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Atlas Copco’s largest production site receives ISO 14001 certification

February 8, 1999

Stockholm, February 8, 1999 ---Atlas Copco’s leading position in state-of-the-art compressor manufacturing has been reinforced by ISO 14001 certification for its Atlas Copco Airpower production site in Antwerp, Belgium. This approval by Lloyd’s Register of Quality Assurance verifies that the site’s Environmental Management System, implemented in the design and manufacture of air compressors, generator sets, and accessories, fulfills the requirements of the ISO 14001 standard.

"Atlas Copco Airpower is the main development and manufacturing facility in the Compressor Technique business area, so we consider this certificate an important milestone in the implementation of an Environmental Management System throughout the Atlas Copco Group," says Bengt Kvarnbäck, Business Area Executive, Compressor Technique. 
Atlas Copco’s Environmental Management System (EMS) applies to much more than product specifications or waste handling. It is a total concept carried through in every business process, from design and purchasing, through machining and assembly, to marketing, distribution, and service. To Atlas Copco, the fundamental idea is that environmental concern is not an additional cost or legislative burden; it is a means to offer increased value to customers - and thus is a business opportunity. 
For the Compressor Technique business area, the range of variable speed drive (VSD) compressors is a typical example. The electronic VSDs in these machines help cut energy consumption up to a third - a tangible benefit for the customer’s bottom line and the environment. Another example is noise reduction. A new testing scheme brought down overall noise levels at the plant and greatly improved community relations. Noise reduction is a prime parameter in product design as well, and engineers and designers have undergone special training on the subject. The new models operate at such a low noise level that customers can install the compressors on the shop floor, close to workers. Expensive compressor rooms are no longer required, and the cost of piping is reduced. 
Throughout the four production sites within Atlas Copco Airpower, the implementation of EMS has led to electronic communi-cations and filing, which have significantly reduced paper consumption. Selective waste handling is in place - even copper, aluminum, and iron are recycled - and people have been trained to differentiate between materials. Packaging has been reduced to a bare minimum, for incoming goods (in close cooperation with suppliers) and for products leaving the factory. Alternative means of transportation, such as sea or rail, are being used instead of adding to the pollution from heavily congested road traffic. 
These examples clearly demonstrate Atlas Copco Airpower’s pro-active approach to environmental care. Internal rules and policies are often much more stringent than what is required by law. Atlas Copco Airpower therefore considers the ISO 14001 not the culmination of its efforts but an acknowledgment that it is on the right track in combining environment-friendliness with customer benefits. 
The goal of the Group is to have all major manufacturing sites certified according to ISO 14001 by the year 2000. One year ago, the Atlas Copco Electric Tools division received the ISO 14001 certificate for its site in Winnenden, Germany, where it manufactures electric tools. With the certification of Airpower, a total of 35 percent of the Group’s production facilities now have ISO 14001 certification. 
Atlas Copco Compressor Technique is Atlas Copco’s largest business area and a leading manufacturer of compressors and generators. It is headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium, and has factories in Belgium as well as in Germany, France, Italy, the U.S. and China. Additional information is available at the web site www.atlascopco-compressors.com 
Atlas Copco is an international group of industrial companies with its head office in Stockholm, Sweden, and 97 percent of revenues outside Sweden. Atlas Copco companies develop, manufacture, and market electric and pneumatic tools, compressors, construction and mining equipment, assembly systems, and motion control products. Additional information about Atlas Copco is available at the Group’s web site: www.atlascopco.com For further information, please contact: 
André Balliauw, Quality Assurance Manager, Atlas Copco Compressor Technique, 
+32 3 870 2729 
Annika Berglund, Vice President Corporate Communications, Atlas Copco AB, 
+46 8 743 8070, +46 70 322 8070. E-mail: annika.berglund@atlascopco.com