The creators of isology®

isology® is a world-leading proven step by step roadmap to achieve ISO certification.

Implemented for over 600 organisations with a 100% success rate, we take you from the planning and creation of your bespoke ISO System though to certification with our 7 step process.

There’s no escaping it, AI is here to stay. Over the course of 2023 we’ve seen more general and public use of popular AI tools such as ChatGPT and Gemini (previously Google Bard).

It’s now even being integrated into everyday applications such as Microsoft Word and Teams. There is no doubt that there are a lot of benefits to using AI, however, with new technology comes new risks.

So how do we address the growing concerns around AI development and use? That’s where the new Standard for AI Management Systems, ISO 42001 comes in!

Join Mel this week as she explains exactly what ISO 42001 is, who it’s applicable to, why it was created and how ISO 42001 can help businesses manage AI risks.

You’ll learn

  • What ISO 42001 AI Management Systems is
  • Who it’s applicable to
  • Why it was created
  • How ISO 42001 can help businesses manage AI risks


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:30] Join the isologyhub – To get access to a suite of ISO related tools, training and templates. Simply head on over to to either sign-up or book a demo.

[02:05] Episode summary: Today we’re touching on a very topical subject – AI, and more specifically the brand new AI Management System Standard – IS0 42001. We’ll also be exploring who it’s applicable to, why it was created and how it can help businesses manage AI risks.

[03:30] What is AI? – AI – otherwise known as Artificial intelligence, as it’s most simplest description is the science of making machines think like humans.

We’ve seen a lot of AI tools be released to the public over the last year or so, tools such as ChatGPT and Google Bard. It’s already being integrated with some of the most commonly used apps and programs like Microsoft word and Teams.

In short, AI integration is here to stay, so we may as well get to grips with it and make sure we’re using it responsibly.

[05:10] What is ISO 42001? – , ISO 42001 is the first International Standard for Artificial Intelligence Management Systems, designed to help organisations implement, maintain, and improve AI management practices.

It was jointly published in December 2023 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

The emphasis of ISO 42001 is on integrating an AI Management System with an organisations existing management system – i.e. ISO 9001 or ISO 27001 compliant management systems.

Interestingly, a lot of the specific mentions of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are within the Annexes rather than the body of the Standard. The Standard itself is very similar to ISO 27001 in that it’s mostly about what organisations should be doing to manage computer systems regardless of any AI components.

[08:00] The 4 Annexes of ISO 42001:

Annex A: This acts as a Management guide for AI system development, with a focus on trustworthiness.

Annex B: This provides implementation guidance for AI controls, with specific measures for Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning – if you’d like to learn more about the difference between the two, go back and listen to episode 135.

Annex C: Which addresses AI-related organisational objectives and risk sources.

Annex D: This one is about the domains and sectors in which an AI system may be used. It also addresses certification, and we’re pleased to see that it actively encourages the use of third-party conformity assessment. This just ensures that your AI claims have more validity.

[09:15] Who is ISO 42001 applicable to? – Those annex descriptions may have you assuming that this Standard is only applicable to organisations developing AI technology but in actuality it’s applicable to any organisation who is involved in developing, deploying OR Using AI systems.

So if you’re a company who is only utilising AI in your day to day activities, it’s still very much applicable to you!

[10:20] Join the isologyhub and get access to limitless ISO resources  – From as little as £99 a month, you can have unlimited access to hundreds of online training courses and achieve certification for completion of courses along the way, which will take you from learner to practitioner to leader in no time. Simply head on over to the isologyhub to sign-up or book a demo.

[12:25] Why was ISO 42001 created?:

  • To address the unprecedented rapid growth of AI and all the risks that come with this new technology.
  • To ensure that AI development and use are trustworthy and above all, ethical.
  • The public are also reasonably wary of this new technology, so ISO 42001 aims to help build more public trust and confidence in the future use of AI .
  • ISO 42001 acts as guidance for organisations on exactly how to integrate AI Management controls with their existing systems.

[14:05] AI risks you should be aware of – This isn’t an exhaustive list, as the technology develops, more risks will become known. However, as of the start of 2024, you should be aware of:

Inaccurate information – Many of the chat bots and public AI tools are trained on publicly available information, and as we all know, not everything on the internet is true. So the output from these chat bots will need to be checked and verified by a person before being used or published.

AI bias – Studies have proven that AI results can still be bias. As all the data fed into it is all based on existing information, it still presents the issue of a lack of information from underrepresented groups, or existing bias based on existing data.

Time sensitivity – Not all AI use live data sets. Google Bard does, however Chat GPT is only accurate up until 2021. So double check whichever tool you’re using to make sure the information it produces is up-to-date.

Plagiarism – Data gathered using AI came from somewhere! If you simply copy and paste information provided by AI platforms, there’s a chance you may be plagiarising existing content. Be sure to just use AI as a starting point!

Security risks – Use of AI can expose you to additional security risks, For example, malicious actors could send someone an email with a hidden prompt injection in it. If the receiver happened to use an AI virtual assistant, the attacker might be able to manipulate it into sending the attacker personal information from the victim’s emails.

Data Poisoning – AI uses large data sets to train its models, and we currently rely on these data sets being relatively accurate. However, researchers have found that it’s possible to poison data sets – so in future, AI may not be very reliable if preventative measures aren’t put in place by AI developers.

[17:45] How can ISO 42001 help business manage these risks? – Above all, it provides a structured approach to identify, assess, and mitigate AI risks. ISO 42001 includes the guidance needed to put this in place from the start to ensure you don’t fall prey to the risks mentioned, with a view to monitor and update to address new risks in future.

It promotes transparency and accountability throughout the AI life cycle.

It helps ensure fairness, non-discrimination, and respect for human rights in AI development and deployment.

It will help minimise potential legal and ethical liabilities associated with AI. The UK’s current GDPR and Data Protection Act can loosely cover aspects of AI, depending on how the terminology is applied, but there are already dedicated AI based regulations being developed within the EU which will likely be adopted by the UK. 

It can foster innovation and accelerate adoption of responsible AI practices.

And lastly, it provides a common language and framework for collaboration on AI projects.

[21:35] Don’t miss out on our ISO 42001 webinar – We’re partnering with PJR to bring you a 2-part webinar series on ISO 42001. Catch the first part on the 5th March 2024 at 3pm GMT, register your interest here.

If you’d like to book a demo for the isologyhub, simply contact us and we’d be happy to give you a tour.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

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We have over 18 years’ experience of implementing various ISO’s, covering a wide range of topics such as Quality, Sustainability, Information Security and Risk.

With a 100% success rate, we’re confident in our consistent approach to implementing ISO’s, so much so that we’ve coined our own unique methodology.  

Our regular listeners may be familiar with the term ‘isology’ from previous episodes referencing our online platform – the isologyhub. But what is isology exactly?

