CAPACCIO to present “Upcoming Changes to the ISO 14001 Standard” at SESHA NE/NY Mini-Conference Reply

On September 29 and 30, the New England and New York State Semiconductor Environmental Safety and Health Association (SESHA) chapters are jointly sponsoring a mini-conference in Albany, NY at SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE)/SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNYIT). SESHA is the premier Environmental, Safety & Health association serving the high technology and associated industries and provides value to its members through ongoing education and professional development.

Among the presenters at the conference will be Daniel Forsythe, CHMM, TURP, RABQSA Auditor, Practice Area Leader for the Semiconductor and Electronics sectors at Capaccio Environmental Engineering, Inc. Mr. Forsythe’s presentation, “Upcoming Changes to the ISO 14001 Standard,” will walk attendees through the proposed changes detailed in the Draft International Standard (DIS), released for public enquiry in July 2014, and how they may impact your organization. One of the most noteworthy changes is the style of the standard itself, which is being written in accordance with Annex SL – a new high level structural framework that will be common across all management systems and will provide core text, common terminology, and core definitions. The proposed changes also reflect an overall shift toward tangibly improving environmental performance rather than simply improving the management system itself. The ultimate goal is for certified organizations to produce more fundamental ‘bottom line’ reductions in key environmental impact areas such as noise, gas, and water emissions.

For the complete agenda, directions, vendor information, sponsorship information, online registration and downloadable registration forms for this event, please visit: http://seshaonline.org/regions/ssabostonc/boston.php3

If you are unable to make it to SESHA, and want to learn more about the upcoming changes to the ISO 14001 standard, you may view CAPACCIO’s recent webinar recording on this topic.
http://www.capaccio.com/Resources/Event_Recs.html
We asked our webinar attendees the reason they wanted to attend our webinar, to which they responded:

Certified to ISO 14001:2004 & Want Info on ISO 14001:2015…..61
Have an Uncertified EMS & Exploring ISO 14001:2015 Certification…..23
Do Not Have an EMS and Have Limited Knowledge of ISO 14001…..18
Other Reason…..17

Based on the responses, the majority of our webinar attendees are already registered to ISO 14001 and were attending our webinar to gain more information on the forthcoming changes. Another great majority have an uncertified EMS and are exploring ISO certification for not only its value, but also from an EHS and financial standpoint.

CAPACCIO has worked with a number of our clients to develop and implement successful EHS systems and can provide guidance on how to prepare for these changes so your firm can be ready for certification. In regard to the upcoming ISO 14001 changes, conducting a gap analysis is the best first step in identifying what needs to happen for a company’s existing system to conform to the new changes.

For more information on ISO 14001/18001 or environmental, health and safety management systems or having a gap analysis performed for your company, please contact Dan Forsythe at 508.970.0033 ext. 135 or dforsythe@capaccio.com.

Sustainability Impacts Medical Devices Too Reply

Mark Crawford of Pilgrim Software recently conducted a Q&A with Capaccio’s Wayne Bates regarding sustainability and the medical device industry.  Pilgrim Software is a world-leading provider of Enterprise Risk, Compliance and Quality Management (ERCQM) solutions for highly regulated industries. Pilgrim has pioneered effective, integrated software solutions for the Life and Health Sciences and Consumer industries, as well as manufacturers in the automotive, aerospace and defense, and other non-regulated industries.

 

“Sustainability” has become a trendy, mainstream term over the past decade. However, applying the triple-bottom line aspects of sustainability—economic prosperity, social well-being, and environmental stewardship—is of growing importance to customers, employees, investors, and non-governmental organizations (i.e., stakeholders of manufacturing and institutional organizations).  

Question: Wayne, how would you define sustainability?

 Sustainability is the ability of an organization to transparently manage and balance its responsibilities of environmental stewardship, social well-being, and economic prosperity over the long term. People often get sidetracked by definitional disputes. However, to be sustainable, regardless of size, an organization must identify and manage the environmental, economic, and social risks and opportunities associated with its operations and products. History is rich with examples such as unsustainable societies, practices, and products. The question is: How long can something that is not sustainable last?

 Why has sustainability become such a buzzword in recent years?

