Facing up to Global Challenges
At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, 2 key issues were voted as having the most significant impact on the world economy- climate change and emerging markets. While big business has recognised these for some time, and are increasingly taking steps to include these factors in forward planning, smaller manufacturers have been slower to react.
Companies which can demonstrate they recognise the need to take a responsible position on the environment will be more likely than ever to win on-going business from the larger corporations, and public sector purchasing departments.
ISO, which was represented at Davos by its Secretary-General Alan Bryden, was able to highlight some current developments. “The ISO14001 family of International Standards relating to environmental management and related issues, such environmental labelling and life cycle analysis is being increasingly implemented worldwide in public and private sectors to achieve good environmental practice. The latest addition looks at greenhouse gas accounting and verification, which provides metrics for the emerging trading markets of carbon emission rights.” He declared: “International Standards can be the vehicle to disseminate good practices and to open world markets for clean technologies, thus ensuring that the ambitious national and regional policies currently being adopted are synergetic rather than fragmenting.”Alan Bryden concluded by encouraging global leaders to ensure that their countries and companies become even more engaged in developing and implementing International Standards, adding, “ISO is in the 'engine room' of positive globalization, enabling best practice to be formulated and broadly promoted to contribute to the sustainable development of the planet.”
IMSM’s Michael Bright commented, “In the global economy, many manufacturers are sourcing products and parts from around the world, which is also their new marketplace. It is no longer possible to ignore the emerging economies of China and India, the impact of technologies that allow faster communication and world wide networks, or the increasing strength and demands of the customer, wherever they are located. With more than 10 years’ experience of helping businesses achieve ISO standards, we are finding, both at home and in export markets, that these standards provide an effective mechanism for developing business”.
He continued, “As supply chains become more complex and fragmented, businesses need to have a documented system of operating procedures, such as ISO9001. This tells customers that a business has documented what they do, follows that set of procedures, reviews them regularly, and can prove it by external auditing. It is one way to demonstrate efficiency, and build up trust with customers, wherever in the world they are.”
With over 770,000 ISO 9001:2000 certificates* issued in 161 countries, (2005), companies which work to the ISO standards are demonstrating they can work with customers locally, nationally and internationally, demonstrating British expertise and flexibility.