Many of our clients are challenged with identifying and implementing an appropriate system for managing corporate sustainability programs. Ideally, clients would like to put their efforts toward a system that would be globally recognized by stakeholders (customers, investors, NGOs, etc.). Some industry organizations and NGOs have established or are in the process of establishing certifications, but these are generally not universally recognized by stakeholders at this time. Currently, ISO does not have an international standard to which organizations can register that specifically addresses corporate sustainability. However, ISO has issued social responsibility/sustainability guidelines.
Many clients have already registered to ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, ISO 9000, or equivalent internationally-recognized management system standards. These client organizations are very familiar with the structure of ISO management systems, and have integrated these concepts within their organizations. As such, expanding existing systems to address corporate sustainability is a natural evolution that allows organizations to incorporate currently existing guidelines to broaden the usefulness of existing management systems.
We recently assisted a major packaging supplier to the food industry with the development and implementation of a sustainability management system based on the ISO structure and guidelines. This system allowed our client to successfully integrate various existing independent activities to:
- More fully understand and prioritize sustainability aspects and risks
- Ensure sustainability programs properly identified, developed, implemented, and maintained
- Provide consistent management review and external reporting feedback mechanism
- Align metrics and program results with customer and stakeholder expectations
- Continually improve sustainability results in a meaningful and measurable way
As a result of this system, our client has made significant progress on its programs as well as the communication of its results to key stakeholders. Our client’s key customers have been thrilled with the results of this systematic approach to sustainability.
Our sustainability team at Capaccio is very pleased to be able to contribute to helping our clients and the environment prosper. Let us know if you are facing similar challenges, and are looking for ideas or have ideas to share on how to address these challenges.