Moving towards environmentally sustainable workplaces has been a global shift in recent years. Waste management is one of the most necessary practices for sustainable businesses. Factories cannot just get rid of their wastes haphazardly. This process needs to be thought through and arranged with the utmost care. Every industrial site is filled with machinery that produces different types of wastes. These wastes need to be identified first, then a disposal strategy is placed accordingly.
For over 35 years, MDP has been one of the largest and most successful card manufacturers in the Middle East. Managing such a large facility can be very challenging, especially when you have high standards to abide by. Therefore, MDP acknowledged that disposing of wastes in an environmentally-friendly way is essential.
While operating at peak efficiency, MDP has implemented different disposal approaches for industrial wastes. These approaches vary according to the type of material, whether it is solid, liquid, or gas. This takes place in compliance with the principles set out by Law for the Protection of the Environment (No. 4 of 1994), Labour Code (No. 12 of 2003), and ISO 14001 Environmental Policy.
As per the aforementioned law No. 4 of 1994, the level of emissions produced by any factory should not exceed a certain level for each gas. Take Ethyl Acetate and Ethanol for example, their levels should not surpass 400 and 1000 ppm respectively. This is where the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is needed. Generally, the NIOSH is responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. They investigate and perform field measurements then determine whether these measurements are within limits or not. If the factory’s emissions are within limits, then no actions need to be taken. If not, strategies are to be implemented for immediate damage control. It is noteworthy that MDP did not need any implemented strategies as its factories’ emissions have always been below the limits.
In addition, the ventilation system built for the one of the most important sections; printing area is enhanced by new vacuums and modified ventilation routes. This enhancement decreased the gaseous emissions in that area by almost 50%.
Hazardous Waste Disposal
As any card manufacturer, MDP’s hazardous waste encompasses oils, inks, solvents, consumables, etc. This type of wastes in particular needs to be treated with proper care. This is the reason why MDP has contracted with certified companies to get rid of these wastes. This contract is renewed annually, while the actual disposal takes place every quarter.
This is in addition to applying the Hazardous Materials Identification System (HMIS). In former times, a safety data sheet used to be distributed among all workers to learn about the raw materials’ components and how to take proper precautions. This approach was overwhelming and they had to go through much trouble to fully understand and memorize.
Nowadays, HMIS is the optimum solution for MDP. It facilitates categorizing materials and their level of dangerousness by sticking labeled colors and numbers on each and every material. Hence, the worker can easily recognize the type of the material through its color and its number-coded bar.
As a sustainable business with environmental responsibility, MDP has contracted with various recycling companies. On a weekly basis, these companies send their representatives to the premises of MDP, in order to collect the solid materials residue. This residue contains plastic, wooden pallets, and carton to name a few, which is stored in a specific place prior to its collection.
Light and Sound Intensity
When it comes to light, moderation is the best approach. Usually, light intensity varies according to the workspace and the tasks performed. The more lights workers are exposed to, the more they are prone to health and safety problems. And the less lights workers are exposed to, the more fatigue and eye strain they will experience. MDP follows the regulations of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Egypt in controlling the light intensity at its premises. Representatives from NIOSH conduct yearly visits at MDP’s factories for monitoring and validation.
The lighting system has been upgraded to a green lighting technology by replacing florescent bulbs with LED ones. This step contributes greatly to establishing an eco-friendly workplace. It decreases the pollution resulted from hazardous material released from broken or damaged fluorescent bulbs and largely reduces the consumption of fuels.
The same concept of moderation is applied to noise as well. Noises should be within specific ranges according to the environmental laws. The long exposure to loud noises could result in hearing loss. Even if the exposure was for lesser time, the effect could be equally as dangerous. To avoid that, MDP has taken the extra mile. They do not just rely on the above-stated yearly visits by NIOSH. They have also purchased Health and Safety Executive equipment to follow up on what needs to be modified. Health and Safety Specialists perform comprehensive periodic monitoring and submit regular reports to NIOSH assigned committee.
“At MDP, our employees’ safety is our priority. We enroll them into safety training programs, provide them with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and follow a strict safety and health system. We make every effort to maintain a safe and healthy work environment” says Ibrahim Tohamy, Compliance Senior Manager at MDP
One of the main success factors of the card manufacturing process is maintaining an extraordinary dust-free environment. That is why MDP takes housekeeping very seriously. However, housekeeping is not only about keeping the place clean but also maintaining order everywhere. MDP’s housekeepers make sure that there’s nothing to be tripped over in the corridors, no falling objects, nor wet surfaces. They also remove wastes and unused material regularly to improve tidiness and sanitation.
On top of that, in the light of Covid-19 events, housekeeping was taken to a higher level. A more thorough cleaning schedule was established. Mopping floors takes place every two hours. Hand sanitizer dispensers are allocated everywhere. Alcohol and Chlorine are used for sanitizing surfaces, objects, and restrooms almost all the time.
Sustainable Practices for the Whole Community
Since 1985, MDP has not only built a long-standing business that eases up the financial practices in our daily life, but also gives back to the whole community by considering and following the sustainable approaches in running its business operations. That is why, throughout its journey of success, MDP has established a rapport of trust and responsibility with its people, going far beyond the business beneficiaries, as well as contributing to a healthy work-life for each one of them.