 Well-run companies (and societies) have been operating in a sustainable manner for years because it is good business. To a large extent, marketing is the reason sustainability is such a mainstream buzz word. As a whole, societies of developed nations are holding corporations more accountable for the products they are producing, especially in the business-to-consumer markets. In turn, organizations are responding by addressing their impacts and promoting the efforts to sell goods. As the general public becomes more educated on sustainable practices, the expectations are beginning to be integrated into the business-to-business world.

 Why is sustainability important to the medical device industry?

 In addition to the pressure society is putting on business-to-consumer companies to be more sustainable, governmental agencies continue to revise existing regulations and pass new ones that have a direct operational impact from an economic, environmental, and social perspective. For example, the United States recently passed the Dodd-Frank Act that requires organizations to verify that its products do not contain minerals originating from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is having a significant impact on large and small medical device companies and their supply chains. As a result, large and small medical device companies should be prepared to confront an increasingly broad range of environmental, economic, and social issues. 

 What are the value drivers for sustainability in the medical device industry?

 Value drivers may vary depending on the organization, but here are some examples:

  • Customers—group purchasing organizations can encourage the use of eco-friendly medical products
  • Suppliers—it is good business practice, and in some instances required by large organizations as a condition of doing business, to ensure that suppliers track and verify their sources
  • Data management—environmental metrics can be effectively tracked and managed through environmental health and safety management systems
  • Compliance with legislation—legislation, like the European directives (e.g., RoHS and WEEE), drives product stewardship and dictates what goes into a product
  • Economic value—increasing cost savings and efficiency reduces risks and impacts related to costs

How can a company track and communicate performance?

 There are many external ranking systems like the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Newsweek, and Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) that both influence and drive sustainability performance. It can be difficult to decide what to measure and report, but organizations should consider material issues that can be managed, as well as what is important to stakeholders. It is imperative that companies seeking to track and communicate performance make a commitment to sustainability and set quantifiable, achievable goals. Management systems such as ISO 9000, ISO 14000, and OSHAS 18000 help with tracking this data from several different departments or locations. A growing number of companies are communicating their sustainability programs by preparing and publishing a Corporate Social Responsibility or Sustainability report that covers the economic, environmental, and social aspects of the organization.

 How does having a sustainability program help companies manage stakeholders expectations?

 As noted above, understanding value drivers helps an organization identify and manage risks, challenges, and opportunities, whereas tracking and communicating performance  allows a company to transparently balance the three responsibilities. In doing so, it is important for organizations to understand and demonstrate expectations of both internal and external customers. For example, internal customers, including employees that expect to work for a socially responsible company, need to be shown how they can play a role in sustainability efforts, and be made aware that there is an ongoing commitment from the company. Ultimately, instead of viewing sustainability as “just another thing to do” it can be a tool to manage risk and address challenges throughout the organization. 

 Your company is presenting a panel session on sustainability for the Advanced Medical Technology Association’s annual educational conference in October in Boston. This is the first time an AdvaMed conference has devoted a panel discussion devoted to sustainability, correct?

 That’s right. The conference will be held October 1-3 in Boston. Capaccio Environmental Engineering is organizing a panel session entitled “Addressing the Evolving Sustainability Demands for the Medical Device Industry.” I will be moderating the panel that will include sustainability representatives from Smith & Nephew, Johnson & Johnson, Covidien, and Becton, Dickinson and Company, who will offer their unique perspectives on emerging trends and challenges and how they are addressing sustainability in their organizations.

For more information visit:  https://advamed2012.com/ and www.pilgrimsoftware.com.

A brewery & a school system – apples to apples? Reply

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.”

 For more information, please visit:

http://www.walthampublicschools.org/environpolicy.cfm

http://www.newbelgium.com/Files/SMS%204th%20edition,%202011%20for%20external%20release.pdf

Sustainable management systems Reply

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:

  1. More fully understand and prioritize sustainability aspects and risks
  2. Ensure sustainability programs properly identified, developed, implemented, and maintained
  3. Provide consistent management review and external reporting feedback mechanism
  4. Align metrics and program results with customer and stakeholder expectations
  5. 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.