Environmental issues and sustainability in business has risen to one of the most important aspects, when it comes to companies choosing the right partners to work with. Especially in Asia, where a lot of companies have their manufacturers and suppliers located, it is very important that you take time to evaluate how your partners handle environmental management in their companies and facilities.
Here are some key points that you might want to check, that you make sure your manufacturers are doing the right measures in environmental management.
First there needs to be a clear understanding, that there is an up-to-date environmental system in place and that it is certified. Usually to ISO14001 or EMAS are being used and are proven systems, that have clear processes follow. Does the company have any identifications of environmental aspects at the moment? Meaning, do they know for example emissions to air, production waste recycling and lifecycle, energy consumption and the evaluation of their significance in day-to-day business? For these issues there should always be objectives and targets set by the company. Regular audits made and documentation about progress found. If there is nothing available, one should always think nothing is being done.
One easy example is waste management. What type of waste is generated on site? Does the supplier actively try to reduce the waste generation at source, and do they promote recycling? Usually there are legal requirements, both local and product markets. Are these being tracked and are they known by the supplier. One should always ask for evidence that waste is treated according to requirements. All these things should be documented by the company and stored, so that clients can have access to them if asked.
Quick audits by professionals are useful, for companies to really make sure, that their manufacturers take environmental issues seriously. Sustainability is a key factor in today’s business, and no one should underestimate the value of it, when governments and companies choose the partners they want to do business with. Neither should you.