How to choose a Sustainability Accreditation
Yesterday the Sustainability Masterminds were ensconced in the plush Boudoir of Acklam Hall in Middlesbrough to discuss the thorny topic of Sustainability accreditations – ISO14001, CDP etc. There was a discernible amount of accreditation fatigue in the room. These schemes are a huge drain on resources in terms of approval fees, gathering data and the auditing process. One member joked that he was permanently in one of three states:
- Preparing for an audit;
- Being audited;
- Recovering from an audit.
So it is very important to choose which accreditations to go for carefully. Some are essential, some add value; in some the tail is wagging the dog; others are ill-disguised income generators for Sustainability think tanks, but they all suck up time, money and effort. Another member set out a list of three reasons to plump for a particular accreditation:
- Legislation requires it;
- An important customer requires/expects it;
- It will drive change within your organisation way above and beyond what you could do without it.
If it doesn’t meet at least one of these criteria, then forget it – there’s no point in collecting expensive badges for the sake of it.