We are back from a short summer break with our next ENplus® interview. This time, we have the pleasure to talk with Ulrich Erler who is part of Eurofins Umwelt Ost GmbH’s team and has been an ENplus® auditor for more than 10 years.
Dear Mr. Erler, you are representing Eurofins Umwelt Ost GmbH. Please introduce us to the company, its history and portfolio of services.
Eurofins Scientific is a group of international life sciences companies which provides a unique range of analytical testing services to clients across multiple industries. Eurofins Scientific was founded in 1987. Today, the Eurofins Group is a leading provider of testing and analytical services with an international network of more than 800 laboratories in over 50 countries.
Eurofins Umwelt Ost GmbH with its site in Freiberg is part of the Eurofins Group and has its origins in the central fuel laboratory of the DBI Deutsches Brennstoffinstitut/German fuel institute (founded in 1956). So, the characterization and quality control of different fuels or high-calorific waste fractions form the special experience of the laboratory in Freiberg.
We started audits in the field of solid biogenic fuels in 2003 and 2010 within the ENplus® certification. Today, we have 4 inspectors within our inspection body and about 200 employees in the laboratory in Freiberg.
Eurofins Umwelt Ost GmbH is both an ENplus® Inspection and Testing Body. Is this an advantage for a company using your services and why?
We think it is an advantage, because our customers can use the full experience of our specialized laboratory and analytical service managers as well as inspectors to solve problems within the certification process and within other fields of daily business such as quality control of raw materials and products, prevention and handling complaints or development of new products or technologies, for instance.
This is a challenge and a high responsibility for every project on a daily base for us. Furthermore, this combination enables quick operations and effective solutions to problems for companies using our services. The cooperation of our laboratory/testing body with other inspection bodies inside the ENplus® certification process leads to more expert knowledge in this field of work too. Our accreditation as a testing and as an inspection body guarantees our impartiality in all these processes.
Freiberg-site of Eurofins Umwelt Ost GmbH
What do certified/applying companies underestimate the most during an inspection and/or are not well prepared with?
In our experience it is a challenge to keep the documentation and correctness of data complete and up to date. This concerns the list of suppliers and supplier’s declarations, up-to-datedness of the organization-chart and responsibilities, documentation of internal quality assurance and quality management or documentation of changes in the production process, for instance. Usually, the claimed data update is no problem for the companies – but it takes time to perform in the affairs.
Based on your experience, what has been the N1 reason for pellets producers and traders to join ENplus® and get certified?
ENplus® has become the world-leading certification scheme from production to delivery in recent years. Today, competition and marketing are the main reasons to join ENplus® for producers and traders from our point of view. Whoever can produce products within these high-quality standards should show it. In many cases, the market simply requires this certificate. Nevertheless, a major advantage is the quality assurance within the certification scheme that helps producers and traders to track their quality, to avoid complaints and the costs and loss of reputation involved.
Do you believe that in the future more households in Germany and in Europe will use high-quality pellets and why?
Yes, we do. High quality pellets give more certainty for untroubled heating processes without any interruptions. Regional factors as well as a good price/performance ratio associated with a high availability are arguments to change from fossil to biogenic fuels. Sustainability is a further actual factor for many people.
ENplus®-inspectors (name, since): Ulrich Erler (2010) Michael Baldauf (2012), Stefan Seifert (2019), Katja Schulze (2021)