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  • support 1:16 pm on May 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: corporate sustainability, , , sustainability surveys,   

    The Sustainability Leadership List 2012: How Do Telecom and Energy Brands Rank? 

    If you follow BIZPHX on Twitter and Facebook, you know that we often provide links to relevant news articles that impact our world of quality management.  In particular, we follow trends in TL 9000, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and corporate sustainability.  We recently provided a link to this study featured on one of our favorite blogs, GreenBiz.com.

    Each year, the results of The Sustainability Leaders — a GlobeScan/SustainAbility Survey of sustainability experts is released.  This survey includes corporate, government, NGO, academic, research and service organizations in 75+ countries.  The 2012 survey results were released this month.

    The survey poll asked respondents to name up to three companies that they consider to be leaders in integrating sustainability into their business strategy.

    The top ten brands (in order) for 2012 are:  Unilever, Interface, GE, Patagonia, Walmart, Marks & Spencer, Natura, Nike, Novo Nordisk, Siemens, Toyota, IBM and Nestle.

    This survey is often criticized for a variety of reasons ranging from a popularity contest to basing the rankings on a single metric.  Some have trouble reconciling results with what other sustainability rankings show.  The very nature of The Sustainability Leaders Survey is competitive.  Respondents have to pick one or just a few companies who they think are top performers above others.

    However, two points are always proven to be clear:

    • Companies remain concerned and driven to advance sustainability objectives, whether by intelligent business design or due to consumer demand or government regulation.  This trend is advancing not reversing.
    • The leaders have clearly defined messaging which they integrate into their business strategy.  Their plans are concise, focused, transparent and easy to communicate to stakeholders and employees.  They are able to leverage their brand’s awareness as a result.

    What then, does it take to crack the top-ten most frequently named leadership companies in the poll?  It’s not quite that simplistic and we encourage you to read the article and survey presentation in its entirety.  You can also access a podcast interview with executives from GlobeScan, Unilver and Patagonia at 2degrees network.

    Unilever ranked #1 is a consumer goods giant and on the list are big pharma, automotive, food and retail conglomerates.  For the purpose of our article we are more focused on the industries represented and the gap that exists in the telecom and energy sectors.  Specific to telecom, what can we do to drive our TL 9000 and ISO 14001 quality management systems to tackle the elusive business challenge of corporate sustainability?  These are not buzzwords anymore.  They are critical business realities in a global economy.

    Siemens is as close as it gets in 2012.  This Munich, Germany based multinational corporation is the largest European-based electronics and electrical engineering company.  While they have an IT Solutions division, they are not focused solely in the ICT sector.  There is no telecom leader on this list.

    However, let’s take some pointers from Siemens.  Their goals are clearly defined and their objectives are driven at the employee level, which we know propels any successful QMS.  Visit the sustainability section of their website, which is very easy to find on their main landing page.  Also watch the brief video presentation from Barbara Kux, their CSO (Chief Sustainability Officer).

    ICT and telecom industries touch so many aspects of our personal and business lives.  As business operators in this space, we must learn from the leaders on this list and raise our own sustainability goals.  More importantly, we need to articulate objectives in a way that resonate with our consumer public and employees.

    In terms of quality management, we should look for ways to integrate these goals within the scope of our ISO 9001, TL 9000 and ISO 14001 frameworks to drive continual improvement in these areas. Specific to TL 9000, we have the ability define measurable outcomes and track them against benchmarking data.  It’s then more likely; we’ll see a telecom leader on a future list!

    For information on ISO 9001, TL 9000 and ISO 140001 implementation, contact info@bizphyx.com.


  • support 11:52 pm on March 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: corporate sustainability, , ,   

    Big Brands That Lead With ISO 14001 And So Can You 

    In an article featured in the February 2012 edition of ISO Focus + called Future Gear (get the online version here), high-level executives from the world’s leading car makers such as Audi, Bentley Motors and Kia Motors revealed their companies’ perspectives on the benefits of standards implementation.  The global automotive sector is undergoing a radical transformation. The current dialogue is about fully networked cars–the cars of the future, which are now referred to as intelligent transport system (ITS).

    Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat and Chrysler Group was interviewed and one of his statements just resonates with all of us in quality management, “We do need standards; the world needs standards. Standards help an enterprise manage business-critical issues such as quality, environmental performance and safety.”

