“ It has become apparent that businesses need to hold themselves accountable for sustainable practices to ensure a high-quality result.”
Warringtonfire on Sustainable Practices
Quality and Sustainability – how does this impact your business?
With World Quality Week focussing on 'quality's role in sustainability and its environmental, social and governance (ESG) impact', Warringtonfire examines sustainability and its link to quality.
It has become apparent that businesses need to hold themselves accountable for sustainable practices to ensure a high-quality result, so how does product quality impact sustainability and what can you do to ensure your company is delivering high-quality, sustainable solutions every time?
What is sustainability?
It is easy to interpret sustainability in many different ways, particularly in a business setting. But it doesn't have to be complicated. Here at Warringtonfire, we believe sustainability in industry is best exhibited through action, by ensuring the products you make and install are right the first time.
The Brundtland Commission 1987defined sustainability as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." By providing high-quality solutions every time, you simultaneously meet today's and tomorrow's needs without each damaging the other, the very definition of sustainability.
In a business environment, sustainability is an approach that creates long-term value by considering the ecological, social, and economic repercussions on the living environment.
The benefits of a sustainable approach
The 2009 Harvard business review viewed sustainability as a heavy driver of change, especially in product development, with sustainable product development coming with a host of benefits, including higher return on investment (ROI).
"Our research shows that sustainability is a mother lode of organizational and technological innovations that yield both bottom-line and top-line returns. Becoming environment-friendly lowers costs because companies end up reducing the inputs they use. In addition, the process generates additional revenues from better products or enables companies to create new businesses. In fact, because those are the goals of corporate innovation, we find that smart companies now treat sustainability as innovation's new frontier."
How does product quality impact sustainability?
The Deepwater Horizon Spill of 2010 is a case study that demonstrates the impact of product quality on sustainable practices.
The Deepwater Horizon spill was one of the largest oil spills in recorded history to the date where approximately 4.9 million barrels of BP oil flooded the Gulf of Mexico over a three-month period.
This was not only a hugely detrimental environmental and sustainability issue but also a quality fault. Demonstrably so with a federal board investigation into the 2010 BP oil spill concluding that a last-ditch safety device on the underwater well had multiple failures, including faulty wiring in two places, a dead battery, and a bent pipe in the hulking device.
This is an extreme example of the environmental impacts a faulty product could have.
How is quality a motivator in sustainable practices?
Quality refinements within a business, particularly when urged by ISO standards (for example, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001), can help your business evaluate and improve its efficiency, reduce waste, and improve the management processes. As a result of these improvements, businesses gain a competitive advantage.
By integrating quality controls throughout all stages of development, from design to the manufacturing and testing process, you reduce the risk of a faulty product.
This acts as a motivator, driving a more sustainable manufacturing process, ensuring you 'get it right the first time.'
How can you ensure product quality every time?
Gaining and maintaining certification can be the first step for many companies, not only wanting to improve product quality and drive market uptake but also improving sustainability. By employing thorough certification practices, a business can support itself in achieving these goals.
Within product development it is also essential, for sustainability and quality purposes, to test offerings rigorously before allowing them to go to market. At Warringtonfire, we specialize in reaction to fire and fire resistance testing - areas where quality is a lifesaving factor. Tests should be held to a strict standard, ensuring consistency and high efficiency during use.
In conclusion, quality and sustainability are interconnected concepts, especially in a business setting. For a business to achieve a high-quality offering, ensure consumer satisfaction and drive sales, it must consider the sustainability of its practices. In order to reach those targets, businesses must go through valid channels to ensure correct certification and testing has been carried out before pushing a product to market. Once these have been achieved, a business can reap the benefits of a more sustainable process, reducing waste, and increasing ROI. These high-quality, sustainable designs ensure that you 'get it right the first time,' providing customers with high achieving, long-lasting products for life.