ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management – Accelerate Business Performance

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The World Economic Forum describes the current competitive business landscape in a word: disruptive. How well an organisation approaches risk management in a climate of volatility can affect its ability to make robust and informed strategic decisions and achieve its objectives.

Download our FREE GUIDE ISO 31000:2018 How do I get started? where we investigate the 8 Principles that set out the requirements for a risk management initiative.

Traditionally, risk management played a supporting role at board level. However, over the past decade, organisations have adopted the view that risk management must be embedded in the general management of an organisation, and fully integrated across an enterprise with functions such as finance, strategy, internal control, procurement, continuity planning, human resources, and compliance.

Voices of stakeholders have become louder in their demand for transparency and accountability in managing the impact of risk, and evaluating the ability of leadership to embrace opportunities. The use of technology and economic globalisation have made risks increasingly entwined, placing even more emphasis on sound risk management within any organisation.

To keep pace with a rapidly evolving world and future threats, the International Organization for Standardization published a revised version of its Risk Management Standard in February 2018. Essentially, ISO 31000:2018 reflects the evolution of risk management thinking from a separate ‘siloed’ activity to an integrated management function. The overarching strategy of the standard is to embed risk management best practices on a micro-level within organisations so as to manage threats that stand in the way of enterprises achieving their objectives, and create value by finding and exploiting opportunity. This should grab the attention of anyone looking to gain competitive advantage, improve operations, or reduce costs within their organisation.

ISO 31000:2018 - Five Things to Know

1. It is clear and concise

The standard delivers a clear and concise guide to help all organisations manage risks. Risk management concepts are simply explained, giving diverse organisations and people the ability to access the tools that can drive change in order to protect and create value. ISO 31000:2018 is supplemented by ISO Guide 73:2009, a vocabulary index used to support ISO 31000:2018, and ISO 31010:2009 that focuses on risk assessment concepts, processes and the selection of risk assessment techniques.  ISO 31000:2018 has been trimmed down to just 15 pages, and risk management principles reduced from 11 to 8, which streamlines the process for implementation.

2. It is easy to implement

All organisations make decisions that shape their future every day. ISO 31000:2018 provides guidance on how to manage uncertainty to meet objectives, and how to implement risk management to support strategic decision making. This promotes intelligent risk taking at all levels of a business. Risk management best practices promote critical thinking about the role of uncertainty in decision making, and encourage the identification, assessment, and treatment of uncertainty that can impact daily business activities. Small organisations with limited room for exposure to adverse internal and external risks now have the ability to access invaluable tools to create a tolerable risk environment and protect value.

3. It creates and protects value

Creating and protecting value is the central tenant of ISO 31000:2018. If processes are not adding value, they are simply adding costs. The standard helps enterprises improve performance by embedding risk management into all business decision-making processes and making risk-based thinking a daily activity.

4. It reinforces integration

Integration is mentioned throughout the standard. Here are a few examples:

  • Risk management should be part of the organisational purpose, governance, leadership and commitment, strategy, objectives and operations.
  • Properly designed and implemented, the risk management framework ensures that the risk management process is a part of all activities throughout the organisation.
  • The organisation should continually improve the suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of the risk management framework and the way the risk management process is integrated.
  • The risk management process should be an integral part of management and decision-making and should be integrated into the structure, operations and processes of the organisation.

5. It focuses on leadership

Support from top management is essential for successful implementation of the risk management framework and processes. Leadership support for risk management becoming a strategic planning and decision-making tool creates a risk aware culture at all levels of the organisation.


ISO 31000:2018 can help create and protect value for any organisation by providing a flexible framework. If individuals are given the tools to promote critical thinking on how uncertainty can impact meeting objectives then the organisation should see an increase in value from an integrated risk management framework.

Ready to get started?

Risk ZA is a leading provider of enterprise risk management training programmes, which aim to improve your business performance. Contact us on +27 (0) 31 569 5900, email info@riskza.com or visit www.riskza.com.

PLUS! Download our FREE GUIDE ISO 31000:2018 How do I get started? where we investigate the 8 Principles that set out the requirements for a risk management initiative.

For more information or guidance on which ISO standard(s) and services would best suit the needs of your organisation, please email Risk ZA at info@riskza.com or contact us on 0861 Risk ZA / +27 (0) 31 569 5900.

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ISO 14001:2015 – Internal Audits Drive Real Improvements

Confronted with dramatic environmental challenges, plus a slew of regulatory requirements, many organisations have implemented environmental management systems (EMSs). An ISO 14001:2015 based EMS is the most popular, used to meet compliance obligations, monitor environmental policies and procedures, manage resources and control environmental harms.

ISO 14001:2015 is a systems-based management tool centering around the Plan-Do-Check-Act method, which drives continual improvement. The standard outlines in Clause 9.2 that internal audits at set intervals are necessary to support the theme of continual improvement underpinning the management system.

The purpose of internal audits is to ensure that the organisation’s environmental policies, objectives, compliance obligations and performance requirements are met and recorded, and that any corrective action is taken where necessary.


Our FREE Downloadable Guide How To Conduct An Environmental Management Systems Audit explores more about the ISO 14001 Environmental Audit process. You can get hold of it by clicking the button below.

What to expect from an ISO 14001:2015 audit

A key point to emphasise is that the intended outcomes of ISO 14001:2015 have not changed. The EMS must:

  • Protect the environment.
  • Meet compliance obligations.
  • Enhance environmental performance.

ISO 14001:2015 does, however, have a number of new requirements that will change the focus of an audit, which include:

  • Context of the organisation
  • Leadership
  • Planning
  • Support
  • Documentation
  • Operations
  • Performance evaluation
  • Improvement

ISO 14001:2015 - Clause 9: Performance evaluation

Performance evaluation is about measuring and evaluating an EMS to establish whether it meets the organisation’s planned outcomes. Evaluation provides valuable information for continual improvement by:

  • Evaluating the EMS’s effectiveness.
  • Establishing whether requirements of the standard are being met.
  • Verifying whether compliance obligations have been met.
  • Reviewing the EMs’s suitability, adequacy, effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Demonstrating that planning has been properly implemented.
  • Assessing the performance of processes against outcomes.
  • Determining the need or opportunities for improvement.

Monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation

Monitoring in the sense of ISO 14001 means checking, reviewing, inspecting and observing  planned activities to ensure that they are occurring as intended. So, for example, if an operational control states that water quality will be inspected twice weekly, then this is a monitoring process. Monitoring and measurement :

  • Evaluates environmental performance;
  • Analyses root causes of problems;
  • Assesses compliance with compliance obligations;
  • Identifies areas for corrective action;
  • Improves performance and efficiency.