    In that same article you gain insight on the automotive brands that lead with ISO 14001 as a way to deal with environmental concerns.  Michael Straughan, a Board Member of Bentley Motors defines how Bentley embraces ISO 14001.  He stated, “we were one of the first UK plants to achieve ISO 14001 certification for environmental management, the first in our sector to set out a clear strategy for reducing our impact on the environment, and we are now the first UK automotive plant to certify to the new ISO 50001 energy management standard.”

    Let’s move from the automotive sector to the pharmaceutical industry and examine Bayer.  Bayer’s oldest and largest West Coast facility (the Berkeley site) has established a tradition of environmental protection that is now shared by all other sites.  Berkeley was Bayer’s first North American facility to receive ISO 14001 certification and has maintained this certification every year since 2001.  Now, as outlined on the sustainability section of their website (see Bayer Sustainability Management), 62 of their sites are certified to ISO 14001 with an addition 9 certified to OHSAS 18001.  That’s leading in a big way.

    The automotive and pharmaceutical industry brands embrace ISO 14001, but what about toy industry?  Who’s leading in environmental leadership? LEGO.  In a great story featured on Greenbang, a smart technology blog, you learn about the incredible sustainability report from this Denmark based toy manufacturer.

    LEGO aims to be 100% powered by renewables by 2020.  So is LEGO ISO 14001 certified?  That would be a resounding–yes.  You’ll see from the sustainability section of their website that all of the production sites in the LEGO Group are certified to the ISO 14001 standard, a primary step in their overall efforts which started back in 2007.

    On our blog, we continue to demonstrate how ISO 14001 is a key tool in the arsenal of the big brands to address environmental and sustainability goals.  Many of these brands push ISO 14001 down through their supply chains.

    So, does this motivate your organization?  Does ISO 14001 apply to you?  Even the smallest of companies, including service organizations certify to ISO 14001.   We’re ALL global suppliers and global supply chains require global environmental standards.  BIZPHYX recently led several clients to ISO 14001 certification, with more to certify in 2012.  Please visit the websites of these recently certified, diverse service providers:

    • CE2, a support services firm for government agencies in Pleasanton, California
    • Elgia, a business process outsourcing firm in Alpharetta, Georgia

    They’ve taken the lead in their respective industries–and so can you.

    Many of the big brands clearly lead with ISO 14001 for environmental management, so consider yourself in good company.  For more information on achieving on ISO 9001 or ISO 14001 certification contact info@bizphyx.com.

  • support 3:02 am on October 20, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , corporate sustainability, , green supply management, ,   

    How To Address “Green Washing” Your Supply Chain With ISO 14001 

    In this month’s issue of Member’s Edge (published by ISM-The Institute For Supply Management), a survey study entitled “How Important Is A Green Supply Chain In North America?” was featured.   This study was conducted as a joint effort between Propurhcaser.com and Virescent, a UK based consulting firm.  Hundreds of supply chain professionals were interviewed about their current and future practices regarding green supply chains.  The study produced three key findings.

    First, in North America, senior management does back “greening” the supply chain.  27% strongly agreed and 28% somewhat agreed that senior management views these practices as strategically important.  Roughly the same statistical numbers were true regarding a question that at least one executive in their own company is now responsible for “green initiatives”.

    Secondly, green supply management is now being pushed down into purchasing operations.  Over 57% of the purchasers interviewed said they were already involved in “greening” their organization’s supply chain; and moreover, this number is expected to reach about 75% in the future.  This number seemed to surprise the UK firm who conducted the survey because they noted that in Europe more government regulations are in place to reduce carbon emissions, where in North America this level of regulation is not yet government imposed.

    None of this data revealed anything new to us, as we see this everyday in our QMS work with clients.  However, the third and final study outcome frames many of our recent articles on corporate sustainability and the case for ISO 14001 certification.  The final take away from this study is that green suppliers are preferred, but measurement systems are lacking.  This has opened the door for a practice (and a term that is now used more liberally in supply management) called “green washing”.  When a supplier green washes they exaggerate claims about their environmental initiatives and metrics.

    Over 80% of the supply chain professionals that responded said they would favor suppliers with green business practices, but only 25% have any sort of carbon footprint evaluation process in place.  Therefore, it’s hard for many purchasers to know if they are being green washed by suppliers about their environmental claims.  The consulting firm who helped conduct the study focuses on carbon footprint analysis and other “greening” strategies.

