Global Reporting Initiative
Large organisations such as GroupFive, Denel and
Nestlé are driving International Management
Systems (IMS) implementation inside their businesses,
which normally trickles down to their suppliers.
Implementing the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO)
9001, ISO 14001 and the Occupational Health Safety Advisory Services
OHSAS 18001 IMS standards are the first steps towards sound IMS
In todays market environment IMS is the integration of Quality
Management System QMS, Environmental Management Systems EMS,
British Standard Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Services BS
OHSAS management systems, with the new ISO 26000 social responsibility
IMS says that an organisation must have one integrated system that is
paramount for the business and not setting up separate, often duplicate,
processes or documentation to satisfy each management standard.
With the current economic situation the main challenge for most
businesses is to integrate ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and ISO
26000 with the Global Reporting Initiative's (GRI) sustainability reporting
Integrating the business processes of the organisation and including
process controls for sustainability and social responsibility is both the
most efficient and finest method for implementation.
Integration and standardisation not only reduces confusion and redundancy
in the workplace, but costs about 50% less to implement and
Certification costs about 33% less. Quality ISO 9001, environmental ISO
14001, health and safety OHSAS 18001 and sustainability ISO 26000
management standards can be used together with GRI sustainability
IMS have processes for the whole company, part of the QMS, EMS,
OHSAS, social responsibility and GRI but most importantly they are designed
and established in support of the business goals.
Integration focuses on the business processes of the organisation.
As the organisation's top management adopts new standards, the
organisation does not fundamentally change its business purpose.
Specific elements of ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004; OHSAS
18001:2007 and ISO 26000:2010 can be compared to, and integrated
into the GRI sustainability reporting G3.1 requirements which can make
the latter task less burdensome and time consuming.
These elements can be analysed according to the IMS (ISO 9001,
ISO 14001, ISO 26000 and OHSAS 18001) systems to help satisfy the
In implementing GRI 3.1 performance indicators - economic, environmental,
social performance and responsibility - this article will only
showcase elements of the ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 management
systems to integrate into GRI sustainability reports.
GRI Strategy and Analysis portion of a company's G3.1 profile,- Item 1.2
stipulates that a company provides two concise sections describing key
impacts, risks and opportunities. The GRI G3.1 sustainability reporters
could refer to specific elements of ISO 14001 to aid them in thsi task.
Sub clause 4.3.1 of the ISO 14001:2004 standard requirements:
Environmental aspects which require an organisation to develop procedures
to identify the environmental aspects of its activities, products
and services... that it can control and those that it can influence...
to determine those aspects that have or can have significant impacts
upon the environment.
Creating procedures for risk analysis and assessments in ISO 14001 and
OHSAS 18001 will allow organisations the opportunity to better classify
which significant impacts their day-to-day operations would have on the
environment and the society, as well as record the inherent risks and
opportunities of such impacts.
This will also incorporate interested and affected parties and their applicable
This refers to decisions about workers, the community, the customers
and ultimately shareholders.
In reference to the ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 elements described,
report writers should be able to either directly and adequately identify
and measure the significant aspects and risks directly related to their
activities, products or services.
They should rely upon the collaborative efforts of the ISO 14001 and
OHSAS 18001 systems to gather this information, complete with validated
data points for about 12 months.
With that data, they should now be at a point to satisfy Item 1.2 of
Profile 1.2 stipulates that a company provide two concise sections
describing key impacts, risks and opportunities.
- To identify the environmental aspects of its activities, products and
services... that it can control and those that it can influence... to
determine those aspects that have or can have significant impacts upon
- Hazard source, situation, or act with a potential for harm in terms of
human injury or ill health, or a combination of these.
- Environmental impact: any change to the environment, whether adverse
or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from an organisation's
environmental aspects occupational health and safety OH&S policy
overall intentions and direction of an organisation related to its OH&S
performance as formally expressed by top management.
Section 2 requires organisations to focus on the impact of sustainability
trends, risks and opportunities related to their long-term prospects and
GRI G3.1 profile 1.2, section two requires organisations to take into
consideration how their actions geared toward sustainability may affect
or impact their long-term prospects and financial performance via organisational
strategy, competitive position in the marketplace, and any
qualitative or quantitative financial value drivers.
Once this data is gathered, GRI requires organisations to record it with a
description of each target, the company's performance against each target
achieved, and any lessons learned in this reporting period.
In comparison to ISO 14001, Clause 4.4.6, operational controls are
addressing the additional requirements of Item 1.2, Section 2, which
require the organisation to provide a description of its most important
risks and opportunities arising from sustainability trends and prioritise
them according to their significance for the long-term strategy of the
organisation, its competitive position, and qualitative and quantitative
financial value drivers.
Operational control under ISO 14001 relates to planning of operations
associated with identified significant environmental aspects and OHSAS
18001 to determine those operations and activities that are associated
with the identified hazards.
Procedures to control these situations where their absence could lead
to deviation from the organisation's policy, stated objectives and targets,
linked to those significant environmental aspects or identified risks of
the goods, equipment and services the organisation utilise.
Item 1.2 section two requires organisations to focus on the impact of
sustainability trends, risks and opportunities related to their long-term
prospects and financial performance.
4.4.6 operational control: The organisation shall identify and plan those
operations, which are associated with identified significant environmental
aspects consistent with its environmental policy, objectives and targets,
in order to ensure that they are carried out under specific conditions, by:
- a) establishing, implementing and maintaining a documented
procedure(s) to control situations where their absence could lead to
deviations from the environmental policy, objective and targets, and
- b) stipulating the operation criteria in the procedure(s), and
- c) establishing, implementing and maintaining procedures related to
the identified significant environmental aspects of goods and services
used by the organisation and communicating applicable procedures
and requirements to suppliers, including contractors.
4.4.6 Operational Control: The organisation shall determine those operations
and activities that are associated with the identified hazard(s) where
the implementation of controls is necessary to manage the OH&S risk(s).
This shall include the management of change.
For those operations and activities, the organisation shall implement
- Operational controls, as applicable to the organisation and its activities;
the organisations shall integrate those operational controls into its
overall OH&S management system;
- Controls related to purchase goods, equipment and services;
- Controls related to contractors and other visitors to the workplace;
- Documented procedures, to cover situations where their absence could
lead to deviations from the OH&S policy and the objectives;
- Stipulated operating criteria where their absence could lead to deviations
from the OH&S policy and objectives.
A well managed ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 operational control
set of procedures and norms could go a long way to address this
GRI requirement. With this approach to GRI performance indicators there
are numerous ISO standard requirements that can help fulfil the GRI 3.1
guidelines, ranging from ISO 14001, ISO 9001, ISO 26000 and OHSAS
18001. Given the complexity and significant overlapping of several
significant ISO standards, the ISO standards give a chance to lessen the
burden of the development of GRI sustainability reports.
The approach could become even more practical when the following
generation of GRI, G4, replaces the current version G3.1.
The founder of MCG & Associates which is affiliated to the Institute
of Professional and Executive Education at Merrimack College, Gabriele
Crognale said the new version is being driven by significant changes
in the reporting field, such as the introduction of new concepts, trends
and tools, and requests by new GRI players.
If we interpret one of the GRI's primary goals in G4 to be using sustainability
reporting to describe what is happening with the sustainable global
economy, then ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 26000 and OHSAS 18001
and possibly ISO 50001 (energy management) will play a pivotal role in
ensuring that sustainability reporting will reflect the true picture of our
sustainable global economy.