The Internal audit programme

Unlike an audit schedule or audit plan, an audit programme includes the full life-cycle of auditing. From the very decision to use audit as a tool through planning and initiating the audit, performing, reporting and follow-up, to improvement of the entire programme and its constituent parts.

All parts of the EMS should be audited at minimum yearly, this is typically dealt with in an annual audit schedule. The entire EMS can be audited at once or in parts for more frequent audits. To establish the frequency of EMS audits, consider:

  • The nature of your operations;
  • Risks and opportunities;
  • Statutory and regulatory requirements and compliance obligations;
  • Significant environmental aspects / impacts;
  • Results of your monitoring programme;
  • Results of previous audits.

There are two principle considerations when auditing:

Compliance/conformance audits – ensure that management arrangements, like procedures, are being followed in order to comply with the requirements of ISO 14001.

Performance Audits –  ensure that the outputs of the management arrangements are achieving their intended outcomes. For example, the results of engineering controls applied to mitigate air pollution are achieving the legal limits.

ISO 14001 demands an approach that combines both a compliance/conformance and a performance approach to auditing.

Who should perform an environmental audit?

ISO 19011:2018 – Guidelines for auditing management systems – contains information on how to choose an Environmental Auditor. Environmental Auditors should have personal attributes, such as ethics, open-mindedness, perceptiveness and tact. They should understand audit principles, procedures and techniques, and have gained experience by conducting audits. They should know the subject matter they are auditing against and how this applies to different organisations.

Audit Team Leaders should be able to plan and resource effectively, have good communication and leadership skills. Environmental Auditors should complete training and have attained an appropriate level of education. When seeking an External Auditor consider the skills outlined here.

Auditor qualifications

All auditors need to receive initial and ongoing training. EMS auditors should be trained in auditing techniques and management system concepts, environmental regulations, and facility operations. For performance audits, an auditor needs to have a good understanding of the standard and the EMS, and a broad understanding of environmental issues. Auditors should be reasonably independent of the area or activity that is being audited and can definitely not audit their own work.

An effective audit programme should:

  • Develop audit procedures and protocols.
  • Establish an appropriate audit frequency.
  • Train auditors.  
  • Maintain audit records.
  • Link audit results to the corrective action system.

NEW! ISO 19011:2018: Guidelines for auditing management systems

Auditors are the ears and eyes of top management because they can provide an independent appraisal of an organisation’s operations and activities. In addition, a skillful auditor will add value to a management system by finding opportunities for improvement. It’s important to note that ISO 19011:2018 has significantly raises the bar on what constitutes essential competencies that management-systems auditors need to possess or acquire.

Revisions to ISO 9001:2015 (QMS), ISO 14001:2015 (EMS), and ISO 45001:2018 (OH&S) are all based on Annex SL of ISO Directive 1, the ISO High Level Structure. Consequently, ISO 19011 includes an annex to deal with how to audit organisational context, leadership and commitment, compliance and the supply chain, amongst others. The new standard will help with the effective audit of these management systems and facilitate a uniform approach to the auditing process where multiple systems are in place.


Our FREE Downloadable Guide How To Conduct An Environmental Management Systems Audit explores more about the ISO 14001 Environmental Audit process. You can get hold of it by clicking the button below.

For more information or guidance on which ISO standard(s) and services would best suit the needs of your organisation, please email Risk ZA at info@riskza.com or contact us on 0861 Risk ZA / +27 (0) 31 569 5900.

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ISO 45001:2018 – How to become an OHS Auditor

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ISO 45001:2018 has been heralded as a ‘game changer’ in the world of voluntary safety management standards. Earlier this year, ISO 45001 was approved by voters of countries from around the world, and has been praised by the American Society of Safety Professionals as a ‘watershed moment’. It is one of the most significant developments in workplace safety over the past 50 years, presenting an opportunity to move the needle on reducing occupational health and safety risks.

The addition of ISO 45001 to the suite of ISO management system standards reinforces that Occupational Health & Safety is a key area of business performance for organisations, and that OH&S is about a lot more than legal compliance. When it is well integrated into the management of an organisation, good OH&S management is an enabler and an asset for a business rather than a cost.

To assist you in understanding the requirements for an ISO 45001:2018 OHS Management System Auditor, we have created a free guide with points from ISO 19011:2018: 10 STEPS TO AUDITING AN ISO 45001:2018 OHS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM.

Key considerations in the new standard

  • Setting the organisational context. Organisations will have to look beyond their own health and safety issues and consider what society expects from them, in regard to health and safety issues.
  • Increased top management accountability in a number of areas.  
  • Worker engagement. Siloed management systems have hampered effective OH&S management, and in respect of ISO 45001 workers need the opportunity to contribute and participate in all aspects of the Health & Safety Management System.  
  • Communication and risk management. ISO 45001 requires that risks and opportunities be established with all workers as part of the planning and implementation process of an OHSMS and that consultation be ongoing.

Auditing of Occupational Health & Safety management systems forms an important part of the process to demonstrate continual improvement. Continual improvement is a core component of every ISO management system. ISO 45001 further refines this, and ‘preventive action’ now becomes a distinct concept of the system as a whole. This means organisations will need to adopt a systemic approach for measuring and monitoring OH&S performance and compliance on a regular basis, as an integral part of the management system function.

Auditors needed for ISO 45001 OHS Management systems

As more organisations move towards seeking validation of their management system against ISO 45001, the demand for auditors will continue to rise. Whether you are new to safety management systems or transitioning from OHSAS 18001, the journey towards becoming a competent ISO 45001 auditor begins by becoming familiar with:

  • The high level structure for management systems based on Annex SL and how this affects auditing.
  • The new requirements for understanding the organisation and its context and how they may be audited.
  • The new and enhanced requirements for leadership and worker participation and how this affects auditing.
  • Risk-based thinking in an OHSMS and how this extends to requirements for risks and opportunities and how these may be audited.
  • The changes from a procedural approach to a process approach and how they may be audited.
  • How to adapt your auditing technique to accommodate the new and amended requirements in ISO 45001:2018.
  • Migration time frames for ISO 45001 and their impact on existing OHSAS 18001 certified organisations.

How can Risk ZA assist you?

To encourage the internal and supplier auditing functions, Risk ZA has developed a practical 2 Day ISO 45001:2018 Auditing course. The course provides the theoretical and practical knowledge of OHS auditing required to determine the conformance of the management system arrangements and its performance; based on outcomes. Delegates complete practical exercises and other assessments which relate to the requirements of ISO 45001:2018, hazards and other significant factors which influence the organisations OHS performance.

Persons attending this course will be able to facilitate internal Occupational Health & Safety management system audits based on the ISO 45001:2018 Standard and the ISO 19011 Standard for management system auditing. Plan and facilitate audits, set and recommend corrective actions, follow up and close out audit findings.

