Aggregate - ISO 26000

Speaker key

IV Interviewer
MW Miles Watkins

IV If you can just introduce yourself and let us know what your role is?

MW My name is Miles Watkins, I work for Aggregate Industries where I am Director of Sustainable Construction.

IV Can you just tell us a little bit about the work you’ve done with Standards?

MW We’ve worked quite extensively with Standards in particular on sustainable development.  I think that’s a new and exciting area for BSI to get into, it’s really an emerging field pretty much across all industries.  I was personally involved in working on the BS 8,900, which I think is a very creative Standard relative to what one would imagine a Standard to be.  It introduces the idea of having a maturity matrix which means over time people can get better at what they do rather than simply having a level playing field which a great deal of Standards really take on board as their modus operandi.  That was quite exciting and within that I also worked as the liaison to ISO 26,000 as part of the BSI delegation and I think, clearly, British industry in my case, or Great Britain, was moving forward with great strides on a global basis to have great influence in that international Standards making process.  That’s a very exciting field.

IV Thank you.  How do you think your work with 26,000 especially, how do you think that’s going to benefit the industry when it comes out?

MW Standards like ISO 26,000 will provide great benefits to industry because it will provide a global level playing field, a common understanding, a common framework and also a common vocabulary for companies and people in the supply chain to exchange knowledge and ideas on, in this case, social responsibility, which is quite a difficult and developing field whereby there’s not necessarily a common understanding.  I think international Standards in that particular area are going to make a real step forward for organisations grappling with that agenda.

IV What do you think are the biggest challenges other than there’s no common understanding facing industry in terms of social responsibility?

MW Social responsibility, I suppose the Standard is almost the easy bit.  It’s the commitment to social responsibility that organisations need to undertake is the major stretch.  It’s clearly very helpful having the common ground and the common understanding and I think before we moved forward as a globe, that’s a necessary thing to do but clearly organisations in their own right really need to commit to that agenda and implement some fairly substantial change in their organisations to move forward.

IV What do you think the main benefits are going to be to the organisation if they do use that Standard?

MW Coming from an organisation that takes its social responsibility quite seriously, I think it’s inherent to the sustainability of the organisation to take on board your social responsibility be it towards the community and in particular towards the environment.  I think organisations that don’t embed that culture in their organisation are going to have a very difficult time moving forward particularly as society becomes more environmentally conscious and becomes more cognisant of the effects of things like climate change and resource depletion.  If you don’t understand that as a business I think your fit in the world and your fit amongst your customer base is going to be challenged and you’re going to have a very difficult time.

IV Any words of advice for the industry?

MW My advice to the industry, generally speaking, on sustainability and social responsibility issues is to engage - to engage with the Standards making process, to engage with the supply chain and customers to move products and service to a place that is more sustainable.

IV Thank you very much.


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