Put simply, isology is our 7-step method for implementing any ISO Standard. Join Mel this week as she breaks down each of the 7 steps, including the planning, creation and review of an ISO Management System.

You’ll learn

  • Our experience implementing ISO’s
  • The origin of isology
  • What is isology?
  • The seven steps of isology


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:25] Episode Summary – Mel Blackmore will be explaining our world leading methodology to implement any ISO Standard, which we’ve affectionately named ‘Isology’.

[00:45] The creation of isology: We’ve been implementing ISO Standards for 18 years, starting with ISO 9001 and have since expanded our repertoire to over 20 ISO Standards covering risk, sustainability, quality and Information Security.

The creation of the isology methodology has been a team effort from all of the consultants who have worked with Blackmores over the years, and is primarily built on best practice.

[01:35] Step 1: Plan – Get a copy of the Standard, determine your scope, timescales, leadership commitment, resources and selecting a Certification Body.

Timescales: This is typically around 6 months, but could be longer or shorter depending on your specific requirements.

Resources: As an example, if you were looking to obtain ISO 14001 certification, you may need to appoint a sustainability champion. For ISO 27001 you’ll need a representative from the IT department.

Selecting a Certification Body: Ensure whichever Certification Body you choose is UKAS accredited. You can check this on the UKAS website. International listeners will need to verify on your country’s national accreditation body website.  

[03:45] Step 2: Discover – Time to understand what you have in place already and what you’re missing – this is done through a Gap Analysis.

This will often involve an initial meeting with the leadership team to establish what you already have in place, i.e. relevant policies and procedures or any relevant objectives.

We break this down step-by-step and document it all in a Gap Analysis, which will deduce your current level of compliance. From this an action plan can be created to indicate what needs to be done to become fully compliant, including assigning roles to assist with the Implementation.

[05:30] Step 3: Expose – This is where we look at risks and opportunities related to your desired Standard (both internally and externally). This is typically done through a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and PESTLE (Policital, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Ethical).

In this stage you will also need to understand the key requirements of any relevant stakeholders, so this can include clients, subcontractors, regulatory bodies ect.

A Risk Register may be created to capture the findings to be addressed later. Some ISO’s require a Risk Register, others don’t, but in our experience it’s beneficial to have one regardless.

Companies are also encouraged to create a Legal Register to keep track of all their statutory, regulatory and contractual requirements.

[07:50] Step 4: Create – Time to review the requirements of the Standard in terms of documentation – and create what’s needed. This includes capturing your way of working with documented Procedures, so make sure you have the relevant staff involved in their creation.

Something to remember, you can have additional policy statements that aren’t required by the Standard. If they are important to you, add them in!

We’re in a modern age now, gone are the days of paper manuals gathering dust on an office shelf. Software and applications may be where the bulk of your Management System documentation lives. For example, at Blackmores we use a combination of and SharePoint to manage all of our day-to-day activities, including our own ISO 9001 compliant Management System.

The key here is to make your Management System accessible for everyone.

[10:20] Step 5: Launch  – Once the Management System has found its home, you need to communicate it. Consider the type of launch you want and who will be involved. Make sure you encourage engagement with the Management System.

Why should you Launch your Management System? Quite simply, there isn’t much point in having controls in your business if no one knows about them!

We have 2 key ways of supporting you with the launch of your Management system:

  1. We can run an awareness session on your Management System either in person or via Teams. It can then be recorded and used as refresher / induction training.
  2. Get access to the isologyhub – out online platform with a suite of over 200 ISO courses, training, tools and templates.

[12:15] Step 6: Engage – After the launch you want to ensure that employees are fully engaged and they actually not only are aware of the policies and procedures that you’ve got in place, but they’re actively using them.

The only way to verify this is through Internal Audits – that’s not just our opinion, that’s a mandatory requirement of any ISO Standard.

We can assist with conducting these Internal Audits, which double up as a dummy run ahead of your assessment visits. These audits are essentially a show and tell exercise to gather evidence that you’re doing what you say your doing.

[13:55] Step 7: Review – Time to take a step back and look at what’s been achieved and what’s been highlighted as areas for improvement through your Internal Audits. This is done at what we call a Management Review.

These are typically conducted as meetings, but they don’t have to be a meeting specifically. We’ve done a podcast covering other ways to conduct this review.

At this Management Review you will collate data on the performance of your business in relation to the ISO Standard. The minutes must be recorded, as your Assessor will expect to see these as it’s a mandatory requirement of any ISO Standard.

If you’d like to learn more about what’s involved with a Stage 1 and 2 Assessment, go back and listen to a previous episode.

If you’d like to book a demo for the isologyhub, simply contact us and we’d be happy to give you a tour.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

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The deadline is looming over the horizon as October 2025 marks end of the validity of ISO 27001:2013 certificates.

Have you made a start on your transition journey? If not, you really should make a start in 2024 to ensure you’re all set well before that final deadline. The first step is to decide if you want to do it yourself or enlist the help of a professional consultant.

For those that want to tackle it yourselves, you’re in luck! As we have just the tool to help: The ISO 27001:2022 Transition Gameplan.

In this weeks’ episode, Steph Churchman, Communications Manager at Blackmores, explains why you need to transition to the 2022 version of the Standard and outlines the 7-step ISO 27001:2022 Transition Gameplan available on the isologyhub.

You’ll learn

  • Why do you need to transition to ISO 27001:2022?
  • What happens if you don’t transition?
  • What is the ISO 27001:2022 Transition Gameplan?
  • An overview of the 7-step Gameplan


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:25] A different host – Steph Churchman, Communications Manager at Blackmores, steps in to cover today’s episode. She’s heavily involved with the development and updating of the isologyhub, and will be explaining one of the latest Gameplan’s: The ISO 27001:2022 Transition Gameplan

[01:15] Why do you need to transition to ISO 27001:2022? The October 2025 deadline is fast approaching, so you really should be making a start in 2024 if you’ve not already.

[01:45] Who needs to transition to ISO 27001:2022? – Basically, anyone who is currently certified under ISO 27001:2013 will have to transition to the updated Standard.

One of the main reasons why we recommend getting a head start on this is , Certification Bodies will undoubtedly have a large demand for transition audits in 2025, when everyone’s rushing to get it done last minute. This results in a shortage of resources from the CB’s,  and you may end up struggling to get booked in time.

[02:35] What happens if you don’t transition in time? – The harsh truth is you will lose your ISO 27001 certification.

This then means you’ll be required to go through another Stage 1 and 2 Assessment against the latest version of ISO 27001, which can be costly.

Another key reason is the latest version of ISO 27001 also considers a lot of new technologies that weren’t around back when the last version was published. You can imagine now that there are a lot more cybersecurity risks to consider with all the latest technology that has been released in that time. Put simply, it’s for the benefit of your Information Security to ensure you are adhering to the most recent best practice Standards.

