Environment profile: David Abramson

David joined British Steel in May 2018 as Environmental Manager - Steelmaking. His role is a broad one, find out more...

Please tell us about your current role in British Steel

My current role is now twofold. Firstly, I'm responsible for ensuring systems are in place - and being used - at our Steelmaking Plant to meet the requirements of our licence to operate; and secondly, I'm partly responsible, along with a Steelmaking colleague, for implementing a multi-million pound business transformation and autonomous maintenance programme.

When did you join the business?

I joined in May 2018, so in the grand scheme of things, I’m a relative newcomer!

Where did you work before?

My background is in environmental and quality compliance. I have a degree and an HND in Environmental Studies and also have 7 years' experience as a Senior Quality Assurance Officer at a pharmaceutical / medical device manufacturer.

Before joining British Steel, I worked at Vivergo Fuels, a bioethanol production plant at the Saltend Chemicals Park near Hull. I was responsible for transitioning the business to the latest version of the environmental management standard ISO 14001, maintaining certification to the Energy Management System Standard ISO 50001, managing site waste, all interaction with the EA and BSI and ensuring compliance with the greenhouse gas and main operating permits that allowed us to trade.

Prior to Vivergo, I worked at BOC Gases as a SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environment and Quality) Systems Manager. This role involved maintaining environmental compliance, product quality, communications, security and supervising the training manager. I was also responsible for developing and rolling out nationally a behaviour-based safety measurement, assessment and improvement programme.

What skills and experience do you bring to your current role?

As you can see, I have a wide environmental skillset, ranging from waste, water and air, to EU Emissions Trading System and climate change reporting obligations. I've also worked with competent authorities / external audit bodies and been involved in the implementation of the ISO 14001:2015 standard. I've developed and implemented Behaviour-Based Safety programmes, communications and the energy management system standard ISO 50001.

My background in quality is what perhaps has evolved my eye for detail and visual management.

What does your day-to-day role involve?

My daily activities include checking the environmental compliance status for the preceding 24 hours, auditing and developing systems that make things easier for my colleagues. At the core of my activities is ensuring Steelmaking's environmental performance complies to the relevant standards.

Why do you enjoy working for British Steel?

There’s a broad range of characters who are proud to be working for British Steel and this is evident in the length of tenure of many individuals. There are also numerous challenges and improvements we can make, and I thrive in this sort of situation where I can help colleagues and put systems in place that enable them to embed projects to move our business forward. It was and still is an exciting prospect!

What are you most proud of so far?

To date, I think my most significant achievements have been implementing a new environmental management system, transforming the format of our environmental committee meetings to remove unnecessary jargon as well as making them more engaging and relevant. I also bring an eye for detail to documentation and visual management.

What advice would you give to other people considering a career at British Steel?

When I first joined the business the first thing that struck me was the scale of the site at Scunthorpe. It’s a very large site and the challenges are varied and many. A career at British Steel is ideal for someone who wants to provide a fresh view and can challenge existing ways of working, helping make the business more sustainable for the future.