ISO 9001 User Survey Results Published

Results of the 2010-11 ISO User Survey are reported in the current issue (December, 2011) of ISO Focus+.    The survey was coordinated by TC 176, subcommittee SC2 and had 11,722 respondents from around the world.  The full survey can be downloaded from the ISO website.  Some of the findings that caught my attention follow.

Factors influencing certification.  The three largest drivers that influence the decision to pursue certification are: customer satisfaction (4,222); market need (3,689); and, mandated customer requirements (3,290).  These findings are consistent with what I have been seeing with my clients, in particular customer mandated requirements for integrated EHS management systems.

Important benefits of applying ISO 9001 in an organization.  Customer satisfaction was the top response (5,886) as would be expected with 9001.  Of interest is that many of the top responses also point to value with business process improvements, including: standard business process (5,821); increased management commitment (4,125); and more effective management reviews (3,975).

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Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) in Oil, Gas and Sulphur Operations – New Federal Rule

In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon event in the Gulf of Mexico, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) has promulgated a regulation that requires operators of oil, gas, and sulphur in the Outer Continental Self to develop and implement a safety and environmental management system (SEMS).

The October 15, 2010 Federal Register announcement of this regulation indicates that the rule incorporates in its entirety and makes mandatory the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) Recommended Practice 75, “Development of a Safety and Environmental Management Program for Offshore Operations and Facilities.” The rule became effective on November 15, 2010. Read More


EHS Management Systems and Off-Shore Drilling – Aftermath of the Montara and Macondo Accidents

In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon (Macondo) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the Montara oil spill off the coast of Western Australia, ISO Technical Committee (TC) 67, which focuses on oil and gas issues, has developed an action plan to combat oil spill disasters. Published this past March, the action plan addresses many safety and health facets. Of particular interest is the TC’s proposal to develop an EHS management system standard devoted to this industry.

In the early 1990s, ISO/TC 67 developed a robust integrated EHS management system model. The TC suspended its development activities on the standard in anticipation of the publication of ISO 14001 in 1996 and the development of BS8800 in the UK.  Read More


The Sustainability Initiative: Implementation Challenges Differ from Traditional Corporate Initiatives

Sustainability is on every corporate radar. The strength of the signal and distance from action vary. In some cases, internal task groups have been formed, sustainability risk assessments have been performed, and actions have been incorporated into operations, products, and services. In other cases, none or some of these activities have been started, or actions have not gone beyond PR drivers.

In the current MIT Sloan Management Review, Christopher Lueneburger and Daniel Goleman make a valuable contribution with a presentation of a sustainability implementation model and identification of different competencies needed at different phases of implementation. They also identify differences between traditional implementation techniques and practices in large corporate initiatives from those needed in a sustainability initiative. Lueneburger and Goleman argue that a common mistake is approaching the implementation of a sustainability initiative with the same tools and mindset used in the past, stating that sustainability is “not your father’s corporate initiative.” Read More


A Management of Change Boost with Organizational Learning and Systems Thinking Tools

As a living system, a company’s risk profile is continually shifting. The growing attention on sustainability and corporate responsibility (CSR) has stretched companies as they wrestle with ways to characterize and manage their sustainability and CSR risks.

Integrated EHS, sustainability, and CSR management systems provide a robust structure to manage risks.  A key concept in an integrated management system is “the management of change” (MOC), which focuses on identifying and managing risks as operations or the operating environment change. MOC procedures and process typically kick in when new equipment or manufacturing lines are installed, during mergers and acquisitions, or during internal re-organizations. On the corporate responsibility front, forward-thinking companies include the monitoring of third-party monitoring criteria in their MOC process.

Strong MOC processes are part of a company’s first line of defense for risk reduction. The MOC process should detect most risks that arise in between formal risk assessments. Read More