[03:40] What is the ISO 27001:2022 Transition Gameplan? This Gameplan will walk you through the stages of transition, which align to our proven isology® approach. Isology being our methodology for implementing any ISO Standard, based on our 18+ years of experience.

In this Gameplan we provide training videos on the changes to ISO 27001, along with specific training videos covering each of the new Annex A controls that you will need to be familiar with, along with templates and workbooks to take you through the process from beginning to end. 

[04:20] Step 1: Plan – Before you begin on your journey, it’s advised to understand the main changes to the standard. We’ve summarised the high-level changes in a previous podcast, and included a quick summary in the first step of the Gameplan.

In this first step, you’ll also find guidance on how to prepare for your Certification Body visit. You really do need to do this early on to help establish a realistic timeline to complete your transition work.

[04:55] Step 2: Discover  – At this stage, you need to get to grips with the changes to the Standard. There have been a number of controls changed, and 11 completely new ones added. We did cover a select few of these new controls in a few previous podcasts: #111, #112, #113, #114

In this Discover step we provide a number of awareness videos to explore these new controls and changes in detail, including how they may apply to your business.

We’ve also included a downloadable PDF guide to these changes, in case you’d like to share this information internally.

[05:40] Step 3: Expose – In this step we’ve included an ISO 27001:2022 transition workbook, which will act as a guide for all your transition activities. The first being the conducting of a Gap Analysis against the latest version of the Standard.

After completing this, you will have a much better idea of where your main gaps and vulnerabilities are, so you can start putting the necessary controls in place to ensure compliance with ISO 27001:2022.

We’ve also included a summary of the main Management System documentation that will need to be updated ahead of your transition visit.

[06:20] Step 4: Create – This is the step where you will be implementing those changes as a result of your Gap Analysis. This will also be guided by that workbook, and we have provided some additional templates and resources to aid you.

These include:

  • A Statement of Applicability Template
  • Annex A Control Mapping
  • ISO 27001 Management Review Template

[07:15] Step 5: Launch – It’s not just about updating your documentation, you will obviously need to communicate these changes to the wider business.

In this step we go over a few options for your launch plan – including guidance for both a soft launch and an all-in launch.

To help you decide which one would be the best fit for you, we’ve included a full summary of each method in addition to a pro’s and con’s list for each.

[08:30] Step 6: Engage – The last stages are all about gathering evidence of compliance against new and updated clauses and controls.

In this step we provide some insight into what’s required from your Internal Audits and Management Review ahead of your transition visit.

If you wanted to get some more tips on carrying out internal Audits within your business – we also offer a full Internal Auditor course on the hub that covers the core skills needed to complete those. If you become a member of the hub, you’ll get access to our whole library of resources – which includes a wealth of ISO related tools, templates and training videos.

[09:20] Step 7: Review – This last step will help you prepare for the transition visit with your certification body.

We touch on what you should expect from your Certification Body ahead of the transition visit, and include guidance on carrying out a final Document and evidence check to make sure you’re all good to go.

If you’d like to book a demo for the isologyhub, simply contact us and we’d be happy to give you a tour.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episode’s:

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Did you know that in the UK alone, 22 million pieces of furniture are discarded each year, the majority of which goes directly to landfill. That amounts to an estimated 670,000 tonnes of furniture wasted, where a significant portion could be recycled and reused. (Source)

It’s clear to see the need for a more sustainable approach to furniture design, manufacture and lifecycle, which is where today’s guest, Design Conformity, come in.

Design Conformity live and breathe circular design, the process for creating products sustainably from the beginning, and offer a Life Cycle Assessment Certification Process which has already led to significant carbon reductions.

Mel is joined by Adam Hamilton-Fletcher, Founder and Director at Design Conformity, to discuss the application of circular design within the furniture manufacture industry and explain how their Life Cycle Assessment Certification process can help businesses reduce their carbon footprint.

You’ll learn

  • Who are Design Conformity?
  • What is circular design and how does it help companies reduce their carbon footprint?
  • What are the benefits of Design Conformity’s certification?
  • Can sustainability be of financial and environmental benefit to business?
  • Examples of circular design in practice


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:25] Introducing today’s guest – We welcome Adam Hamilton-Fletcher, Founder and Director at Design Conformity, onto the show. Design Conformity are currently setting the standard in retail sustainability, particularly in relation to the furniture industry.

[01:30] Who are Design Conformity? Adam worked in the manufacturing industry for about 15 years, designing lighting systems for major retailers like Boots, Next, Marks & Spencers and Morrisons. He worked primarily with the lighting used in displays, and had been tasked with selling lighting products. In order to do so, he needed to develop a specification to help understand customer requirements, which would then be used to develop their ideal solution.

The problem: There were little to no Standards in UK and Europe for the retail display industry.

Which directly led to the creation of Design Conformity – who started out as an electrical and lighting Standard certification company, that developed into a full carbon certification company.

They aim to become the gold Standard for sustainable furniture design.

[03:10] What is Circular Design? – Circular design is born out of this principle of a circular economy. To compare, a linear economy is when we take a raw material, use it, process it, and then it’s just disposed of, usually straight to landfill.

Whereas, circular economy is where we take that waste product and we design it so that it can be repurposed and refreshed and reused. Those materials can then eventually be recycled – so the goal is to not use any raw materials at any point.

Circular design is the intent to minimise environmental impact, to design equipment that could be reused and repurposed, and then at the end of its life be recycled.

[04:05] How do Design Conformity operate? – Design Conformity look at the way that companies design their furniture and then take them through a learning process (online course).

They help businesses to understand how to design a product in such a way where it can be repurposed or reused, where raw material usage can be reduced and where the shipping requirements can be reduced.

They provide guidance and advice on recommended materials, including the provision on an online carbon calculator.

They also provide reporting in alignment with existing carbon standards, such as ISO 14064, for product evaluation.

[06:55] How can the Carbon Calculator help? By selecting a product of a particular type, you can use the estimator by entering the details of where and what you’re manufacturing, and then it will give you a carbon footprint for that, which you can use to compare that against other industry designers.

It displays these other designers anonymously, but you can get a feel for if your product is above or below the average for carbon emissions. 

[08:55] An example of the Carbon Calculator in practice –  Design Conformity recently worked with Costa Coffee, who were looking to reduce the environmental impact of their of their shops and coffee lounges. The beginning of that process is to work with their manufacturers, to identify the environmental impact of the furniture that they’ve got.

They used the Carbon Calculator to help create an initial benchmark, which highlighted key indicators that can lead to carbon reductions.

[09:35] Design Conformity’s Certification – They’ve borrowed the concept used by existing Energy Performance Certificates, by having a carbon efficiency index, ranging from C1 – C7.

