The importance of water cannot be over estimated. It is of course essential to life. Many businesses have known for some time that it is essential to their products and production process. From an ISO 14001 perspective, companies often list water as a significant aspect. From a business continuity perspective, many companies have identified water (or lack of) as a significant BC threat.
Since my post on July 19, I have been writing short pieces about the new ISO Business Continuity Management System (BCMS), called ISO 22301:2012 and thought about this new management system standard while reading a report from ABC News on work that beverage companies are doing to conserve water. These efforts include building alliances with NGOs such as the Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund, and proactively protecting watersheds. Read More
Employee engagement is a cornerstone of integrated EHS management systems, but an ongoing challenge in EHS and sustainability efforts. David Zinger addressed this topic during his session at last week’s 19th Annual NAEM Forum in Tucson.
When developing and implementing an EHS and sustainability initiative, Zinger stressed, each person must be able to voice his or her opinion and be listened to. “Never do anything about me without me if you expect me to be engaged,” he said. “If you want them to be on the same page, they need to be able to write on the page.” Read More
Initial findings have begun to surface from the 3rd Annual MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Annual Sustainability and Innovation Global Executive Survey, which had over 4,700 respondents. In an earlier post, I discussed some of the findings that Martin Reeves shared last week at the CR Commit Forum 2011 in New York City. The current issue of the Sloan Management Review presents more findings and indicates that the full report will be available next winter.
An important finding is that while sustainability is an important issue in organizations, it is not a top near-term priority. As Reeves indicated in his keynote, companies are concerned about short-term volatility and, to some extent, survivability. The top three challenges reported for the next two years are: innovating to achieve competitive differentiation (46 percent); growing revenues (45 percent); and reducing costs and increasing efficiencies (41 percent). Fourteen percent indicated that responding effectively to threats and opportunities of sustainability was a challenge. Read More
The May 2011 issue of ISO Focus+ announced that the much anticipated ISO management system for energy management will soon be published in 2011.
ISO reports that 50001 will specify requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and improving an energy management system, whose purpose is to enable an organization to follow a systematic approach in achieving continual improvement of energy performance, including energy efficiency, energy use, and consumption. This standard will specify requirements applicable to energy use and consumption, including measurement, documentation, and reporting, design and procurement practices for equipment, systems, processes, and personnel that contribute to energy performance. ISO indicates that it applies to all variables affecting energy performance that can be monitored and influenced by the organization. Read More
The McKinsey Quarterly reported earlier this year on environmental management-related findings from a McKinsey survey conducted in June 2010. The 1,576 responses from executives in a wide range of industries, regions, and functional specialties indicate climate change and energy efficiency as the most important environmental matter in their companies, but also indicate an increasing concern about biodiversity.
The article titled, “The Next Environmental Issue for Business,” suggests that biodiversity may be the next large environmental issue for companies. The June 2010 survey found that 9 percent of the respondents think biodiversity is an important issue. This finding is similar to what a survey in 2007 found related to climate change and energy efficiency. The suggestion here is that if biodiversity has the same trajectory as climate change and energy efficiency, then by 2013, biodiversity will be a significant strategic and management issue for companies.
A significant number of respondents indicated they felt that in the next one to three years, they would have increased pressure to change operations, products, and services to reduce impacts on biodiversity. Read More