UL Standard for Safety Sustainability for Manufacturing Organizations
|Publication Date:||11 January 2011|
The most often cited definition of sustainability is human activity conducted in a way that meets "the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."1 In the marketplace, the term is used to address ideas and emerging systems of thought that include corporate social responsibility, corporate citizenship and environmental responsibility.
Sustainability has become an increasingly important business focus across all market sectors in both developed and developing economies due in part to growing recognition of, and sophistication in assessing, the real costs of externalities - that is, the negative environmental and social impacts by everyday business activities such as the manufacturing and selling of products, the delivery of services, and normal business operations. Moreover, the business world is changing to respond to emerging social and market forces that value companies that consider the effects of their operations, products and services on the environment and community. The ability to integrate environmental and social responsibility into business operations is fast becoming an indicator of good management, decreased risk, and the path to enhanced reputation. Achieving greater sustainability is becoming an important business driver that helps companies remain competitive and enhance their reputations among customers, shareholders, suppliers and employees.
However, while organizations have made progress over the last few decades in addressing their sustainability impacts, sustainability as both a process and objective remains ill-defined. Without a standardized process for assessing and rating organizations, those who seek to evaluate the sustainability of organizations are hampered by skepticism borne of real or perceived "greenwashing" and confusion about what it means to be a sustainable business.
ULE ISR 880, Interim Sustainability Requirements for
Manufacturing Organizations seeks to address this gap by
establishing a standardized assessment of organizations through an
1United Nations. 1987. Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, General Assembly Resolution 42/187, 11 December 1987.