Their score is a bit more unique however as it incorporates elements of circular design. Their score is based on a products total carbon emissions, divided by it’s size and total lifespan. An Ecolabel is then awarded based on the final score.

[11:45] What are the benefits of Design Conformity’s certification?:-

  • It’s a mix between carbon reporting and a carbon rating.
  • It’s easier for consumers to understand the benefits in comparison to companies that advertise compliance with ISO 14064 and PAS 2060.
  • Not just a green label, as reporting is a key component of gaining certification.
  • It provides a cradle to cradle analysis on a products carbon footprint and translates that into something that is recognisable.

[14:15] Are businesses right to be skeptical about the value of the cost versus the value of environmental certification?– 100%! It’s not uncommon for eco labels to be more of a marketing tool rather than a tool for tangible carbon reduction. A lot of them out there are unregulated and are contributing to green washing.

That’s where Design Conformity’s differs, as they actually collate and process real data to provide tangible value and add credibility to their claims. 

[16:10] Will there be a time where sustainability can be of financial and environmental benefit to businesses? – Yes, absolutely!  And if there is a way to do that, it’s through Circular Design.

As an example, if you’re a manufacturing company that’s producing shelving, you need to buy in steel, which can fluctuate a lot in price at any given time. But you don’t need to buy more steel every time, where instead you could get your original product back, reprocess and redistribute.

Adam has experience of suppliers who are practicing this, they purchase their products back at 40%-50% of the price, saving a lot of money in raw material!

[19:00] Examples of companies who have embraced circular design –

Tesco: They’ve introduced a policy whereby they purchase metal shelving, use it for 5 years, then take it back out of the store to get powder coated, cleaned and reintroduced to the store. That reduces the carbon footprint by 70% in comparison to buying a new shelving set!

Boots: Their beauty halls wanted to introduce a lot of new brands, which meant a lot more displays were needed. Boots started working with Design Conformity towards earning their certification, specifically in relation to the lighting they used in stores. With Design Confomity’s help, they managed to reduce the carbon footprint at selected stores by 39%!

[21:20] Circular Design Guide – 14 people were involved in creating this guide, which is designed to give you an introduction to and overview of circular design. Access it over on their website.

If you’d like assistance with any ISO Standards, get in contact with Blackmores and we’ll be happy to help 😊

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

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For those in the ISO Space, you may be very familiar with the term ‘Certification’ in relation to ISO Standards. However, for certain ISO Standards there is a different type of terminology you need to be aware of.

The demand for a more unified and structured approach to reduce carbon emissions has resulted in a few carbon related ISO Standards to be published over the last few years. Standards such as ISO 14064 (Carbon Verification) and ISO 14068 (Climate Change Management) use the term ‘Verification’ rather than ‘Certification’.

So, what’s the difference between the two?

Join Mel in this weeks’ episode as she explains the key differences between the terms ‘Certification’ and ‘Verification’ in relation to ISO Standards.

You’ll learn

  • What is Certification?
  • What is Verification?
  • What is the difference between certification and verification?
  • What’s involved with Verification?
  • Is there a demand for Verification in the UK and overseas?


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:25] Episode summary – Listeners familiar with the world of ISO will know of the term ‘Certification’, however the release of new Carbon related Standards such as ISO 14064 and ISO 14068 has brought in a new term: ‘Verification’

This episode, we’ll explain the difference between the two. If you’d like to learn more about ISO 14064 and ISO 14068, check out episode 72 and episode 158.

[02:00] What is Certification? – Quiet simply, Certification is for businesses who wish to certify an ISO Management system – so a company wishing to implement a Quality Management system to ISO 9001, would get the ISO System certified by an accredited Certification Body.

[02:25] What is Verification? – Verification is the confirmation of a claim, through the provision of objective evidence, that specified requirements have been fulfilled.  Therefore ISO 14064 the carbon footprint verification standard is a standard that is verified not certified.

The ‘claim’ or ‘statement’ is typically the QES ‘Qualifying Explanatory Statement’.  If you’d like to find out more about this, then checkout Episodes 91 to 97, where David Algar, Principal Carbonologist at Carbonology explains in more detail.

[03:35] Setting the record straight – Some organisations (and even Certification Bodies!) have been stating they have been certified to PAS 2060 or ISO 14064 – which is technically incorrect.

 As a certificate is not issued and they’re not certified.

[04:30] Think of Verification as an MOT: A simple analogy for Verification is a car MOT. This is an annual check to verify that a claim is correct, much like an MOT, someone must inspect evidence and check that everything is as claimed – not unlike checking under a car bonnet and checking tires to see if everything is in working order.

[05:20] What is the difference between accreditation for certification and verification bodies? –  For ISO Certification, certification bodies must adhere to ISO 17021:2015. This standard basically provides a requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems, and applies to CB’s like BSI or NQA.

There are many others here in the UK, simply visit the UKAS website to find a list of accredited CB’s. In other countries, simply go to your national accreditation body website to find a full list.

[06:40] Accreditation for Verification Bodies – Verification Bodies need to adhere to ISO 17029, which was a Standard first published in 2019. That standards title is: Conformity assessment, general principles and requirements for validation and verification bodies.

Both Standards provide structure and governance to basically ensure that standards are either certified or verified to a level playing field.

[07:20] Watch out for the cowboys – Unfortunately, there are some fake third party so-called certification and verification bodies that offer certification and verification.

They do not adhere to either ISO 17025 or ISO 17029, and instead play by their own rules. Which results in utterly worthless (and very expensive) ‘certificates’ that won’t hold up under scrutiny in tendering applications. So please ensure you use an Accredited Certification or Verification Body!

[07:48] What are the differences between Certification and Verification? Certification in more detail – Certification of an ISO Management System means of providing assurance that the organisation has implemented a system, so they’ve got the policies, procedures and controls in place against the relevant activities for their products and services to be delivered.

Certification for management system provides that independence, that impartiality that the company is actually doing what they say that they’re doing, and that it’s effectively implemented.

If you want to get certified, you need to undertake an Assessment. Typically this is done in two parts – A Stage 1 Assessment is a document review and Stage 2 Assessment is the evidence to prove that the companies following its policies and procedures.

[09:35] What are the differences between Certification and Verification? Verification in more detail – There are actually 2 definitions for Verification:

1: The process for evaluating a statement of historical data and information to determine the statement is materially correct and conforms to criteria in 3.6.10.

2: It’s a confirmation of a claim through a provision of objective evidence that specified requirements have been fulfilled. There are a couple of notes with this one, including:

  • Verification is considered to be a process for evaluating a claim based on historical data and information to determine whether the claim is materially correct and conforms with specified requirements.
  • Verification is applied to claims regarding events that have already occurred are results that have already been obtained, confirmation of truthfulness.

