Close to a decade ago, we became the first pool builder to be certified for ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems, which verifies we have a series of processes and procedures in place to ensure consistent quality from customer to customer. We also became the first to receive the OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems designation.
I like that you have a third party come into your place of business annually to certify that you’re doing what you say. I think that’s an important approach, and it keeps the fire under our staff to continually keep up with the program and be better at getting better.
We are now working on the ISO 14001 Environmental certification, which looks at our environmental impact. We’re looking at a whole host of things that make our property and processes more environmentally friendly. You look at hybrid vehicles vs. gas guzzlers, clean diesel vs. non-clean, and different kinds of renewable products — rather than a lot of Styrofoam and plastic products that are waste, we’re looking at different products that we can re-use as many times as possible. We’re exploring different man-made stone type products that emit less dust when you cut them, and using water saws to cut materials, so we’re not putting as much dust in the air.
At our properties, we’re considering sensors so lights will come on when needed and then go off, instead of leaving them on all the time. You even look at photocopying — is that the best, most environmentally friendly printer system?
We’re also examining ways to reduce the environmental impact of our finished products, such as using less hardscape in the yard and more indigenous trees and plants so water can absorb into the soil. We’re looking at the backyard in a different way.
We benefit in a number of ways. We can hold our head up that we’re lessening our environmental impact and footprint. Secondly, we’re building a culture of awareness that being environmentally sensitive is important not only from a business standpoint but a personal standpoint. And third, we’re saving money over the long term by being more energy efficient.