How does SHEQ Status Contribute to a Positive Public Image?
By Koos Gouws
This is a difficult question, because the mere fact that a company is being managed effectively and efficiently does not start with the desire for a positive public image. It is rather a desire to become an organization that is working towards business excellence.
Having said that, there is definitely a contribution to the public image of the organization. In Europe, the effect is not as big anymore, simply because more companies comply with the requirements for SHEQ Management Systems than those that do not. The image factor thus becomes less important, and efficiency and effectiveness, coupled to a real desire to care for the environment and the workers is more prominent.
Let us look at the other side of the coin. If a prospective customer is looking at a potential supplier, it stands to reason that the one with a certified quality management system looks more promising than the one without such a system. There still are no guarantees, but it is a good starting point when sourcing suppliers.
If the customer is also concerned with the environment and the safety and treatment of workers, it stands to reason that the company with an integrated SHEQ Management System will be regarded more favourably that those without.
It is also very important that companies consider the sentiments of the public at large. With all the talk about global warming, rhino poaching, pollution problems, etc, the public sentiment is all for companies with Environmental Management Systems. It was even found that government tenders are not awarded to companies unless they had such a system in place.
Some time ago there was also a spate of accidents in the construction industry (not o say it did not happen in other industries, but these incidents were widely reported on. The result was that government started policing compliance with the legal requirements. An Occupational Health and Safety Management System made this a lot easier.
The same is starting to happen on the environmental side. The difficulty is that our legal requirements for environmental responsibility are spread over many different government departments, making policing more difficult.
I think, considering all we said so far, at least if something should go wrong, the public image of a company might be less harmed than one who does not have such systems in place. The public reaction would most probably be that such a company does not care, hence the incident.
The benefits of have an integrated SHEQ Management System from a public image point of view may thus not be so clear if everything goes well, but could be vital if anything goes wrong. It is, however, obvious when customers are sourcing suppliers.
For further information and to find out how SHEQ Management Systems can assist you in this regard, please contact us
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