[11:30] Avoiding Greenwashing – Now more than ever is the time to actually have systems in place to be able to verify that claims are factually correct.

A key thing to note with both Verification definitions is that they state you can only make a claim for a certain period – again, much like an MOT.

[12:55] What’s involved with Verification? – There are a few ways to gather the historical data needed for verifiers, here’s a few:

  • Observation;
  • Inquiry;
  • Analytical testing;
  • Confirmation;
  • Recalculation;
  • Examination;
  • Retracing;
  • Control testing;
  • Estimate testing;
  • Cross-checking;
  • Reconciliation

From those terms alone, you can tell that this is a much more analytical approach than compared with Certification.

[14:30] What’s the current status of Verification in the UK and overseas (as of 2024) – In addition to being the Managing Director of Blackmores, Mel is also CEO of Carbonology – a sister company dedicated to Carbon Standards.

Across both companies, we’re seeing a lot of interest in Sustainability Standards such as ISO 14001 and ISO 50001.

At this current time, there is not so much of a demand for Verification and as such, there’s not a demand for third-party verification at this stage. There is however, a demand for an impartial second-party Verification to back up an organisations’ claims.

[16:15] Need any help with ISO 14064 or ISO 14068? – Get in contact with Carbonology and speak to our expert Carbonologists.  

If you’d like assistance with other ISO Standards, get in contact with Blackmores and we’ll be happy to help 😊

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

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ISO Standards are internationally recognised as the gold standard for best practice within a variety of subjects and sectors.

But what ISO Standards are the most popular across the whole globe? And are there any trends that can be gleaned?

Thankfully, the International Standards Organization runs a yearly survey to find out!

Join Mel in this weeks’ episode as she breaks down the top 10 ISO Standards Implemented globally, where they are most popular and identifies key trends.

You’ll learn

  • What are the top 10 Implemented ISO Standards?
  • What Standards are gaining traction?
  • Where are the top 10 Standards most popular?
  • Are there any trends within the top 10 Implemented ISO Standards?


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:25] Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review – We love sharing top tips and dispelling myths about ISO Standards. Help us reach a wider audience by subscribing on your preferred media player, and leaving us a review 😊  

[01:10] Episode summary – We’ll be taking a look at the top 10 most popular ISO Standards based on the ISO Survey, run annually by The survey results break down the number of ISO Certificates issued, and highlights which countries and sectors these Standards are most popular in.

We’re basing this episode on the 2022 results, as the 2023 results won’t be out until later this year. We’ll do another episode on the 2023 results to see what’s changed – so keep an eye out for that!

[02:14] #1: ISO 9001 – No surprises here! The Quality Management Standard is still top of the pops. It’s holding strong with a 12% increase based on the previous year.

It’s most popular within the Construction, wholesale & retail, electrical, machinery & equipment sectors.

China is in the lead with number of certificates issues (by a very large margin!), followed by Italy, India, Germany and the UK.

[03:30] #2: ISO 14001 – We’re happy to see the Environmental Management Standard so popular! In fact, it’s had a 21% increase over the previous year!

It’s most popular in China, Japan, Italy, UK and Spain.

Construction is the leading sector, but we’ve also seen an increase in the number of professional services choosing to adopt this Standard.

[04:15] #3: ISO 45001: Coming in at #3 we have the Occupational Health & Safety Management Standard. This has seen an even bigger increase in demand, 29% more than the previous year.

China still leads the way with number of certificates issued, but the UK and Australia are not far behind.

Interestingly, there is little uptake within the Agriculture sector, which is concerning considering they consistently have the highest injury and death statistics year on year (in the UK according to the annual HSE reports).

[05:25] #4: ISO 27001 –  The Information Security Management Standard comes in at #4, with a 21% increase in demand over the previous year.

Unsurprisingly, it’s increased primarily in the IT sector, but that’s followed by transport, storage and communications, along with financial services and real estate / renting.

[06:00] #5: ISO 22000 – The Standard for Food Safety Management makes it into the top 10, with it being more popular in Taiwan and Greece.

The sector specific information for this particular Standard is slim, but it’s applicable to any organisation involved in the making, packing and distribution of food, as well as organisations in the hospitality sector.

[06:30] #6: ISO 13485 – This is the Standard for Medical Devices. The USA are leading the way with certificates issued, followed by France, Germany and Italy.

We’re pleased to see that none of these ISO Standards are in any decline, and only seem to be increasing in popularity as the years go by.

[07:20] #7: ISO 50001 – This is the Standard for Energy Management, if you’d like to learn more about this Standard, check out a few of our previous episodes.

ISO 50001 has seen a 33% increase in demand, which is amazing to see! We hope this is a sign of more organisations taking climate change seriously, and taking the appropriate steps to start reducing their impact.

China is still in the lead where number of certificates issued is concerned, followed by Germany, Spain, Italy and France.  

[08:25] #8: ISO 20000 – The Service Management Standard is still very popular within countries where we see a lot of call center activity.

This used to be known as the ‘IT Service Management Standard’, but it has since evolved and encompasses Service Management as a whole. We did a podcast episode covering this Standard in 2023, so go back and listen if you’d like to find out more.

No surprises to see China still in the lead with number of certificates issued, followed by USA, India, Italy and Spain.

[09:15] #9: ISO 37001 – This one was a surprise, ISO 37001 is the Anti-Bribery Standard.

Blackmores have implemented this Standard in the Construction and Facilities Management sectors, but it’s a shock to see it in the top 10 as it’s always been very niche here in the UK.

This particular Standard is most popular in Peru, followed by Italy, Indonesia, Korea and Brazil.

We were curious about why Peru were in the lead, and it seems that there may be a requirement for certain organisations to have this. Back in 2017, we knew there was a voluntary requirement, but perhaps this has changed in the last few years. If we have any listeners in Peru – we’d love to hear your feedback on this subject!

[10:35] #10: ISO 22301 – The Business Continuity Standard. This Standard is most popular in the UK, and based on our experience, it’s commonly adopted by those in the professional services and IT managed services sectors to help provide resilience and continuity for their Stakeholders.

Other countries where it’s popular include India, China, Greece and Korea.

[11:20] The runners up – These Standards didn’t make it to the top 10, but they were very close:

[12:10] Conclusions – It’s clear to see that sustainability based Standards are becoming very popular. We’re particularly pleased to see the 33% increase in demand for ISO 50001!

If you’d like to request a specific topic, or be a guest on a future episode, get in contact and let us know.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

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Before we dive into the new year, we’d like to take a step back and reflect on 2023.

Last year was filled with a lot of topics and challenges, from tackling the transition to ISO 27001:2022, to finding credible ways to offset your carbon emissions within the UK.

With a total of 33 episodes published last year, Mel looks back on the 5 most popular episodes of 2023, including some highlights from each episode.