This course is recommended for Occupational Health and Safety Practitioners, Line Managers, Supervisors, and Management.

Download our free guide

Uncover the tools necessary for an ISO 45001:2018 Auditor by downloading our FREE downloadable guide: 10 STEPS TO AUDITING AN ISO 45001:2018 OHS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

For more information or guidance on which ISO standard(s) and services would best suit the needs of your organisation, please email Risk ZA at info@riskza.com or contact us on 0861 Risk ZA / +27 (0) 31 569 5900.

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Why Should ‘I’ consider ISO 45001?

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Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) should be a major concern of organisations not only in sectors such as Mining and Construction where safety is critical, but in all sectors, including those which are often seen as ‘safe’, such as the Services industry. OHS is a legal requirement in South Africa, nevertheless workplace accidents that make headlines like the deadly collapse of the Grayston Drive pedestrian bridge on Gauteng’s M1 highway in October 2015, are just the tip of the iceberg. In the construction sector alone, two workers die on average every week in South Africa, and worldwide large-scale disasters, as seen in the factory building collapse in Bangladesh, are responsible for debilitating injuries, untold suffering and loss of life.

To assist you in learning a bit more about the standard and its relevance, we have created a free guide for you to download: “10 Steps to implementing an ISO 45001:2018 OHS Management System“.

Why the need for ISO 45001:2018 for workplace safety?

Occupational health and safety management systems are not new. Various countries have their own standards, although the only international documents are the International Labour Organization’s  Guidelines on OSH Management Systems and OHSAS 18001. ISO 45001:2018 now replaces the world’s reference for workplace health and safety, OHSAS 18001. The International Organization for Standardization is confident that wide adoption of ISO 45001 will reduce the horror stories of poor OHS management by enabling organisations globally to manage risks and improve operational performance. Irrespective of whether an organisation chooses to adopt ISO 45001:2018 or not, this management systems standard will become the norm, and organisations should be familiar with developments in worker safety.

What does ISO 45001:2018 mean for your organisation?

ISO 45001 is the first international OHS standard to formally acknowledge that creating a safer and healthier workplace goes hand in hand with a more productive, efficient and sustainable business. It sets out to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses, and improve productivity and efficiency by providing requirements and processes for enterprises to meet regulatory requirements, to manage risks and opportunities and to continually improve on performance. Organisations certified to OHSAS 18001 will need to become accredited to the new standard by 12 March 2021, and for enterprises new to OHS management systems standards, the key differences between ISO 45001:2018 and OHSAS follow.


New structure

An important difference between ISO 45001 and OHSAS 18001 is the High-level Structure. ISO now provides a common structure, identical core text, and terms and definitions for all revised standards so that management systems standards have the same look and feel, and to facilitate integration between systems, whether it be ISO 9001 (Quality Management), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management), or any other discipline.

From compliance to the process of risk management

While the goal of both standards is to prevent harm, ISO 45001 has new requirements for assessing risks and opportunities. It takes a proactive approach to risk control that starts with identifying all risks arising from an organisation’s activities and including these in the overall management system for ongoing identification and evaluation. OHSAS 18001 takes a reactive approach of ‘hazard control’ and delegates these responsibilities to safety management staff rather than integrating the responsibilities into the overall management system.

Leadership commitment

In ISO 45001, management commitment is central to the standard’s effectiveness in an organisation’s safety culture. Instead of providing oversight for the programme, the shift in ISO 45001 is to managerial ownership. Top management must demonstrate leadership by developing, leading and promoting a culture that supports and provides resources for the intended outcomes of the OHS management system.

Workers play a big part

OHSAS talks about ‘persons under the organisation’s control’; ISO 45001 uses the term ‘worker’. Worker essentially means everyone: paid, unpaid, regular, temporary, seasonal, casual, and part time; plus, top management and both managerial and non-managerial people; as well as those employed by the organisation, or by others such as external providers, contractors, and agency workers. Workers have greater participation, with employee and management collaboration on the Occupational, Health and Safety management system (OHSMS). Barriers to worker participation, which may include, language or literacy, or practises that discourage worker participation, need to be removed or reduced.

ISO 45001 – What to do next?​

Adopting the ISO 45001 standard means that health and safety becomes everyone’s responsibility, which is potentially its greatest strength. An organisation is only as good as its people – and to assist workers join in on developing and managing the OHSMS, training and education are essential.

How can Risk ZA assist you?

Risk ZA can help your organisation in adopting or migrating to the new standard. We are able to assist you in establishing an effective Health & Safety Management Systems by providing comprehensive training both in the standard’s requirements and against local OHS Acts.

To assist you in learning a bit more about the standard and its relevance, we have created a free guide for you to download: “10 Steps to implementing an ISO 45001:2018 OHS Management System“.

For more information or guidance on which ISO standard(s) and services would best suit the needs of your organisation, please email Risk ZA at info@riskza.com or contact us on 0861 Risk ZA / +27 (0) 31 569 5900.

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Sustainability through Natural Resource Stewardship

Sustainability through Natural Resource Stewardship
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For decades ISO standards have helped to ensure the quality, safety, reliability, and efficiency of products and services. However, organisations now need to tackle a range of longer-term strategic challenges to address stakeholders’ expectations of good governance, environmental stewardship, sustainability and social responsibility.

When the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) begins developing a standard, leading minds gather to debate issues such as strategic risk management, environmental performance, quality assurance, supply chain management and socially responsible behaviour to achieve global agreement on organisational best practices, expectations and guidance.

Sustainability starts with Governance & Risk Management

ISO 31000:2018 Standard on risk management takes these issues into account and supports sustainability by providing direction on how organisations can integrate risk-based decision-making into governance, planning, management, reporting, policies, values and culture.

The ISO 31000:2018 definition of risk is different to the traditional approach to financial risk management, in that the Standard defines risk as being the effect of uncertainty on objectives. These effects can be either a positive  or negative deviation from the objective, and may result in opportunity or threat. Sustainable-thinking helps organisations to set responsible objectives, and the Standard’s risk assessment process supports this approach. Unlike the financial approach that restricts risk management to loss, ISO 31000:2018 adopts the concept of a positive outcome as well.

The Standard helps to embed sustainability into the core business to allow teams to collaborate using the principles, framework and process of risk management in ISO 31000. The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) promotes this thinking on risk to CFOs, and states that accounting is fundamentally a social practice and not a technical one.

“When we understand the full dimensions of accounting we also get to appreciate how morality is at its core.” – IFAC

The benefits of Environmental Stewardship

Morality is central to the concept of stewardship, which is the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care. Environmental stewardship recognises that we cannot live without the many and varied benefits of ecosystem services, such as benefits derived from agroecosystems, forest ecosystems, grassland ecosystems and aquatic ecosystems.

