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  • support 11:52 pm on March 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , green suppliers, ,   

    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: , , green suppliers, 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.

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