You’ll learn

  • What were the top 5 most popular podcast episodes of 2023?
  • A highlight from each of the top 5 episodes


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:45] Editor shoutout – A special shout out to the Blackmores Communication Manager, Steph Churchman, who helps organise, produce and publish the ISO Show podcast!  

[01:20] Information Security was a favorite topic for 2023 – ISO 27001:2022 was definitely a hot topic in 2023, which is not a surprise seeing as anyone currently certified to ISO 27001:2013 will need to transition to the latest standard by October 2025. Many were making a start on this in 2023, or looking to plan it in for 2024.

[02:10] #1: Episode 128 What’s new with ISO 27001:2022?Orginially published as part of a series of podcasts explaining the new Standard. This episode focuses on a high-level overview of the major changes.

Here are a few highlights from the snippet:

  • Steve Gives an overview of what’s new in ISO 27001:2022 – The updated version of ISO 27001 was released on the 26th Oct 2022. The new version included 24 changes and clarifications within the main clauses.
  • The controls for the new standard are now categorised into 4 groups: Organisation, People, Physical and Technology 
  • We covered some of the new controls in more detail in previous episodes: #109#110#111#112#113 and #114
  • The 24 changes and clarifications to Clauses include older existing clauses which have been tidied up to be more transparent. We recommend reviewing to ensure that you are complying in a way that aligns with the Standard.
  • There are 11 new Controls. 56 controls from the 2013 version have been reduced to 24 with 58 remaining unchanged. So, in short, Annex A has been simplified with less duplication of controls.

[09:15] #2: Episode 130 What are the 11 new controls in ISO 27001:2022? In this episode we brought Steve Mason back to discuss the 11 new controls in ISO 27001:2022, and delve into the context of why these were added. We also highlight some of the resources we’ve made available in the isologuhub, including mention of our ISO 27001 Transition Gameplan.

Here are a few highlights from the snippet:

  • These new controls are nothing to worry about – they are simply aligning the Standard with more modern security considerations. You may already be complying with them!
  • Control A.5.7 Threat intelligence – ‘To provide awareness of the organization’s threat environment so that the appropriate mitigation actions can be taken.’ – This can come from many different sources, such as the NCSC or local police websites. There are also additional tools you can add to detect possible phishing attacks. This also includes consideration to external threats – Information Security is about much more than just protecting data! It also includes physical security.
  • Control A.5.23 Information security for use of cloud services – “To specify and manage information security for the use of cloud services.” – More and more businesses reply on cloud-based computing. It’s important to verify the security of your service provider to ensure it’s adequate. You can check to see if they have any valid Information Security related credentials such as CSA Star, Cyber Essentials, SOC. You could also adopt principles of ISO 27017 (certification for cloud security), ISO 27018 (Protection of PII in the public cloud) and ISO 27701 (PII security Standard).
  • Control A.5.30 ICT readiness for business continuity –‘ To ensure the availability of the organization’s information and other associated assets during disruption’ – There a few standards that could assist with this, including ISO 27031 (ICT readiness for Business Continuity). Those that have ISO 22301 may want to look at how ISO 27001 elements can be integrated and improved in any disaster recovery plans. ISO 27001 needs to be an integral part of any business continuity plans – not just a bolt on. Small business may not want to conduct a full business impact analysis, but should carry out a risk assessment around business continuity at the very least.

[21:20] #3: Episode 134 Credible Carbon offsetting with Treeconomy: We had some fantastic guests on the show last year, such as Harry Grocott – CEO of Treeconomy. We invited him on to talk about how we can demonstrate credible carbon offsetting through schemes here in the UK, and how you can avoid falling prey to greenwashing.

Here are a few highlights from the snippet:

  • Can we quantify the value of nature? Short answer right now is no, but there is a lot of nuance. Nature offers ecosystem services i.e. farms offer a calorific benefit, we can put a price on the value that offers. The same principle applies to resources such as wood or oil. Now we are gaining the ability to quantify CO2 removal, which is undeniably valuable to humanity.
  • Other more recent services such as biodiversity projects are a bit harder to quantify – as they vary so much depending on the country. However, we are starting to assign value to these.
  • How can people be sure that they don’t fall prey to Greenwashing? There are 2 main issues to consider: 1) Are your carbon credits credible? 2) what claims are top management making?
  • Tackling claims made by leadership: ISO standards are starting to solve this issue. There are clear requirements and certifications that need to be in place to back those claims. 
  • Tackling carbon credits: The carbon offsetting market is heavily unregulated currently. Essentially it’s a lot of people trading in invisible gas. There are a number of carbon standards (Not quite at the same level as ISO Standards), such as the Woodland Carbon Code and the Peatland Code, and Internationally there are standards such as Verra VSC – unfortunately, a lot of these standards aren’t very robust and aren’t enforced.
  • Many companies will often look to buy the cheapest offsets available, which are likely to be non-credible and will provide no evidence of actual offsetting occurring. But, there are a lot of new companies emerging that provide tangible evidence of offsetting (such as Treeconomy  )

[33:50] #4: Episode 136 dotdigital’s sustainable transformation with ISO 14001 –  We’re always delighted to share stories about our clients’ ISO journeys. In this case we got the chance to talk to Steve Shaw, the Chief Product and Technology Officer at dotdigital, about their journey to achieve ISO 14001.

Dotdigital have a habit of going above and beyond when it comes to implementing ISO Standards, and this time is no different as Steve explains some of the fantastic sustainability initiatives introduced as a result of gaining certification.

Here are a few highlights from the snippet:

  • dotdigital was the worlds first carbon neutral marketing automation platform that was ISO 14001 certified. They also aim to be net zero by 2030!
  • They have a relatively small footprint as a primarily digital based company, only really having to consider the running of computers, air conditioning and standard office facilities. So it can be a challenge to reduce!
  • What led to the success of dotgreen? – dotdigital launched a group called dotgreen, which has since thrived into a community of likeminded individuals all working together to improve and reduce dotdigital’s impact. They were fortunate to have an Executive group sponsor who can take ideas and suggestions to other leadership for consideration. This grassroots group encourages suggestions from everyone – no idea is a bad idea. Over time, the group evolved and helped to develop a sustainability programme for the business. 
  • What was one of the initiatives implemented from dotgreen? – They identified that existing data centers used by the business weren’t always utilising renewable energy. So, over the course of 2 years, they worked with Microsoft to build on their Azure platform to enable dotdigital to make the switch. Azure runs on renewable energy sources, and any remaining emissions can be offset through carbon credits.
  • A green option for their customers – As a result of their cloud platform now being run through green partners, they can extend the environmental benefit to their customers. 