For some corporates, stewardship represents how they are defining their role in environmental management challenges. Water is the ultimate shared resource. But water can only be managed sustainably if all users work together to ensure that it is responsibly governed and shared. A collaborative approach helps to build trusted relationships between multiple sectors as well as across silos within government and industry, and allows for the type of technical, behavioural and political changes necessary to improve water governance at global, national and community levels.

Case study: The Coca-Cola Company

Clean water is the vital ingredient in Coca-Cola’s beverages, and for various processes in the manufacturing cycle. The organisation’s approach to water stewardship is written into the corporate water strategy, which aims to return as much water to nature and to communities as it uses by 2020. Coca-Cola has applied the same  comprehensive risk assessments that the organisation uses for its strategy to understand global water challenges. The strategy takes into account water management at bottling plants and extends to catchment management, sustainable communities, and raising awareness to inspire other people and organisations to act.

Community & Global Partnerships

To meet the goal of replenishing all the water it uses, Coca-Cola invests in community water partnership projects. One of the largest collaborations is with the United States Agency for International Development and local bottling companies to protect and improve sustainability of catchments, increase people’s access to water and sanitation, and improve water use in 23 countries, including Africa. The company raises global awareness of water stewardship through The 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG), and the CEO mandate.

Reducing water use across the organisation

The company manages its water use ratio through a system-wide sustainability standard. Bottling plants assess water used to make beverages, and water usage in by surrounding communities.

The benefits from water stewardship for Coca-Cola include, watershed protection and conservation; expanding community drinking water and sanitation access, and improving water for productive use.

Coca-Cola is an ISO champion

Coca-Cola is the largest user of ISO management system standards, integrating ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22000 and ISO 26000 into its total management system. To establish a governance process, businesses within the system implement, document and maintain a safety and quality system aligned to the organisation’s total management system.

For ISO 14001 alone, the organisation’s achievements for water sustainability, energy-savings, reducing CO2 emissions and total waste to landfill are impressive.

For more information or guidance on which ISO standard(s) and services would best suit the needs of your organisation, please email Risk ZA at info@riskza.com or contact us on 0861 Risk ZA / +27 (0) 31 569 5900.

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ISO Standards Provide the Foundation for Building Customer Relationships

ISO Standards Provide the Foundation for Building Customer Relationships

ISO Standards Provide the Foundation for Building Customer Relationships

The aftershock of the global debt crisis set the scene for a change in public sentiment towards big business. Since the credit crunch, house prices have fallen, consumer confidence has plummeted, taxes and prices have increased, and unemployment has risen.

The international organisation GlobeScan’s research shows that public trust particularly in banks and oil companies is ‘deep in negative territory’, and the top two issues banks need to address to regain trust are operating ethically and improving customer / online services.

In 2011 former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop wrote his famous Burning Platform memo, in which he lamented missed opportunities and indicated multiple strategic challenges to the mobile phone company. Distilled, the lesson of the burning platform is that it is far better to anticipate the crisis and change your behaviour long before the explosion.

In these uncertain times, operating ethically and building trust with your customers and stakeholders is vitally important for the long-term success of your organisation.

What lies at the heart of public scepticism?

In the run-up to the debt crisis, traders and investment bankers focused on selling customers financial products, particularly subprime mortgages loans. Whether the client or borrower defaulted, was of little interest to banks. These groups were interested in lining their pockets and not on building long-term relationships with clients. Bank executives and managers, too, focused on sales and bonus targets rather than thinking of long-term performance and sustainability.

When the US subprime mortgage catastrophe began unravelling, the world entered a global financial crisis. In the wake of 9 August 2007, panicking customers queued to withdraw their savings and the first bank run in years began. With default a real possibility, investors began demanding higher yields for bonds issued by Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain. As a result, Spain’s housing market collapsed, Greece’s economy imploded and Ireland slid into recession.

The depth and duration of the financial crisis shook investor confidence and waves of violent protests swept through Europe.

public protest

Tighter liquidity following the debt crisis undoubtedly severely constrained South Africa’s economy, but government corruption compounded the problem, resulting in sluggish growth, company closures, unemployment and deepening poverty. Deviant conduct is so entrenched within institutions of government that it threatens their survival.

In what seems to be another instance of too little too late, treasury is hastily attempting to restore voter confidence ahead of elections by financing a commission of inquiry into state capture and stabilising state-owned enterprises (SOEs) hollowed out from years of poor governance, procurement irregularities and fraud.

“We are working on rebuilding trust in public institutions,” Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene proclaimed before the standing committee on finance in Parliament on Tuesday 8 May.

Customer trust is hard won and easily lost

But it’s not only bank executives, politicians and their cronies who are guilty of such transgressions.

In what has become known as the ‘meat-scandal’, big name South African supermarket brands were tarnished when they were caught stocking incorrectly labelled meat products. Tested meat samples revealed ingredients not listed on product labels, including donkey, water buffalo, goat and pork meat. This not only violated food-labelling regulations, but presented religious and ethical concerns for the Jewish and Muslim communities.

Shortly before the supermarket ‘meat-scandal’, a Cape Town based importer admitted to re-labelling kangaroo meat from Australia and water buffalo meat from India as halal, causing outrage in the Muslim community.

Internet giant Facebook is embroiled in a world of trouble as the US federal government investigates the sharing of users’ private information with Cambridge Analytica and others unknown, while auditing firm KPMG South Africa recently appointed new board members in an attempt to restore trust after its involvement with the politically-connected Gupta family.

meat scandal

Iraj Abedian, CEO at Pan-African Investments and Research Services, commented in a press statement that:

“KPMG has to come clean before it can win back the trust of society. Changing a few characters around before coming clean is ignoring and not dealing with the issues.”

Barclays Africa, one of the continent’s largest banks, is the latest of several big corporate clients to announce that it will no longer be using KPMG auditing services. In a statement to the press on May 3, the bank announced:

“ongoing and more recent developments were evaluated by the board, which decided that it can no longer support the reappointment of KPMG”.

Customer trust is priceless

We all know how Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks can sink a product range, taint a brand’s image or batter an organisation’s reputation in a matter of minutes. It can take just one disreputable supplier, or one perceived hypocrisy, and marketing spend goes up in smoke.

Consumers frame their opinions around green and ethical claims made by organisations from what they read on social networks and trust the opinions of friends, family and people in the community in product-purchasing decisions above all advertising and marketing efforts.


“The power relationship between people and brands has forever changed because of social networks.” – Dion Chang, Flux Trends.

American management expert, Dr. Gary Hamel puts five issues at the centre of whether a business will thrive or fail in the years ahead: values, innovation, adaptability, passion and ideology.   

