Hey! It’s World Standards Day!!!
Hold onto your hats folks, it’s finally that one day of the year that we can celebrate the most unlikely of causes, the humble ISO standard. But, hold on, should we not document how we should celebrate before we celebrate?
Now, sarcasm aside, environmental standards do help on the move to Sustainability by raising the game of the poorest performers. But, in the same way you could get an ISO9000 quality standard for a concrete lifejacket (as long as it meets its specification), ISO14001, as one wag put it, lets us destroy the planet in a well-documented manner. Management standards are about process, not results.
It bothers me that they give businesses a false sense of security. This morning I clicked on the ‘Sustainability’ tab of a local manufacturer and found endless references to ISO14001. That’s all well and good, I thought, but where are the results? When I dug around, they had done some interesting stuff, so why not promote that? Why not set out some ambitious Sustainability goals? Or put some product stories first?
Most people take ISO14001 as read in a modern forward-looking company. It’s what you do above and beyond that which will make you stand out from the crowd.