterMark – Level 2 Conformity
As the mandatory certification scheme for plumbing and drainage products in Australia, WaterMark is crucially important to Stormtech and the team work very closely with the ABCB in developing some of the latest code changes. “We’ve been looking into the suitability of different materials for sanitary drainage”, reveals Creighton. “Stainless steel is the leading material in terms of suitability – which is what we use for all our products – but other materials, such as copper alloys, brass and aluminium are also being investigated”.
Other WaterMark upcoming changes include the interior and exterior waterproofing codes, which will help to reflect the next generation of waterproofing technologies now available.
For Creighton and his team, the new codes are a welcome change. “These codes will make the installation and service of products far more robust and give the market a lot more confidence that they’re fit for purpose and being installed correctly”, he enthuses. “The plan is for Australia to lead the world in these areas – safety, quality and sustainability – and we’re already pretty darn good!”.
For more information visit Stormtech here.