Of all these challenges, the issue of trust is the one most open to change in the short term.

ISO Standards provide a foundation on which to build trust

Rigorous corporate and sustainability standards and third-party certification are important foundations that can chip away at consumer and stakeholder scepticism and build trust.

“I believe standards instil trust. Standards are no longer about product differentiation but about creating a uniform experience that gives your customers confidence in your products and services.” – Datuk Fadilah Baharin, Director General, Department of Standards Malaysia.


How can ISO standards help?

Maintaining a social license to operate

As powerful influencers, organisations can act as agents for societal change. The ISO 26000 publication, Guidance on Social Responsibility – helps organisations understand the principles of SR, and addresses questions like, what SR means, the types of issues an organisation needs to address, and best practice.

Ethical Environmental Behaviour

More consumers are selecting products that are produced respecting environmental standards. The ISO 14000 family of standards provides practical tools for organisations of all kinds to manage their environmental responsibilities.

Food Fraud & Food Safety

Food supply chains are complex, creating more opportunities for criminals to practise food fraud and affect food safety. The ISO 22000 Food Safety Management System helps organisations produce safe food and gain the trust of customers.

Inspire a customer-centric culture

The quality of a product is about whether or not it meets customer requirements. The ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System redefines quality by changing focus from adhering to product specifications and requirements to meeting customers’ expectations and satisfaction.

Prevent Corruption

ISO 37001, Anti-bribery management systems – is designed to help organisations implement effective measures to prevent and address bribery, and instil a culture of honesty, transparency and integrity.

Proactively Protect Customer Data

Securing third party data is a legal imperative. The ISO/IEC 27000 family of standards helps organisations keep information assets secure. ISO/IEC 27001:2013 is the best-known standard in the family providing requirements for an information security management system (ISMS).

Deliver transparency in products

Millennials are front and centre of the ethically conscious consumer trend. The ISO 20400:2017 Standard can be used to improve supply chain transparency. Embedding sustainability requirements has been shown to cause a so-called green bullwhip effect, whereby they become a signal that then transfers vertically down a supply chain from buyer to distributor to assembler to manufacturer.

In Conclusion

In addition to offering ISO standards training and consulting services, Risk ZA has key expertise in Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) Management Systems, which are essential controls for corporate success and relationships of trust with customers and stakeholders.

For more information or guidance on which ISO standard(s) and services would best suit the needs of your organisation, please email Risk ZA at info@riskza.com or contact us on 0861 Risk ZA / +27 (0) 31 569 5900.

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Deadly Listeria outbreak: Can ISO 22000 and preventative controls improve food safety?

Deadly Listeria outbreak: Can ISO 22000 and preventative controls improve food safety?

Calls for tougher food industry standards after deadly listeria outbreak - can ISO standards and preventative controls improve food safety?

Tiger Brands’ CEO Lawrence MacDougall announced in a press statement shortly after  Enterprise Polony was withdrawn from supermarket shelves, that tougher food safety standards are needed not only in South Africa but worldwide.

Food product recalls are at an all time high, which may or may not be good news.

Improvements in pathogen and risk detection technology and better regulatory oversight go some way to explaining the increase in recalls. But in the United States, undeclared allergens in foods topped the list as the major reason for food recalls.

Bacterial contamination – Salmonella and Listeria Monocytogenes – as well as undeclared substances and extraneous material found in foods also featured high in the April food recall report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS).

Fresh produce, meat, seafood and poultry pose the greatest health risks.

The U.S. Agriculture Department has placed fresh produce, meat, poultry, and seafood on its ‘watch list’, as these foods pose the greatest potential health risk and are the cause of most foodborne illnesses, hospitalisations, and deaths.

Six people in Europe died in March from eating frozen corn contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, and consumers were warned to avoid eating romaine lettuce after an E.coli outbreak in 13 U.S.states and Canada was traced to Canadian grown lettuce.

Listeria outbreak in South Africa

The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced in April 2018 that the world’s worst Listeria outbreak was showing a downward trend in South Africa but it expected more cases.

Laboratory results revealed that in most cases people had become ill after eating polony containing strains of Listeria belonging to L. monocytogenes Sequence Type 6 (ST6).

Tiger Brands’ own laboratory tests confirmed this finding.

A total of 1,024 cases and 200 deaths from all provinces across the country were reported by the National Department of Communicable Diseases in May 2018.

But the death toll could be much higher as importers of Enterprise and RCL Foods products in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region‚ do not have the testing and monitoring facilities to detect listeriosis cases.

Listeria was also found at RCL Foods’ (Rainbow Chickens) Wolwehoek factory in Sasolberg.

The WHO believes that the number of people infected could indicate more than one source of the outbreak.

Listeria outbreak is a disaster for the entire ready-to-eat meat industry.

At the peak of the Listeriosis outbreak 80 tons of recalled polony were being destroyed daily.

Enterprise shut down its Polokwane and Germiston facilities ceasing supply to trade while it explored the source of the outbreak and did a deep cleaning process.

Tiger Brands and RCL Foods share prices tumbled on the JSE, and Alec Abraham, a senior equity analyst at Johannesburg-based Sasfin, said that the weakening of the share prices  would likely be sustained.

More than six countries imposed trade bans on products from South Africa, resulting in losses of over R100m in sausage exports alone.  

The outbreak has caused around R1 billion in losses to the pork value chain so far due to the changes in consumer perceptions of pork. Half of the pork industries meat is used in processed products, according to the South African Pork Producers’ Organisation.

“The pork industry suffered a severe blow following the recent outbreak of listeriosis,” said Paul Makube, senior agricultural economist at FNB Agri-Business.

Tiger Brands’ CEO Lawrence MacDougall said, “We are making every effort to ascertain how ST6 arrived in our production facility in Polokwane, despite us adhering to all the prevailing industry standards.The Listeriosis outbreak has been a terrible blight on the entire ready-to-eat meat industry. It is imperative for the entire industry to come together to agree on an appropriate standard with government. It is not a problem which is unique to South Africa or for that matter Enterprise Foods.”

The Democratic Alliance (DA) blamed Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi for a ‘lack of political will and clarity’ for not getting to the bottom of the Listeriosis outbreak sooner, and that the outbreak pointed to, ‘a broader neglect of proper food safety mechanisms on the part of government.’

DA member of parliament Evelyn Wilson said the record of the world’s largest listeriosis outbreak was ‘not one to be proud of’ and blamed it on a shortage of environmental health inspectors, saying the outbreak could have been avoided if factories were inspected every three months.

In the midst of the crisis and finger-pointing, the Department of Health announced that it would help victims of the Listeria outbreak seek legal restitution, and a class action has been filed by human rights attorney Richard Spoor and Bill Marler of U.S. food safety law firm Marler Clark.

