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Wigan's Greenspaces Team Joins Green Elite
Wednesday 20th September, 2006

Wigan's Greenspaces Team Joins Green Elite
Paul Barton receives the ISO award from Paul Jewell.

As the race for the world community to become greener and cleaner heats up, Wigan Borough is certainly not being left in the starting blocks.

Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust's Ground Maintenance team has joined an elite group of organisations to have been awarded the prestigious ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) 14001 standard. The award is testimony to the team's dedication to environmentally friendly work practices and operations.

Grounds Maintenance, who maintain the majority of Wigan Borough's parks, countryside areas, outdoor sports pitches and school playing fields, are now one of only a handful of public organisations to hold this award and also the ISO 9001 standard for quality management.

Paul Barton, WLCT's Greenspaces Services Manager, says, "Although the actual names of these awards may not mean a great deal to the residents of Wigan Borough they are in fact hugely significant in recognising the way in which we have improved our services. We are committed to providing a cleaner, greener and more efficient service that will be of benefit to everyone who lives here. These standards are world-renowned and are very difficult to obtain so we are extremely proud to have been recognised in such a manner."

To receive the 14001 award the Greenspaces team had to meet very high standards:

  • a demonstrated commitment to an Environmental Policy
  • environmental training and awareness for all staff
  • all operations must meet current and future environmental legislation
  • lower fuel emissions from vehicles and equipment must be achieved
  • a significant reduction in the amount of green waste going to landfill sites

All of the above criteria were met and have had significant environmental and economic benefits. For example waste disposal has been reduced by 20% and the team is now able to operate with four less vans than previously.

The Grounds Maintenance team is part of Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust's Enterprises division and as such any profits are re-invested in the leisure and cultural facilities in the Wigan Borough.

Paul continues, "As well as being good news for local people, this award cements our position as one of the region's market leaders in the Grounds Maintenance industry. Very few organisations in our field hold both of these ISO standards and so when it comes to competing for business, we can prove we are up there with the best."

For more information on the work of Grounds Maintenance please visit www.wlct.org/grounds.

The ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 157 countries, co-ordinated from Geneva, Switzerland. ISO is the world's largest developer of standards which have important economic and social repercussions on a global level. The ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 families are among the world's most recognised standards. ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 standards are implemented by some 760, 900 organizations in 154 countries.

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