BS 8900:2006 pdf download – Guidance for managing sustainable development
This British Standard provides guidance on managing sustainable development and a framework that assists organizations to enhance performance and effectiveness. It offers a coherent approach to managing economic, environmental and social aspects of an organization’s activities. This guidance is intended to be applied by organizations of any size, sector and type. In addition it is relevant to organizations’ stakeholders.
NOTE The application of this standard will vary with an organization’s progress along the sustainable development path (illustrated in Clause 5). The guidance does not specify performance criteria or explain the specific elements of economic, environmental and social impacts.
2 Terms and definitions
All terms are explained within the text or carry their normal dictionary meaning.
3 Principles of sustainable development
An organization’s management of sustainable development should be based on a set of principles and values (see 4.1) with which decision-making and behaviour need to be consistent. Principles should be informed by an organization’s values and should also relate to commonly held ethical norms that are increasingly reflected in UN and other international agreements covering topics such as human and labour rights, environment and governance. The principles that an organization identifies for itself would normally include inclusivity, integrity, stewardship and transparency. Table 1 contains some useful questions for establishing these principles.
4 Putting sustainable development into practice
4.1 The organization The primary purpose of the organization and the key factors that will significantly contribute to its long-term success should be described in a statement that can be used in any communications referring to sustainable development. Preparation and maintenance of the statement should be the sole responsibility of the organization, drawn up within the appropriate rules of governance and approved by the organization’s governing body. The statement forms the foundation for the organization’s sustainable development activities and helps align primary purpose with related sustainable development activities, thereby increasing transparency of governance.
Management’s commitment is integral to the success of any sustainable development programme. The leadership of the organization should define and communicate the strategic vision for sustainable development. In both these processes of definition and communication, the organization should engage with relevant internal and external stakeholders, understand their issues, identify the specific drivers and predicted benefits, and develop an appreciation of the dynamics of the various issues. The vision should express the organization’s desired position on sustainable development; it should be challenging yet achievable and reviewed on an appropriate basis as issues change.
The leadership of the organization should promote those values that express the types of behaviour an organization has or wants to become known for. Such values could derive from the organization’s policies on ethics, governance, workplace opportunities, conflicts of interest, safety, health and environment, political activities, etc. Commonly held and well-communicated values help to bring an organization together and align everyone in working towards a common aim. The purpose, vision and values of the organization with respect to sustainable development should be reflected in its operations at all levels. It is important to develop a culture in which sustainable development issues are fully incorporated in the organization’s activities. The organization should embed sustainable development into its existing planning and management processes (e.g. for risk assessment, planning, performance management, information systems, training and development and reporting), rather than establish separate processes.
4.2 Identification of issues
4.2.1 General The organization should identify and manage its sustainable development issues. The main mechanism should be through stakeholder engagement. A stakeholder is any individual or group which affects, or is affected by, the organization. All organizations undertake some form of stakeholder engagement, even if at a basic level, e.g. member, customer and employee dialogue, in order to improve effectiveness, manage risk, identify and realize new opportunities.