Marler has represented thousands of people in claims against food companies and has harsh words for food and beverage producers.

“If you cannot make mass produced produce safely – don’t sell it. If you put a defective product into commerce and you harm someone, you are responsible. To suggest otherwise, is legally and morally wrong.” – Bill Marler

Estimates are that the listeria outbreak could end up costing Tiger Brand’s in excess of R800m.

Can ISO Management System Standards and preventative controls improve food and beverage safety?

In short, yes. If food and beverage producers pay attention to the big picture and improve food safety through the entire supply chain, food will become safer.

ISO standards and preventative controls encourage food companies to adopt comprehensive monitoring during every step of the food production process.

Risk assessments create higher food safety awareness among producers and food handlers. Increasing food safety awareness also increases people’s awareness of food quality,  as the two go hand in hand.

Food safety and quality management systems provide the framework for record-keeping, training hazard analysis (food safety), prerequisite programs, and so on, which are required in the mandatory preventive controls rules.

Software applications eliminate or reduce paperwork and actively manage food safety and quality by tracking data, which makes analysis easier and, therefore, the management of food safety and quality more efficient.

The ISO 22000 family of International Standards addresses Food Safety management.

ISO 22000 is a certifiable standard and sets out the requirements of a Food Safety management system. Everyone in the food supply chain from farmers and manufacturers to retailers and consumers, can benefit from the guidelines and best practice contained in these ISO standards, which cover everything from food harvesting to product packaging.

The internationally agreed standards help food producers meet legal and regulatory requirements for food products that cross national boundaries.

Issues relevant to consumers such as food safety, nutritional labelling, hygiene, and food additives are also addressed by these standards, which give consumers the peace of mind in knowing that the food they eat meets high standards for safety and quality and contains what it says on the label.

What should food and beverage producers do?

In view of the massive financial losses and reputational damage facing food giant Tiger Brands and the RTE value chain, can any food producer, retailer or anyone involved in the food chain afford not to implement food safety standards or at the very least re-examine Food Safety Management Systems across their entire operation?

Risk ZA offers training courses and consulting services in Food Safety, Quality Management and Risk Assessments for companies that wish to implement or improve on their Food Safety Management practices.

Visit our training course schedule for course details and booking information.

For more information or guidance on which ISO standard(s) and services would best suit the needs of your organisation, please email RISK ZA at: info@riskza.com or contact us on: 0861 Risk ZA / +27 (0) 31 569 5900.

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Quality and Safety Standards Save Lives and Reduce Financial Risk

Risk ZA ISO 45001

ISO standards have made a significant contribution to improving our health and safety since the International Standards Organization was founded in 1947. Beyond bringing economic benefits, ISO standards protect the health of the planet and people in many facets of our daily lives.

Over the last 71 years, ISO has developed more than 1 300 standards that cover everything from the shoes we wear, to road safety, water and soil quality, secure medical packaging and medical devices.

Viewed through the lense of the World Health Organization (WHO), health is a human right, not a luxury. The WHO’s World Health Day campaign “Health For All” – marked on 7 April this year – calls on global leaders to commit to affording every person, everywhere, access to essential health services no matter their means.

ISO standards help governments and regulators support the WHO’s campaign for Universal Health Coverage, as standards assist in developing better policies and regulations and ensure that people receive quality health care.

In addition, ISO standards assist countries and organizations meet the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal 3, which aspires to: “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”, as well as the principles contained in UN Agenda 21, which includes a section on protecting and promoting human health.

Standards also bring uniformity to healthcare organizations and help manufacturers understand people’s needs and develop products that serve markets better. The pharmaceutical sector and billions of consumers benefited when ISO released the Identification of Medicinal Products standards (IDMP) to help reduce global deaths caused by medication errors. Up until 2016 there was no means to identify medical substances on a global basis, which led to challenges when adverse reactions to medicinal products were reported in one country and needed to be interpreted by others.

A number of standards are currently in the pipeline to help healthcare facilities reduce global healthcare costs. Lee Webster, Secretary of ISO/TC 304, said: “A new series of standards will help to reduce waste, improve data transparency and improve interdisciplinary cooperation, resulting in better healthcare at lower costs. What’s more, recent research suggests patient satisfaction and outcomes are also improved in well-managed healthcare environments. So everyone wins.”


There is more to human health than meeting basic needs

Human health is not simply a matter of meeting basic needs, though. In 1986, the WHO redefined its definition of health as not just an “absence of disease or infirmity” but as “a resource for everyday life – health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capabilities”.

While ISO standards help with basic healthcare needs, they also take into account  ‘higher-level’ needs related to self-esteem, independence and happiness.

Face creams, soaps, perfumes and deodorants – products we take for granted in our daily lives and use to improve our self-esteem and happiness – can cause infections and severe allergic reactions in people with sensitivities. ISO 18416:2007, Cosmetics – Microbiology – Detection of Candida albicans, is an example of one ISO cosmetics standard that helps to reduce cases of infection from cosmetic products.

Depression and mental health conditions affect more than 300 million people across the world. Some of the causes of depression are related to living and working conditions. Implementing an Occupational Health and Safety Management system is a sound way organizations can reduce accidents and ill health.

Millions of people die each year from a work-related illness or injury; and thousands of people suffer from debilitating industrial diseases. The publication of ISO 45001 in March 2018, provides organizations with a single set of international requirements to help them protect workers from harm.


Companies ignore legislation, standards and quality systems at their peril

International standards mean that consumers can have confidence that the products they buy are safe, reliable and of good quality. Product liability claims are potentially one of the biggest threats to a company’s bottom line, and lack of attention to quality systems can result in hefty fines and indirect costs to companies.

The South African Consumer Protection Act (CPA) specifically caters for class-action suits. The CPA states: “a court can award damages against a supplier for collective injury to all or a class of consumers generally, to be paid on any conditions that the court considers just and equitable to achieve the purpose of the Act”.

Damages caused by defective products, including defective pharmaceutical products, defective toys and harmful food products could all find their way into court and manufacturers and suppliers in South Africa could be faced with mounting legal expenses defending these claims.

The South African gold miners’ silicosis lawsuit settlement is expected within a few weeks, and gold producers have set aside 5 billion rand ($420 million) in provision for the settlement.

Following what the WHO described as the world’s worst listeriosis outbreak on record — in which at least 190 died and many more were infected — human rights lawyer Richard Spoor launched a class- action against Tiger Brands and Enterprise Foods at the Johannesburg High Court on 29 March, 2018.

“Tiger Brands and Enterprise Foods have done terrible harm to the victims of the contaminated food they distributed from their Polokwane factory, to their reputation and to the Enterprise brand,” Spoor wrote on his Facebook page.

