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Supporting sustainability strategies and compliance: the role of standards

The importance of and urgency around sustainability has never been clearer.In the global effort against global warming and to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, the role of businesses will be crucial. 

However, it can be both daunting and difficult for organizations to know where to begin when starting out on their net zero journeys. What exactly can be done to reduce emissions? Are there any quick wins? Where should businesses focus their energies and investment?

Thankfully, standards can play a key role in supporting organizations as they transition towards a more sustainable future. Standards are at the forefront of sustainability efforts, providing credibility to green claims, and driving transformational collective action. 

A strategic pillar for the Net Zero journey

Standards are an indispensable tool for navigating the net zero landscape. They provide a tried and tested framework in which ideas, initiatives and strategies can be taken from concept to reality. In the case of net zero, they can be used to define essential parameters, outline key goals, and offer guidance for effective transition.

Further, standards can also build trust, de-risk investments, and accelerate the adoption of new technologies. Given that many sustainability strategies necessitate whole system transitions from businesses, standards can help to bridge the gap between the current state of play and the net zero path ahead. Through technologically agnostic, best practice guidance, standards provide companies with a means of innovating with confidence to become more sustainable and embrace innovative solutions.

As climate change concerns hold an increasingly bright spotlight, businesses and their sustainability practices have been brought under greater scrutiny. With greenwashing becoming a rampant problem, customers now want to see proof of businesses’ commitment to reducing their own emissions and their contribution to shared efforts in tackling the environmental and social challenges of climate change. Here, standards can help organizations demonstrate their sustainable credentials, and assure customers, employees, and stakeholders of their genuine commitment to sustainability. 

A fundamental aid for compliance

The number of ESG regulations and standards has nearly doubled in the last six years, with more than 600 ESG reporting provisions globally and myriad interpretations of how sustainability is defined.

The European Union has been at the forefront of implementing stringent measures to promote sustainable practices across various industries. This evolution is driven by a collective commitment to address climate change, promote responsible resource management, and ensure social equity. In force or expected, there are multiple game-changer regulations: from the already adopted Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) to Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation -with the introduction of the “Digital Product Passport” - to Green Claims Directive. 

Again, standards play a crucial role in facilitating the implementation of sustainability compliance. They provide a common language and set of guidelines that businesses can follow to ensure credibility, trust and verification for sustainable credentials, as well as compliance with regulatory frameworks. For instance, standards like ISO 14001, Environmental Management, PAS 2060 - Carbon Neutrality Standard and Certification, ISO 14064 Green House Gases sustainable procurement, ISO 50001 - Energy Management Systems, offer practical tools for organizations to implement. Discover more here
Sustainability is one of the most important issues of our times, but knowing how to get started can be challenging.  During BSI's webinar ‘The sustainability journey of organisations, Game-changing regulations, challenges and opportunities’, Federica Pagnuzzato, Sustainability Director Europe in BSI provided an overview of the European regulatory landscape for sustainability offering a snapshot of some key regulations. Exploring how to embed sustainability in company strategies and processes, the discussion underlined the importance of ensuring reliable data.

The webinar also offered a deep dive into the journey to Net Zero, that plays a pivotal role in advancing sustainability and addressing the urgent need to combat climate change.

In BSI, Federica Pagnuzzato is Sustainability Director Europe.

Explore the webinar for a comprehensive understanding of these crucial topics. Watch the full webinar

As a strategic sustainability partner, BSI can help organizations see where sustainability can lead them, as well as support in transitioning to net zero and achieving their goals. Working together, for a resilient business and a sustainable world.