    The reality is that for both suppliers and corporations there is an internationally accepted system that can provide a legitimate framework to document environmental claims and practices.  That system is ISO 14001, the environmental management standard.  ISO 14001 certification addresses virtually all of these areas.  If a company frames their QMS scope and documentation properly, they can voluntarily address environmental targets, goals and metrics.

    Carbon footprinting is only one aspect of greening the supply chain.  Corporate sustainability, social responsibility, cradle to grave product life cycle analysis and documenting other industry specific environmental targets are all factors in demonstrating leadership as a green supplier.  These can all be addressed within the framework of ISO 14001 certification.

    Specific tools (like ISO 14001) that could be used to achieve the 3 primary outcomes outlined in the survey were not mentioned as part of the study findings.  This is where the struggle continues.   Just as a suppliers may green wash their capabilities to purchasers, there are many organizations and consultants who green wash the processes that can help companies implement strategies, plans and systems.

    Avoid “green certifications” and look to ISO 14001 as the legitimate first step in becoming a green organization and a better environmental steward.  ISO 14001 is an audited system which aligns well with TL 9000, the telecom quality management system, as well as ISO 9001.

    Need some proof?  Here’s another big brand that chose to address all of these areas, including corporate social responsibility within the framework of ISO 14001: Adidas.  Adidas has pledged to reduce carbon emissions from its locations by 30 per cent by 2015.  It also aims to cut energy consumption by 20 per cent.  A key element in their corporate strategy—certification to ISO 14001 in five of their North American sites.  Congratulations to Adidas!  Here’s the announcement and an article on their sustainability goals.

    So, don’t green wash or get green washed.  Implement ISO 14001 requirements with your suppliers and within your own organization, to become better environmental stewards while meeting the challenging demands of greening your supply chain.  You’ll get the data and verification you need from your suppliers which will help you meet your own measurement requirements. For more information on ISO 14001 implementation, contact us at info@bizphyx.com.

  • support 12:43 am on June 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: corporate sustainability, globalization, ,   

    Update From The Field: Sustainability, Risk Mitigation and Globalization-Where Is Your Business? 

    This past week we attended the 2011 WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) National Conference and Business Fair held in Las Vegas.  While several different educational tracks from government procurement to supply chain management were featured, there was a consistent theme that resonated throughout the conference: sustainability, risk mitigation and globalization.  We have profiled these trends on the support desk, including a recent series on ISO 14001 and corporate sustainability.  As global supply management evolves, you must stay informed about current topics that impact corporate supply chains if you want to compete for contracts, earn business and deliver results.  Trends such as risk mitigation, sustainability, globalization, innovation and supplier development (which includes quality standards) are shaping the way corporations do business with suppliers.  There is an increased focus on sustainability initiatives in integrated and end-to-end supply chains.  Most multi-national corporations have adopted sustainability criteria into some or all aspects of their strategic sourcing processes.

    What does this mean to your organization?  What does quality management have to do with these trends?  Everything.  As a supplier, your ability to embrace these requirements in your business will determine if you can remain competitive in a global marketplace.  As an organization that utilizes your own suppliers, these trends affect your growth, expansion and ability to keep costs down.  Being certified to a quality management system, like ISO 9001 or TL 9000 is one way to address these critical supply chain requirements.

    Quality management, Six Sigma and a variety of other supplier requirements such as ISO 14001 were discussed as ways to tackle sustainability issues.  The WBENC Opportunity Connection Conference reinforced many of the topics we have been clarifying for clients over the last six months.  This summer we are publishing a new article on TL 9000’s alignment with ISO 14001.  For our readers certified to ISO 9001 and TL 9000, you will learn how incorporating ISO 14001 into your quality management program will help you address sustainability and globalization issues.  If you are not yet certified to a standard, this article may help you finally see the value in taking that leap!  Stay tuned this summer.  These trends are now becoming requirements and certifying to a quality standard provides the best framework to help you meet these demands.  For assistance, contact us: info@bizphyx.com.

  • support 2:38 am on April 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , corporate sustainability, ,   

    Does Certifying To ISO 14001 Impact Your Company’s Marketability? 