In what looks likely to be the biggest class-action in South African history, Spoor added that the  CPA allows for other affected parties to join the suit later.

Dr Selva Mudaly is quoted in a recent Business Day report as saying: “South Africa needs a better plan for food safety. We are not proactive. That’s the problem. We don’t pre-plan. Maybe the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) needs more laboratories to deal with this kind of thing.”

Across the waters in the United States, Abbott Laboratories, the global healthcare company, which is no stranger to class-action suits, was hit again last year with a nationwide $9.9 million class-action over defective cardiac defibrillators. It is alleged that St Jude Medical, a subsidiary of Abbott’s, knew about a battery-depletion defect in some of its cardiac defibrillators as early as 2011 but waited nearly 5 years before issuing a recall in October 2016.

Johnson & Johnson has met with similar woes in 2002 when the Lifescan unit of Johnsons agreed to pay $45 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by consumers who said that meters used to test diabetics’ blood-sugar levels were defective.

There can be no doubt that the costs of payouts in respect of claims can be crippling, and aside from reputational damage, could force a business to close its doors.

In order to properly reduce risk, suppliers and manufacturers are strongly advised to ensure that they have adequate standandards and monitoring measures in place to quickly become aware of any defect in their products and/or services.

Risk ZA offers training in a wide-range of medical, health and safety standards

Health, safe medical practices and quality of life are important to people everywhere. Customers expect products they buy and consume to be reliable and safe, that companies manage and reduce the negative effects their processes can have on the environment, and employees want workplaces that take their health and safety into consideration.

Risk ZA offers a wide-range of ISO related training, auditing and consulting solutions that help businesses to plan and implement internationally recognised standards that ensure products, services and working environments are safe and comply with legislation in order to protect a company’s reputation and reduce the risk of costly litigation.

We work intimately with a variety of standards but have courses running against the following standards through April to June:

  • ISO 9001:2015 – Quality Management
  • ISO 14001:2015 – Environmental Management
  • ISO 45001:2018 – Occupational Health and Safety Management

Visit our training course schedule for course details and booking information.

For more information or guidance on which ISO standard(s) and services would best suit the needs of your organisation, please email RISK ZA at: info@riskza.com or contact us on: 0861 Risk ZA / +27 (0) 31 569 5900

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A Robust Quality Management System Mitigates Risk, Improves Customer Loyalty And Increases Sales

Achieving Energy Efficiency through ISO 50001:2011

A Robust Quality Management System Mitigates Risk, Improves Customer Loyalty And Increases Sales.

The drought in the Western Cape is today’s reality. Sub-Saharan Africa as a region sees too little rainfall, or too much, in the wrong place or at the wrong time and too many demands are placed on this scarce resource.

Water knows no boundaries and the effects of pollution upstream or from neighbouring countries are experienced by others downstream. Sustainability of water as a resource has been and is affected by poor management complicated by skills shortages and insufficient investment in training and human capital. Prioritising planning and human capital is as necessary as infrastructure provision and maintenance or adopting alternative water-efficient technology, such as low-flush and pour-flush toilets.

The 2016 / 2017 agricultural season was the driest on record since 1904, and the consequences will be felt for decades to come. The creep of climate change is suddenly upon us and we can now expect drier seasons and more intensive storms and unpredictable weather patterns.

Agriculture has lost billions of rands and thousands of jobs and we are reminded of Thomas Fuller’s words – “We never know the worth of water ‘til the well runs dry.”

Day Zero for Cape Town may have been scrapped but water experts warn this does not mean the taps won’t run dry. It is still as likely to happen as it was a week ago. When they do it will be a national disaster, the magnitude of which has not been faced in any of the world’s major cities since World War Two and 9/11.  The western Cape’s economy undoubtedly will be severely affected. Tourism and agriculture are two water-intensive sectors that support it and many lives depend on income derived from these sectors. The knock-on will be felt by fruit and vegetable processors, juicers and canners that rely on these fresh fruit producers. 

Mike Peo, head of Infrastructure, Energy and Telecommunications at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking, blamed political apathy for the mismanagement of the crisis and predicted a decline in the province’s key tourism industry. Peo also said that climate change was having a real impact and that the crisis was exacerbated by massive water losses due to inadequate maintenance of ageing infrastructure, and poor management of water distribution networks.

University of Cape Town (UCT) academic and Future Water Institute lead researcher Dr Kevin Winter joined United Nations (UN) climate action special envoy Mike Bloomberg – founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York – on a tour of the Theewaterskloof dam on Wednesday 7 March 2018.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and better understand the scope of the drought and how, given the intensification of extreme weather (climate change), cities can accelerate their preparations for an uncertain water future.

Dr Winter said there had been an underlying widely held perception that the onset of climate change would be slow, less erratic and that it would allow more time to prepare for drought. “In reality, the impact of what we are now experiencing has been rapid, unpredictable and more far-reaching than expected. This coincides with a city that is facing numerous other developmental challenges including access to land, housing, education, health and sanitation services.” (Engineering News, 9 March 2018).

The extent of South Africa’s water crisis is much bigger than the western Cape’s.

In response to the drought the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality in the Eastern Cape has increased water restrictions and tariffs after dam levels dropped below the “critically low” point of 40%. Level 1 restrictions remain in place in Johannesburg, Durban and other metropolitan areas.


Roles And Responsibilities

The water crisis has been a long time in coming.

The National Water Act invests National Government with the responsibility and authority for the country’s water resources, its management and the protection of water quality to ensure sustainability of supply. Municipalities are tasked with cleaning and providing water to consumers and processing waste-water at sewerage treatment plants.

Cracks started showing in the system back in 2008 when The Green Drop Report – which monitored the quality of treated waste-water discharged to rivers – revealed that only 45 percent of municipal waste-water treatment plants that were assessed scored above 50%.

The 2014 Green Drop Report concluded that nearly a quarter of the country’s waste-water treatment plants were in a “critical state”, with a further quarter listed as “high risk”. Eleven babies died in 2014 in Bloemhof from diarrhoea caused by drinking contaminated water.  The town’s sewage plant had been dysfunctional for years and was pumping raw sewage, used condoms, plastic and other pollutants into the Vaal River.

Since the demise of government’s Green Drop Report, the non-govermental organisation AfriForum has stepped in to do similar water quality tests. Its most recent finding is that two-thirds of tested waste-water facilities do not meet national water quality standards, an increase of more than 100% from its 2016 report.

Our rivers have tragically become the receivers of human waste and other pollutants and now carry high pathogenic loads. 

Water from contaminated rivers is drawn to irrigate agricultural crops and fresh fruits and vegetables are often eaten raw or lightly-processed for canned produce. These pathogens pose a serious health risk to consumers. 

