For a company as sustainable as Stormtech, certifications are an essential part of doing business. Stormtech has long taken the approach that certifications should be the bare minimum, and that their products and processes should aim to exceed the required benchmarks wherever possible. To that end, they are constantly on a journey to update and expand the number of certifications they hold, and to achieve the top tier wherever possible. This is to counter a very common problem.
“I believe greenwashing is possibly more of a problem now than ever,” says Troy Creighton, CEO of Stormtech. “Sometimes it is simply misled, well intentioned businesses who don’t really understand how deep you need to dig to confirm just ‘how green’ a supplier might be. This can lead to simple assumptions - but just because something is recyclable, doesn’t mean the production was green in any way. The mill making a recyclable component may be a horrible polluter, but the end product can be recycled. That’s why reputable certification will always trump corporate or company ‘statements’. Often these statements are more of an aspiration than actuality.”
For Stormtech, certifications are like insurance for customers - they provide peace of mind that the products being specified are fit for purpose, and have verified sustainability credentials. The latter is particularly important with new schemes like GreenStar and NABERS taking a whole-of-lifecycle view of sustainability. “Our lifecycle and GreenTag certifications provide confirmation of our supply chain and our own activities, and measurements of our activities,” says Troy. “All our stainless drainage products are certified, and our composite PVC/stainless products are also certified. The process is very very detailed and you need to set aside significant time to provide the information required.”
But as a business who truly prides itself on incremental sustainability gains across the company, Stormtech also finds certifications useful internally. “The information is very useful in business,” says Troy. “It allows us to closely monitor our material, components, freight, scrap, water, waste and obviously energy use. As the old saying goes ‘if you aren’t measuring you aren’t managing’.”
Stormtech is proud to hold the reputation as the only drainage manufacturer with Level A GreenTag™ certification – the most respected third-party certification body in Australia for eco-friendly products and is the only product rating certification approved by the Green Building Council of Australia. And Troy is also upbeat about the increasing visibility of sustainability within the industry as a whole. “ Today, there’s greater recognition and understanding not only in the sustainability ‘market’, but also more generally. As with our own investigation into our supply chains, specifiers and end users can now have confidence about how green a product actually is - which will ultimately help to dispel any myths around products and reduce greenwashing.”
So, with the GreenTag rating serving as the piece de resistance in an already decorated certification trophy cabinet, are Stormtech preparing to rest on their laurels? Not likely. “Ha!” exclaims Troy. “It’s an endless horizon that we’ll always be chasing for improvements. I believe there’s one level higher that we might be able to achieve in the next few years.”