Chris Leese has joined AVK UK as QHSE & Compliance Manager. Chris brings with him a wealth of experience across a range of energy-intensive industries including ceramics, aluminium smelting and brickworks.
With the current volatility in energy markets, one of Chris’ key objectives within his environmental portfolio is to identify ways to reduce energy usage and energy costs:
‘Businesses I have worked with have installed Photovoltaic Solar (PV-Solar) panels to generate electricity. As energy prices continue to rise, and there is little to suggest they will reverse in the short and medium-terms, the economic case for PV-Solar becomes stronger. I will be monitoring the situation closely over the coming months.’
Chris was born and bred in the Potteries, Staffordshire. Unsurprisingly, he started his career as an apprentice ceramic technologist:
‘I started out in the laboratory of an industrial ceramics manufacturer and quickly progressed to looking after quality systems.
Although it has gathered pace significantly over the past five years or so, sustainability and the impact of manufacturing initially gained momentum in the 1990s with the Rio Summit and the introduction of the Environmental Protection Act. My role expanded to cover environmental management and I completed my first CIWEM training back in 1999.’
As he moved into more senior positions, Chris added health and safety management to his skillset. Over the past decade Chris has also broadened his knowledge of industrial processes, spending time in an aluminium foundry and brick manufacturing.
‘In my new role with AVK UK I oversee all aspects of QHSE. There is already a strong health and safety culture across five of AVK UK’s manufacturing and assembly operations and, as you’d expect, the quality systems are first class. It is in the dynamic and evolving area of sustainability and carbon neutrality where I feel I can have the biggest direct impact.’
Two initial areas of focus are life-cycle assessment (LCA) and supply chain alignment:
‘Utility clients are quite rightly pressing all suppliers for detailed LCA information. LCA covers every step of a product’s manufacturing and distribution journey from mining of raw materials such as iron ore, through ancillaries such as gaskets, to the final product, the chosen distribution channel and even end-of-life disposal.
Whilst it is relatively straightforward to monitor and measure in-house activities, the key challenge is to secure and maintain the alignment of the wider supply chain and ensure their systems and processes meet the necessary requirements.’
AVK UK has installed electric vehicle (EV) chargers at its manufacturing sites: Hyde, Corby, and Staveley. This dovetails with its company car policy which requires all new vehicles to be electric or hybrid:
‘The significant investment in electric charging points is a great visible marker to all team members and visitors that AVK UK’s senior management team is serious about helping people make changes that positively impact the environment.’
Contact Chris directly on the details shown above.
Electric Vehicle Chargers
AVK UK has installed EV chargers at its Hyde, Corby, and Staveley manufacturing sites.