In a new era of lighting-fast developments and technological leaps, the issue of environmental sustainability was one of the main promoters of innovations and solutions designed to change humanity’s path. Our planet has been altered by our activity for centuries, and taking responsibility for how we handle the grand industrial activities that we have today is imperative.
In this context, international organisations have focused on developing environmentally sustainable standards and define the goals we should have collectively for the near future.
Global Efforts to Reduce the Impact of Industrial Activities
Efforts are made globally to reduce the negative impact our industries have on our environment, with the “Paris agreement” being one of the most widely-known environmental international conventions.
In this article, we will focus on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how ISO standards contribute to their achievement.
What Are Sustainable Development Goals?
In 2015, the United Nations proposed a 15-year plan to reduce the most pressing problems humanity is currently facing. This ambitious plan is comprised of 17 sustainable development goals, as follows:
- No Poverty
- Zero Hunger
- Good Health and Well-Being
- Quality Education
- Gender Equality
- Clean Water and Sanitation
- Affordable and Clean Energy
- Decent Work and Economic Growth
- Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
- Reduced Inequalities
- Sustainable Cities and Communities
- Responsible Consumption and Production
- Climate Action
- Life Below Water
- Life on Land
- Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
As you can see, this is an ambitious plan that requires every element of humanity’s activity, from individual actions to the biggest global collaborations between governments and industries to be aligned to these principles.
How Can ISO Standards Contribute?
ISO standards cover almost every aspect of an organisation’s activity, from the way it protects its employees to how it keeps its production sustainable or how it ensures food safety. There are over 20,000 standards developed by ISO since its foundation, and your company can align to the SDGs by getting ISO certified, as we will show below.
In order to understand exactly how ISO standards can push the UN’s plan forward, visit the dedicated page on the ISO website. Most sets of standards apply to the 9th goal of “Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure”, but each and every one of the 17 goals defined by the UN can use ISO standards as a means of achieving global sustainability.
What Can Your Company Implement to Contribute?
Depending on what your own organisation does, there are plenty of ISO standards to adhere to in order to contribute to the SDGs. Let’s take four examples of the most popular sets of standards you can apply:
- ISO 14001: Environmental management systems, the most well-known set of ISO standards regarding sustainability and environmental responsibility.
- ISO 9001: This ISO is focused on helping organisations develop a quality management system (QMS) that can ensure their products or services are in line with the highest international standards.
- ISO 27001: As most businesses today process personal information in a way or another, this standard helps create a framework for better information security. Any business that collects or manages information on its customers, employees, or business partners can benefit from this standard.
- ISO 45001: This ISO standard can help businesses to create a better and safer work environment for their employees and reduce the number of work-related accidents.
These are just the tip of the iceberg of what ISO standards can do in order to achieve performance aiding the SDGs. On the ISO website you can see the impact ISO standards have on the UN SDGs at a glance, and it’s already an impressive contribution at a global level.
If you are interested in contributing, read below. Changing the future is not only reserved to the biggest organisations and companies, but also individuals and small organisations that can change one of the most important things of all: attitudes and mentalities.
Hire Professionals to Get You Certified
If your company’s values are aligned to the UN sustainable development goals and you would like to contribute to their achievement, getting the proper ISO certifications is a big step towards that. Best Practice is an expert in business improvement, specialising in business management systems, training, coaching, and recruiting talent.
We are dedicated to bringing value to the businesses we work with and contributing to the bigger picture by following leading international standards. Contact us at 1300 402 602 or contact us online and let’s start changing the way you do business.