What could a brewing company and a school system possibly have in common? The straightforward answers are – building and energy concerns, social impacts, and costs associated with the business. While New Belgium Brewing Company, Inc. and Waltham Public Schools fall on opposite ends of the industry spectrum, they both employ management systems to address these issues.
Like many sustainability endeavors, the story began with a grassroots effort when employees at New Belgium Brewing Company raised their environmental concerns. Aiming to be a model in the industry, the company responded by incorporating Planet Earth within its strategic planning and created a Sustainable Management System (SMS). Similarly, the City of Waltham, Massachusetts has an Environmental Management System (EMS) for its 12 public schools, offering an elaborate energy management plan and environmental policy modeled after ISO 14001.
Although in 2 very different industry sectors, both case studies use the same approach; as described in our previous blog, the continual approach is useful for measuring environmental impacts, setting targets and plans, establishing policy, and consistent review. Using the same methodology also allows for the same end goal: business and environmental sustainability.
The New Belgium Brewing Company precisely describes the importance of management systems, “Transparency and authenticity are central to our culture. Authenticity means our actions match the things we say about ourselves. Transparency shines a light on our successes and our shortcoming so that our stakeholders can be the judge of our authenticity. The SMS will help us to achieve more of both.”
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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.
The Central Massachusetts Business Environmental Network (CMBEN), in partnership with the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, present Environmental Management Systems on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at St. Gobain Abrasives, Building 301, Administrative Building, One New Bond Street, Worcester, Massachusetts. This meeting is free and open to anyone but space is limited, so please register soon, and no later than December 9. To register for this event, e-mail Mary Hubbard of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce at email@example.com or call her at (508) 753-2924.
There seems to be a resurgence of companies registering to ISO 14001 and/or developing environmental management systems (EMSs). The driver may be a customer requirement or to gain greater market share. Our speakers will present different perspectives on why companies have chosen to develop an EMS as a way to reduce and manage environmental risks.
- Linda Swift from Capaccio Environmental Engineering will talk about developing an EMS to meet ISO 14001 requirements with a focus on Aspects and Impacts
- Joe Dufresne from St. Gobain will talk about St. Gobain’s EMS, how its maintained and the benefits of having an EMS
- Pam Eliason from TURI will talk about how some companies have chosen to use an EMS as an alternative to traditional TUR Planning and what it takes to do this
CMBEN is a network of EHS Managers and other environmental and safety professionals serving industry in Central Massachusetts. They represent some of the region’s largest businesses with years of experience in EHS management. Take advantage of this know-how by attending this, and other informative sessions.
You can now manage your energy conservation program or lower your greenhouse gas emissions by using a new international standard, ISO 50001. This new ISO Management System Standard for Energy has all of the same “plan-do-check-act” provisions of the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System.
To save on the cost required to implement and certify a new management system, some companies are choosing to instead integrate the key energy management features of the ISO 50001 standard into their existing ISO 14001 or ISO 9001 management systems. Also, if a customer is not requiring certification to this standard, companies can use the integration option to achieve certification to ISO 14001 while seeking “verification” of the use of the energy management components. It is also possible to self-certify to the ISO 50001 standard through this integration option.
Should you choose to implement or integrate the new ISO 50001 Energy Management System Standard, CAPACCIO can help you make decisions on the options you have regarding the use of this new international energy management standard and guide you through the process.
For more information, contact Wayne Bates at 508.970-0033 ext. 121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.