Alcoa`s flagship facility automates task management to simplify ISO 14001 compliance

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Courtesy of IHS

In 2007, Alcoa Inc. – the world's leading aluminum manufacturer – selected ESS' Essential Suite software to serve as its unified platform for EH&S sustainability management throughout the company's global operations. That decision was based in part on the company's 2006 success using one module, Essential Air, to save over US$100,000 on Title V compliance at its Tennessee Operations Location, the biggest aluminum production facility in North America. Now, as Essential Suite's global implementation proceeded elsewhere within Alcoa, that same flagship facility wanted a more efficient way to track and facilitate internal audits for environmental compliance so the Tennessee team turned to
Essential Compliance Manager and Essential Task Manager.

Alcoa's corporate policies mandate that internal audits must occur at least once every 18 months, to assure continued compliance with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) requirements. Alcoa has been ISO 14001 certified since 2005 and maintaining this certification is important for the company as the leading aluminum supplier in the global market place. But supporting auditors can be difficult and time consuming, especially in a constantly changing workforce.

Alcoa is implementing Essential Compliance Manager and Essential Task Manager at the Tennessee facility in order to streamline the process of identifying and tracking compliance requirements, auditable work processes and associated compliance activities. Employees can also use the software to track deviations from compliance task requirements so corrective actions can be managed within the same system.

Before the company implemented the new ESS modules, compliance requirements and tasks were tracked via written audit reports that identified the audit team, summarized the audit scope and results, as well as strengths and opportunities for improvement. However, this manual process did not effectively show which compliance activities had been reviewed. And tracking audit teams in an environment where auditors are constantly reassigned and replaced was burdensome.

Essential Compliance Manager and Essential Task Manager make completion tracking data, recurring task and e-mail notifications, and accurate, up-to-date reports easily accessible within seconds. The new system can be used to manage all kinds of tasks that are directly or indirectly related to EH&S.

Stephanie Sparkman, Environmental Supervisor at the Tennessee Operations Location, says, 'Alcoa has maintained its ISO 14001 certification for years but now, with Essential Suite, we can do it more easily and effectively. ESS' software reduces risks by assuring task completion and managing auditor turnover while also saving time by minimizing paper processes and facilitating third-party inspections. Its implementation is another big step forward for our EH&S sustainability program.'

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