In order to demonstrate compliance, with UK legislation, CEMEX conducts a programme of field testing, sampling and analysis at a large number of sites across the United Kingdom. From this activity, reports are provided to the Environment Agency and SEPA to comply with CEMEX’s licences, permits and consents.
CEMEX identified a need to cost effectively manage the large amounts of monitoring data being collected more than six years ago. At that time, they elected to buy an environmental data warehouse, EQuIS and this provides electronic data management facilities as well as robust validation and integrity checks. This has been in use since the beginning of 2001.
While the use of the database greatly improved efficiency and quality of the data, significant time was being spent on the planning and scheduling of the monitoring activities, and checking that the required samples/measurements/analyses had been collected. In order to improve the efficiency and cut the cost of this exercise it was decided to acquire a scheduling software package.
After a detailed search of the industry, CEMEX chose TAPS for organising the field programme. This ensures that all tasks are completed and on time and that any missed monitoring events are re-scheduled and not ‘lost’. The close integration of TAPS with EQuIS allows all scheduled measurements and analysis to be sent to EQuIS so that a completeness check can be made when the data is submitted to the database. Any missed results are flagged for follow-up.
Kevin Wilson of CEMEX said, “In organising the field programme, there are four key elements to be addressed; we have to be certain that we have taken all the measurements and samples required by our licences, permits and consents. We need to automate pre-registration of samples to our contract laboratory, currently STL who who undertake the bulk of our analysis. It is necessary to ensure that all results required are received. We need to constantly review our field staff resources and look for efficiency savings wherever possible.”
“TAPS software not only helps us achieve these aims, but also provides the added benefits of scheduling management reports and field equipment maintenance.”
On the subject of the environmental data warehouse, Kevin said, “There is no doubt that EQuIS was the only product on the market that could do what we needed for our data storage, analysis and reporting requirements.”
With environmental legislation causing increasing costs every year, it is appreciated by CEMEX that the requirement for a tight control on their environmental programme and associated costs is paramount.
The net effect of implementing the TAPS-EQuIS system is an automatic electronic audit trail of all processes from the setting up a plan of what, when and where to sample all the way through to reporting result data.
The business benefits are clear. The system provides added legislative protection against non-compliance, a significant reduction in administration-related costs and the ability to analyse business processes to increase efficiency and reduce costs.