The uMngeni, Vaal, Crocodile and Olifants rivers have the ignominious reputation of being the country’s most polluted rivers.

A study commissioned by the Water Research Commission (WRC) in 2013 found proof of cholera, shigella, salmonella and other harmful viruses and bacteria at every sampling point between the Inanda Dam and Blue Lagoon in Durban.

All sampling points along the uMngeni River failed to meet water quality targets for drinking water and recreational purposes. The University of KwaZulu-Natal researchers Johnson Lin, Atheesha Ganesh and Moganavelli Singh warned in the report submitted to the WRC that this contamination could have serious health implications.

The current listeriosis outbreak from eating contaminated processed meats amplifies the harm that gross negligence and ignorance of quality and safety standards and legislation can have on human health, businesses’ profits and trade.  A law firm announced on Saturday 10 March 2018 that it would be filing a class action against Tiger Brands after an Enterprise polony factory in Polokwane was found to be the source of the deadly outbreak. Richard Spoor Incorporated Attorneys will join a United States food safety law firm Marler Clark to file the suit. 

The outbreak has also placed a cost burden, ultimately borne by the country’s shrinking taxpayer base, on an already overstretched public healthcare service as many people affected by the outbreak cannot afford private health insurance.


Reducing Water Consumption And Environmental Impact Are Priorities

Tony Carne a then environmental journalist at Durban’s Mercury newspaper reported in 2013 after a release of a WRC report that half (50%) of the country’s water was being stolen, wasted or leaking away (non-revenue water loss).

The WRC estimated at that time that our non-revenue water loss amounted to around R7 billion.  

Acid water draining from mines is also contaminating our water supplies. This water often contains toxic metals that harm rivers’ aquatic environments and human health.

The water quality of many rural groundwater systems does not meet national water quality standards, which means that much of the ground water is not available for human or animal drinking purposes.

As water consumers we use 235 litres a day compared to the world average of 170 litres per day, a good indication that most people do not understand that water is a scarce resource. 

Water demand over the next 20 years is projected to rise and already the country’s water resources are almost fully extended.

Water is a vital cog in every economy. The way we manage our water resources needs radical re-thinking. One of the most important pressing issues that we all need to think about is using low-water sanitation in our homes and businesses.

ISO standards cover almost every water issue and offer a business-wide approach through which departments and personnel can be aligned and committed to managing risk and reducing water consumption and environmental impact.

We recommend the following training courses to businesses wishing to manage their risk exposure, reduce water consumption and environmental impact: Quality Management, Quality Management Tools and Environmental Training.  

For more information or guidance on which ISO standard(s) would best suit the needs of your business, please email RISK ZA at: info@riskza.com or contact us on: 0861 Risk ZA / +27 (0) 31 569 5900

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Achieving Energy Efficiency through ISO 50001:2011

ISO 50001:2011

The ISO industry is constantly changing and adapting in accordance with the latest innovations and developments in the business sector. With each updated version of international standards, we see special provision being made for technological advancements, environmental awareness and social changes, within organisations.

On February 5th, Carte Blanche aired an episode on a radical new development in the energy industry – a substance that cools down when exposed to sunlight. This substance provided exciting possibilities, from paint that can cool your car down in the sun, or clothing fibres that can cool you down in the heat. Perhaps one of the most relevant to organisations was the application of paint on buildings to cool down in the summer, cutting down energy costs on air conditioning. Innovations like these combined with the principles of ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management provide organisations with endless tools and strategies to achieve optimum energy efficiency while reducing their energy costs.

ISO 50001:2011 in practice

In an age where conservation of resources is of optimum importance (for example, Cape Town’s day zero of the water crisis), organisations are aware now more than ever of the importance of conserving our natural resources. As we have mentioned in a previous blog post: Energy Management with ISO 50001:2011,  an energy management system establishes the structure and discipline to implement technical and management strategies that significantly cut energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions—and sustain those savings over time.

With the inclusion of ISO 50001:2011 into business practices, and constant research undertaken into innovations in the energy industry, organisations can not only significantly reduce their energy costs, but also their impact on the environment. If all organisations adopted ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management, it could influence up to 60% of the world’s energy use across many economic sectors. From a purely business perspective, the incorporation of ISO 50001:2011 makes great financial sense as energy can be an organisation’s largest controllable cost. Organisations will now have the ability to maximise the use of their energy sources and energy-related assets, thus reducing energy cost and consumption. Organisations may also find that they will now comply with carbon reduction initiatives and therefore enhance their corporate environmental practices.

Implementing ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management

As the research above states, implementing ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management is greatly beneficial to all organisations. This energy standard is applicable to organisations both small and large, public and private. ISO 50001:2011 has also been structured to be aligned with other popular industry management system standards such as ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems – Requirements. This allows organisations to integrate an Energy Management System together with their existing management systems.

Implementing ISO 50001:2011 through Risk ZA

Risk ZA offers both training and consulting services. Training courses for ISO 50001:2011 include:

  • Senior Management Energy Awareness Level 3
  • Introduction, Developing and Implementing an Energy Management System
  • Internal and Supplier Auditing to provide strategic guidance, understanding and advice.

Our specialised skills will allow you and your organisation towards achieving an efficient Energy Management System.

Companies certified with ISO 50001:2011 will soon need to prepare to transition to the updated version of the standard, due to be released later this year. The update will not only ensure that the standard meets the rapidly changing needs of the energy sector, but also include the addition of the HLS (High-Level Structure) and closely linking with the new ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems.  

In conclusion

Part of energy efficiency involves researching and keeping up to date with innovations in the industry. This, with the implementation of ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management can help sustain an organisation that chooses to continually improve upon the reduction of their energy costs. One of the organisations that continues to track major developments in the global energy efficiency industry is the Wisconsin based WECC (The Western Electricity Coordinating Council). They reported that two of the major developments in the energy industry would be the implementation of a cleaner electrical grid, through wind and solar power and the rise of electric vehicles used by organisations such as HP, German DHL and Metro AG.  Although most of these developments are occurring internationally, we hope to see its implementation in the near future in South Africa as more organisations become environmentally conscious.

Conferences like Energy Efficiency World Africa taking place in Sandton, Johannesburg on 27th-28th March 2018, is a step in the right direction towards energy consciousness in Africa. This conference is the leading marketplace and ideas exchange platform for the energy efficiency market and is an excellent avenue for innovative and efficient solutions. Along with this event and innovations in the ISO industry for energy management, we are excited and hopeful for the future of energy conservation for the world.

For more information or guidance on which ISO standard(s) would best suit the needs of your business, please email RISK ZA at: info@riskza.com or contact us on: 0861 Risk ZA / +27 (0) 31 569 5900

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