SEA Achievements 2009

(In no particular order)

1. Another excellent financial performance. The SEA now has the highest level of funds within the Federation which is an excellent base from which to develop long term success. We have shown that even without the income associated with our Climate Change Agreements we can still break even.

2. The high profile that the SEA now enjoys means that we were involved with numerous consultations during the year including:

  • a) DECC second phase of Environmental Permitting Programme
  • b) DECC draft order to implement the Carbon Reduction Commitment
  • c) DECC form and content of new Climate Change Agreements
  • d) DECC Government guidance on Environmental Permitting Programme
  • e) EA review of charging schemes for 2010/11
  • f) EA review H1 environmental risk assessment
  • g) HSE proposals for CHIP4 regulations 2009

3. The SEA now has wide-ranging representation on many committees / organisations engaged in / with the surface engineering sector at a regional, national and European level including,

  • Government / Industry IPPC Sounding Board
  • Government / Industry LA-IPPC Sounding Board
  • European Commission Technical Working Group – STM BREF
  • Environmental Permitting Programme Stakeholder Committee
  • Surface Engineering Board of the Institute of Material, Minerals & Mining
  • Comité Européen des Traitements de Surfaces (CETS)
  • Ministry of Defence SAG:E3 Committee
  • BSI Committee STI/033 Electrodeposited and other coatings
  • Nickel REACH Consortium
  • DECC Focus Groups regarding new climate change agreements

4. The SEA has been working closely with the Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure (CPNI) in respect of the use of any substances that may be of use to terrorist organisations. A representative from the CPNI visited a number of member companies in the Midlands and will be producing some guidance in association with the SEA regarding the safe storage of chemicals.

5. The SEA continues to take a lead role within the CETS organisation and meetings have been held in Gothenburg and Milan. Due to the pressure applied by the SEA, CETS has finally agreed to become an official body and will registered in Brussels as an AISBL (international not for profit organisation).

6. A further 2 lunchtime briefing sessions were held at the House of Lords where the impact of environmental legislation and spiralling energy costs were discussed with Peers, MPs and representative from regulatory authorities. The SEA provided briefing papers to Peers, MPs and representative of various Government Departments on a number of subjects. One of the issues raised was the increased charges levied by the Environment Agency for companies that fell under both COMAH and IPPC and this resulted in the EA reviewing the charges and agreeing that no extra charges were justified and this saved many SEA members around £1500. One of the briefing luncheons was given over to a presentation by the aerospace sector on the importance of surface engineering and the need for the sector to be exempt from REACH until suitable alternatives had been developed.

7. A meeting was held in Brussels with the International Cadmium Association to discuss the development of exposure scenarios as required under the REACH regulation. The ICA are considering including biological monitoring requirements and the use of PNEC (predicted no effect concentration) values for discharges to sewer / receiving waters.

8. The SEA has supported the Ministry of Defence through its participation in the Standards Advisory Group E3 and has helped to develop standards to look at alternative coatings to cadmium and coatings which contain hexavalent chromium. Meetings were held at Edinburgh, London, Birmingham and Glasgow.

9. The new SEA Newsletter won the prestigious Trade Association Forum Best Practice Award for Newsletter of the year at a ceremony held at the Intercontinental Hotel in London. The finalists included both the British Insurance Brokers Association and the Defence Manufacturers Association who are substantially bigger than the SEA and have significantly greater resources.

10. The SEA has developed a partnership with the Health & Safety Executive regarding biological monitoring of exposure to workplace carcinogens, in particular hexavalent chromium, soluble nickel and cadmium. The results from this partnership programme will be fed into the REACH submissions made by Industry and will ensure that any exposure scenarios that are developed reflect what is actually happening and achievable in our sector.

11. A new website was developed and went live during 2009. The new site provides information for 3 types of visitor: a) those looking for a member company to carry out a particular process, b) members looking for the latest information and c) potential new members. It is hoped to further develop the website during 2010 to automatically inform members when new information is added to the website.

12. The Climate Change Agreements for the surface engineering sector and the heat treatment sector both successfully reported to the Department of Energy & Climate Change that they had achieved their carbon reduction targets for 2008. Discussions took place during the year on revised targets for 2010 and an influx of new applications was experienced ahead of the Carbon Reduction Commitment legislation coming into force.

13. The SEA has joined with a number of other partners to obtain funding from the Technology Strategy Board to investigate the recovery of nickel from filter cake. The project will run over 3 years and hopes to develop nickel recovery systems that can be installed on members’ sites.

14. The SEA had a small stand at the Surface World Exhibition which took place in the Pavilion at the National Exhibition centre.