[42:25] #5: Episode 135 Emerging SaaS Trends in Health and SafetyHealth and Safety can be quite the task to keep on top of, a well known fact for anyone certified to ISO 45001. Thankfully, there are a number of Software as a Service options out there to make the lives of Health and Safety professionals much easier. New and emerging technologies are only going to develop more rapidly with the integration of AI and machine learning.

We invited James Sharp, Chief Technical Officer at Riskex, onto the show to discuss the top 10 emerging SaaS trends, including how each can help streamline processes and gather and analyse large amounts of data.

Here are a few highlights from the snippet:

  • Riskex have been certified to a number of ISO Standards, including ISO 18001 (Prior Health and Safety Standard, now certifying to the latest version, ISO 45001), ISO 27001 (Information Security) and ISO 9001 (Quality Management)
  • Software as a Service became very popular during Covid, as business became very fragmented and were looking for solutions that could be rolled out across multiple sites. Riskex also created their own track and trace system based on established software they were already offering – helping businesses manage Covid safely.
  • Trend #1 – Artificial Intelligence – Artificial learning is all around us and with vast volumes of data being collected by safety management platforms.   AI allows decision engines to predict and provide guidance based on key trends or established KPI’s. For example, if accident rates were to increase but at the same time risk levels have been reducing, it could soon highlight this trend and look at other surrounding data or previous trends to establish a pattern.  This will lead to a more pro-active approach to reporting and subsequent decision-making.
  • Trend #2 – API Connectivity – Providing an open API platform will allow businesses to integrate internal systems and external services to digest data. As more organisations adopt Cloud solutions, connectivity between platforms has become increasingly important. With a robust API offering, multiple business services can interact with ease and become part of the safety management space, without incurring significant cost or time.
  • Trend #3 – Low-Code Optimisation – Developing generic components within software to allow for quicker builds, implementations and tailoring requests. As stand-alone and generic component development increases, solutions can offer more flexibility and self-serve options to the end user to assist them with aligning platforms with their specific processes.
  • Trend #4 – Mobile Optimisation – More and more end-users are accessing health and safety software via their mobiles but for various reasons, are not always able to use native apps (installed on the device). Therefore, health and safety software platforms need to adapt use on multiple devices, without the loss of features.

We can’t wait to dive into new topics this year! If you’d like to request a specific topic, or be a guest on a future episode, get in contact and let us know.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

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Trying to achieve Carbon Neutrality can feel like a monumental task, especially with so many separate elements that you have to complete. From quantifying your data, reducing where possible and offsetting the remainder, it can be hard to keep track of it all with taking a structured approach.

Which is where ISO 14068 comes in. This is the new Standard for Climate Change Management, and it’s specially designed to help businesses with the transition to Net Zero.

In this weeks’ episode Mel explains 10 reasons why you should use ISO 14068 – the new Standard for Carbon Neutrality.   

You’ll learn

  • What is ISO 14068?
  • Why should you adopt ISO 14068?
  • How can Carbonology Support you with ISO 14068?


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:25] What is ISO 14068? – This is standard for Climate Change Management. If you’d like to find out more about the Standard, it’s purpose and how it can prevent green washing, go back and watch our previous episode.

[00:55] Where to find more information – This podcast is based off BSI’s most recent Publication on ISO 14068: ‘Climate Change Management – Transition to Net Zero – Part 1: Carbon Neutrality (A BSI Executive Briefing).

You can download this from a recent blog on BSI’s website.

[01:05] Reason 1: A structured approach – Mel found out firsthand from a recent EMEX event that people are looking for a structured approach to carbon neutrality.

ISO 14068 gives organisations a structured process for developing a detailed carbon neutrality management plan with short- and long-term targets.

[02:10] Reason 2: Quality – In contrast to unsubstantiated claims of neutrality, claims under ISO 14068 have to be based on all GHGs, take a lifecycle approach and can only be made after the development of long-term planning, with real GHG reductions in place, and offsetting restricted to residual emissions using high quality carbon credits.

[03:10] Reason 3: Credibility: Use of this internationally recognised standard can offer market benefits by increasing the credibility and verifiability of a product or organisational claim of carbon neutrality.

This Standard has been developed by international technical committees and subject matter experts across the globe, which gives it a lot more credibility in the eyes of Stakeholders. They will have confidence that claims are transparent and reliable from those who adopt ISO 14068.

[04:22] Reason 4: Global Recognition –  A quick reminder – Those who have been listening to the ISO Show for a while now may remember our previous podcasts on PAS 2060 – the previous Standard for Carbon Neutrality. Companies will now have 2 years to transition to ISO 14068. We’ll be doing a podcast on how to go about doing that in 2024!

Circling back to Global Recognition, ISO 14068 provides a common set of criteria for measuring and reporting carbon neutrality. This ensures consistency across different organizations and industries, underpins easer comparisons for carbon neutrality efforts between entities, allows stakeholders to assess and benchmark efforts, and supports global recognition for claims of carbon neutrality.

[05:30] Reason 5: Convenience – If you’ve already got other ISO’s in place, good news! ISO 14068 is designed to work with other quantification standards such as ISO 14064 or other equivalents.

[05:55] Reason 6: Flexibility – ISO 14068 can be used by any sized organisation, in any country or sector. It can also be applied to whole organisations or individual products.

[05:55] Reason 7: Responsibility – The standard encourages organisations to take responsibility for minimising their own carbon footprint before paying third parties to offset their emissions.

We’ve seen in the past where people think just paying for carbon credits will work in the long-term – which just isn’t sustainable. You should be looking to reduce as much as possible before moving onto the Offsetting stage.

[08:00] Reason 9: Risk Mitigation – Adopters of ISO 14068 will be in a strong position to manage current and emerging regulatory and market risks in relation to GHG emissions.

It’s a competitive market place out there, with ESG requirements appearing more on tenders year on year. Many will now require you to prove your commitment to carbon neutrality, and it’s become clear that we need Standards to be able to provide that evidence.

This is where ISO 14068 comes in, as you will have that proven methodology that you can then demonstrate to those stakeholders.

[09:30] Reason 10: Competitiveness –  ISO 14068 demonstrates a commitment to climate action can also mitigate reputational risks and enhance brand value, market access and competitiveness

[10:30] Further Information –  Our sister company, Carbonology, will be publishing more content around ISO 14068 in 2024. Check back on their website to find out more.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episode’s:

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We’re inching closer to our 2030 and 2050 Net Zero targets, and if we keep going the way we are, we’re not going to hit either one.  

This is unsurprising considering the lack of a unified approach to achieving Net Zero. There are a lot of options to tackle certain aspects of sustainability, but few outline an entire pathway to guide businesses towards a tangible goal.

However, that may be set to change with the release of ISO 14068-1:2023 – Climate Change Management!

In this weeks’ episode Mel explains what BS ISO 14068 is, who can use the Standard, and how this Standard can combat green washing.  