    Last week, we discussed ISO 14001 in depth and outlined its framework as a quality management standard.  In part 3 of our series, we will detail the many benefits of certifying to ISO 14001, including enhancing a company’s marketability.

    By implementing ISO 14001, a company can gain a competitive edge by decreasing costs through increased efficiencies.  These efficiencies can include lowering energy and raw materials use and reductions in waste and pollution.  Mitigated risks of accidents and emergency situations can also translate into greater profitability and productivity.   Equally, in areas where environmental responsibility is a requirement, certification to ISO 14001 can create and maintain business development opportunities.  But what about enhancing your company’s positioning and marketability?

    An organization can demonstrate environmental leadership by implementing ISO 14011.  Customers want to do business with organizations that are committed to protecting the environment.  ISO 14001 certification can help to establish your company’s environmental credibility and commitment to quality and can also improve your corporate image and community goodwill.  Certifying to ISO 14001 can also foster improved relationships with shareholders and environmental organizations.

    A study done by the Journal of Operations Management, which was featured in a March 24, 2011 article in GreenBiz.com, revealed some interesting facts about the impact of “green initiatives”, including ISO 14001.  The study, which was conducted by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Michigan State University, analyzed how environmental performance affects shareholder value through stock market reactions. Interestingly, the markets ignored announcements out recycling programs, eco-friendly products and even LEED certification.  Only 3 categories generated a positive reaction to share prices.  Certification to ISO 14001 resulted in one of the most significant positive reactions (full article in GreenBiz).

    Why ISO 14001 certification and not emissions reductions? ISO 14001 is a globally recognized quality management system.  It is audited by an independent third party and it validates that an organization has a serious commitment to environmental stewardship, sustainability and quality.

    Imagine creating new business opportunities, enhancing marketability, decreasing costs and improving your organization’s productivity with one strategic move: certifying to ISO 14001.  Next week, we will clarify the difference between ISO 14001 and other environmental initiatives such as R2 and e-Stewards and we’ll begin to review the current catch phrase: “being green”.  For assistance with ISO 14001 implementation contact info@bizphyx.com.

  • support 6:33 pm on March 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , corporate sustainability,   

    New Series: ISO 14001, Corporate Sustainability and Your QMS 

    Thank you for your patience as this week’s article was delayed due to the upgrade of the support desk.  We are also preparing to share this blog content on a new BIZPHYX Facebook page!  As we begin this new 5-part series on ISO 14001, corporate sustainability and what it means to your QMS, we’re excited to announce that in late 2011, we have several new clients who will be certifying to ISO 14001.

    So what is ISO 14001 and what role does it play in corporate sustainability?

    Researchers estimate that as much as 50% percent of a company’s carbon footprint stems from its supply chain.  Therefore, it’s no surprise that businesses are looking to improve their sustainability scorecards and are turning the spotlight on their supplier networks.  As a result, several new supply chain management trends are emerging.  Corporate sustainability it seems, is the next evolution of corporate social responsibility (CSR).  Corporate sustainability describes business practices built around social and environmental considerations. It is a business approach that creates long-term consumer and employee value by not only creating a “green” strategy aimed towards the natural environment, but also taking into consideration every dimension of how a business operates in the social, cultural, and economic environment.

    Under the umbrella of this business approach can rest implementation of an environmental management system or EMS.  The ISO 14000 family addresses various aspects of environmental management. ISO 14001:2004 provides the requirements for an EMS and ISO 14004:2004 gives general EMS guidelines.  While ISO 14001 does not specify levels of environmental performance, the intention of ISO 14001 is to provide a framework for a holistic, strategic approach to the organization’s environmental policy, plans and actions.

    Because ISO 14001 provides a foundation for corporate sustainability, many companies decide to implement ISO 14001 independently or maintain a dual certification to ISO 9001 and/or TL 9000, the telecom quality management system, thereby addressing both environmental and industry specific quality requirements.

    Next week, we will outline the requirements of ISO 14001 and during the rest of the series we’ll draw distinctions between ISO 14001 and recycling standards like e-Stewards and R2. Additionally, we will cover why ISO 14001 is the EMS of choice and what certifying to the standard does for your business from both an operations and marketing perspective.  If you require more immediate information on ISO 14001 implementation contact info@bizphyx.com.

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