About the company
In 1984 ACO Technologies plc was established to fill a gap in the market for high-quality and reliable drainage solutions. Today, the company is a leading provider of stormwater control solutions and surface water management systems. Over the years, the company has grown substantially and is now a global leader in the industry, with operations in more than 40 countries around the world.
Throughout the years, ACO Technologies plc has continued to innovate and expand its product offerings in order to remain at the forefront of the industry. The company has achieved numerous ISO standards, including ISO 14001 Environmental Management, ISO 9001 Quality Management, and ISO 45001 Health and Safety Management.
Sustainability and social responsibility
The ACO Technologies plc company culture is based on the values of cultural and behavioural excellence. These include ambition, collaboration, originality, honesty, integrity, and respect, as well as behavioural values.
Additionally, the company has been committed to sustainability and social responsibility since the beginning. Their commitment to sustainability is reflected in its range of surface water management solutions, building drainage systems, house & garden solutions, wildlife products and access covers.
Motivation for BES 6001 certification
By obtaining the BES 6001 certification, ACO can provide reassurance to its customers that its products are manufactured using responsible sourcing practices, and that the company is dedicated to achieving the highest sustainability standards. The BES 6001 assessment included a comprehensive assessment of ACO’s operations. This recognition reinforces ACO’s dedication to sustainability, innovation, and providing customers with environmentally and socially conscious products. Furthermore, the certification provides ACO with a framework to continually improve and refine its sustainability efforts which can align with the rest of the industry.
ACO continues to innovate and lead the way in sustainable surface water management solutions and building drainage systems. ACO explores ways to minimise material use’s impact on the environment whilst maximising positive social impacts. With the BES 6001 certification, ACO is well-positioned to achieve these goals while demonstrating their commitment to sustainability to all customers and stakeholders.
Their commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility is reflected in its range of surface water management solutions, building drainage systems, house & garden solutions, wildlife products and access covers.
The certification and audit process began with the drafting of a pre-assessment report based on a range of documentary evidence provided by ACO Technologies plc.
The process required a comprehensive assessment of the company’s operations, supply chain, policies, procedures, and practices, which allowed ACO to identify areas for improvement and to set benchmarks for future sustainability goals. The company also wanted to set an example for its industry and encourage other organizations to prioritize sustainability and responsible sourcing in their operations. BRE then visited the Shefford site in February 2023 which enabled the BRE Global auditor to review the organisation’s responsible sourcing related policies and procedures being implemented in their production process.
ACO achieved maximum points for the new element of the code “Biodiversity”. Their on-site Facilities Management Team take biodiversity across the site very seriously. From installing bird boxes, to the protection of endangered bat species, and creating wild areas and walking routes. ACO have recorded the site using Habitat Matters and plan to have staff actively start recording wildlife species they encounter. There is also a Biodiversity & Site Stewardship action plan with a allocated budget for beehives, wildflowers and more refuges at the ACO Shefford site.
ACO Technologies plc have also take a more proactive approach towards sustainability within their supply chain resulting in increased dialogue with supply chain partners, with the aim of collectively reducing their impact on the environment. ACO is also currently actively working to further engage with their supply chain, including the implementation of different collection mechanisms for Carbon and Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) data. This approach will enable ACO to effectively measure how they procure materials and services in the future, supporting their commitment to sustainability.
Furthermore ACO is proud of its commitment to employee learning and development, and sustainability. As part of the induction process, ACO integrates resources on sustainability, BES 6001. ACO is a partner with the Supply Chain Sustainability School SCSS and commits to holding five SCSS workshops annually, covering topics such as carbon and climate change, supply chain carbon, and slavery in the supply chain training. ACO’s training extends beyond professional development, with on-site mental health first aiders, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Training, and menopause awareness training, in between others which is evidenced by their high scores in employment and skills.
By the end of February 2023, the assessment was complete and ACO Technologies plc had secured a ‘Very Good’ BES 6001 certified rating for all the products which entered the certification process.
ACO Technologies became the first organisation to be certified to version 4.0 of the BES 6001 standard.
A great advantage for contractors and building owners is that BES 6001 provides, at no additional expense, notable support in obtaining the credits available in the Responsible Sourcing of Materials (RSM) sections of BREEAM.
Certification has helped ACO Technologies plc to overcome some challenges by ensuring that materials used in the manufacture of its products are responsibly sourced. It provides guidance for sustainable practices throughout the supply chain, which has enabled the company to operate in a socially responsible manner and remain compliant with new ACO policy and changing supplier agreements. Additionally, the certification process has provided a framework for the company to evaluate and improve its operations, policies, and practices.
'As a manufacturer, we have a responsibility to our customers, the planet, and our communities to deliver products and services that address the issues of climate change, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility. BES 6001 certification is a valuable tool to assess and continually improve our sustainability practices, demonstrating our commitment to responsible sourcing and environmental stewardship. By upholding the BES 6001 standard, ACO can provide our customers with the assurance that they are making a socially and environmentally conscious choice when choosing our products.'
Adam Cane, Sustainability Lead in ACO Technologies