"Quality is doing the right thing, even when no one is looking"
We’ve misquoted Henry Ford there slightly, but even so, have you noticed that while everyone is looking at the impending climate emergency, there’re not nearly enough people doing the right thing?
Sustainability and Quality have many parallels, both having been viewed, traditionally, as optional and additional costs. With quality, if you don’t get it right, you’re only letting yourselves and your customer down (said in our best disappointed teacher voice). But with sustainability, if you get that wrong, you’re letting down entire ecosystems, with the health of the planet at stake. Sustainability is not outside the remit of the quality expert, in fact, we would argue it is just another, higher field of the same ethos - doing the right thing, for the right reason.
In Henry Ford’s time, quality was all about consistency and reliability. As big business got bigger, quality was seen as underpinning economic sustainability: avoid rework, warranty costs, recalls, etc. Now quality is also about planetary sustainability: energy efficiency, resource management and reduction of pollution.
We believe that although science, technology and industry got us into this mess to begin with, in the right hands, they can be the solution. Whether you ‘believe’ in climate change or not, people are going to be asking questions about how you are ensuring sustainability in your supply chain and operations. Those people might not just be sat round your board room, it could be your customers wanting to place their business in the hands of people who understand and mitigate their planetary impact. It could even be suppliers or other stakeholders. Someone, somewhere is going to want to check your green credentials.
The problem for all businesses is knowing where to start when faced with an avalanche of new acronyms, standards, practices, initiatives and funding opportunities. Heck, even the jargon has changed in the last few years! You’ll probably find that your stakeholders have formed their own opinions on which approach is best to follow, but implementing them all to satisfy everyone is not practical. You’ll need to find which one is best aligned to your business and be prepared to demonstrate that your chosen path is effective in combating your eco-footprint.
The best way to avoid being railroaded into something by the first customer who makes a fuss about it, is to already have a strategy in place. Offence is the best defence, after all. So if a customer tells you they can’t give you their business because they only like companies doing Strategy A, but you have already selected Strategy B, you will at least have some tools and arguments to hold your ground and prove you’re already checking all their boxes, thank you very much.
How can we help you choose the right strategy?
Yes, we have a lot of experience in the sustainability ISO standards, but selecting the right course of action isn’t as easy as plucking a standard off the ISO tree. Putting together a broader sustainability strategy requires an in-depth understanding of all the options, how these suit different types of businesses, the uptake in your particular sector, and the funding available. And all this with an eye on impending legislation coming your way.
Even if you feel like you’re standing in front of a green wall of knowledge and have no idea how to scale it, our consultants are able to decode carbon foot-printing, carbon offsetting, carbon neutral, net zero, EcoVadis, PAS 2060, B-Corp, relevant ISOs (including ISO 14001 and ISO 50001), etc. Your QFactorial consultant will discuss what you’re hoping to achieve from your strategy, the main drivers, questions that stakeholders are already asking, some jargon-busting FAQs and the sustainable solutions trending in your industry. We can translate all this and package it as an Awareness Workshop to narrow down the applicable schemes for your industry and business, along with any funding entitlements.
From there we can take a more in-depth look at your preferred options and provide you a cost/benefit analysis with an eye on your future growth. We will look to see what can be integrated with existing process and systems, which may include your quality or environmental management system. Even if this is not your first rodeo, you may find a lot of the work you’ve already done is a useful starting point for your next sustainable (naturally shed, obviously) feather in the cap. Armed with all the facts, we can help you select the best strategy for your business.
Then it’s just the simple task of implementing your strategy…
- Identify & prioritise sustainability issues for your business & stakeholders.
- Help to choose & implement your sustainability strategy.
- ISO Certification, B-Corp, EcoVadis, etc.
- Carbon reduction plans & accountancy.
- Customised sustainability training.
- Trusted, long term relationships.
- Established SMEs.
- Technical & sector expertise.
- Believe in a sustainable future.
- Large network of managed consultants.
- We’re an SME, too, we know what it’s like!
- Industry-specific, technical know-how, business intelligence.
- Scalable project management services.
- Toolbox like a Tardis.
- ISO 9001 certified.
Speak with a QFactorial expert