You’ll learn

  • What is ISO 14068?
  • Who is this Standard for?
  • Why was this Standard created?
  • How can ISO 14068 help businesses to tackle climate change
  • How can ISO 14068 help combat green washing


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:25] Introduction and episode summary – ISO 14068 has just been published, superseding PAS 2060. In this episode, we’ll explore what this Standard is all about, how it can help you and help prevent green washing.

Keep an eye out for our follow-up episode, which will give you more insight into the 10 reasons for adopting this Standard to achieve Net Zero in 2024.

[01:40] A passion for Sustainability – If you’re new, you may not be aware that Mel is the CEO of both Blackmores and Carbonology. Carbonology was created as a sister company in 2023, and it’s sole purpose is to help businesses to be able to demonstrate with credibility and complete transparency – A legitimate route to achieving carbon neutrality.

[03:00]  What is ISO 14068-1:2023? – This is standard for businesses transitioning to Net Carbon zero.

The standard for specifies the requirements for achieving and demonstrating carbon neutrality through the quantification, reduction, removal and offsetting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

[03:30] Who can use this Standard? BS ISO 14068-1:2023 can be used by any organization, in the private or public sectors, that wishes to make either the organization or a product climate neutral. Products may be consumer-facing or business to business, and include all types of goods and services, including events and financial services.

[04:05] Why has this Standard been developed now?: To avoid the worst effects and keep the rise in global temperatures to no more than 1.5°C, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of eminent scientists has identified that we need to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by 40% in this decade and to global net zero by 2050.

However, working towards a long-term target of net zero can be difficult without recognition of achievements along the pathway. That’s where carbon neutrality can help; organisations that have a clear plan and have started making real greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions can counterbalance their remaining carbon footprint using high quality carbon credits / offsets to achieve carbon neutrality.

ISO 14068-1 is the new International Standard that sets out requirements for organisations wishing to achieve carbon neutrality, including for products, such as goods, services or events.

ISO 14068-1 also provides a rigorous and robust framework for avoiding greenwashing, and builds on the 15 years’ experience of the previous Standard – PAS 2060.

Organizations using the standard will benefit in two main ways: internally, through having a clear guide on best practice in reaching carbon neutrality; and externally, by demonstrating compliance with a rigorous standard on carbon neutrality.

[06:40] How can the standard help businesses that are still scratching their heads about how to tackle climate change? –  The standard provides clear principles that entities need to consider when seeking carbon neutrality. These include establishing a hierarchy, so that GHG emission reductions are made first – and reductions are often the most cost-effective way of reducing a carbon footprint, avoiding the need for potentially costly carbon credits.

The hierarchy is then used to determine a pathway to carbon neutrality, including short- and long-term targets for minimising the carbon footprint. The standard also explains how the pathway is used in developing a detailed carbon neutrality management plan, which provides clear guidance for those responsible for the implementation of carbon neutrality.

[08:30] How can the standard combat green washing? In recent years, there have been many claims of carbon neutrality that are unsubstantiated or supported only by purchasing a few carbon credits, with a consequent risk of greenwashing.

Following BS ISO 14068-1 means organiations will be able to demonstrate that their claim of carbon neutrality is underpinned by real action to reduce GHG emissions and includes a clear pathway to eliminate all possible GHG emissions, so it does not just fall back on purchasing carbon credits in the market. This significantly improves the credibility of a claim.

[09:45] Keep an eye out for future episodes! We’ll be talking more about ISO 14068 in future episodes, including the benefits of adopting this Standard. We’ll also dedicate an episode to explaining the difference between Certification and Verification – so stay tunned!

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episode’s:

Stitcher | Spotify | YouTube | iTunes | Soundcloud

The use of AI within business is starting to become more common place. With major applications like Microsoft Teams and Word integrating many new features designed to make our lives easier.

However, we still need to exercise caution with this new technology and consider what we can put in place to mitigate any potential security risks while developing or utilizing it. Which is precisely what today’s guest, Monolith, has done.

Monolith provide a machine learning program that engineers can adopt to build highly accurate self-learning AI models that instantly predict the performance of systems in a wide variety of operating conditions.

In this weeks’ episode Mel is joined by Æsc George, Senior Software Engineer at Monolith, to discuss why they have adopted ISO 27001, explain their implementation journey and the benefits of having an Information Security Management System. 

You’ll learn

  • Who are Monolith?
  • What was their main driver behind obtaining ISO 27001?
  • What was the biggest Gap identified in the initial Gap Analysis?
  • What benefits did Monolith gain from implementing ISO 27001?


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:25] An introduction to Monolith and Æsc George – Monolith is all about empowering engineers to develop self-learning models from their engineering test data. With this they can develop machine learning models to really accelerate new product introductions and get these new products to market much more quickly, primarily by using these models to accelerate and streamline their testing.

They are currently recommended for ISO 27001 certification, and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their physical certificate.

Æsc George is a Senior Software Engineer of this web browser based software. He is also the interim security officer, which is why he was tasked with obtaining ISO 27001.

Fun fact about Æsc: He was a proud owner of a colony of 8 rats! He currently takes care of 4 cats, which have access to a plethora of enrichment in his home 😊

[03:35] What was the main driver for Monolith to obtain ISO 27001? – There were a few drivers, the most obvious being that they want to display their commitment and credibility when it comes to Information Security.

Acquiring ISO 27001 makes it easier to show their clients and prospects that their engineering data is in safe hands.

Monolith also know that there’s a lot of buzz about artificial intelligence and machine learning at the moment, and that buzz covers both sides of the coin. What good it can do for the world and the harms it can do, so aligning with ISO 27001 shows that they’re trying to use AI in a responsible way.

[05:10] The start-up is getting a head start! – Monolith is a start-up company, only a year in and already leading the way for AI development by ensuring security is a priority from the start.

[05:40] How long did it take to implement ISO 27001? Nine months from the point of contacting Blackmores to assist to being recommended for certification.

Æsc recounts his experience: “My perception is that the effort was quite front loaded, so the amount of effort involved in the process almost wound down towards the end – even with the external audit happening towards the end.

I think once the information security management had been established and we’d worked it into our day-to-day, the perceived effort was lower. So I felt pretty confident going through our audit processes because I’ve experienced the system working already.”

[08:15] What was the biggest gap identified at the Gap Analysis?: There wasn’t a formal approach to information security risk and risk treatment.

There were already a number of existing systems and ad-hoc arrangements to mitigate information security risks – but they had been framed in terms of risk.

They hadn’t gone through a process where risks were quantified and weighed against each other.

So following the gap analysis, one of the many actions Monolith took was to make sure they were consistently and regularly assessing information security risk in various dimensions.

They now have the right framework in place to allocate the appropriate time and resources towards information security, and to prioritise the biggest risks.

[10:10] What difference has Implementing ISO 27001 made? –  It’s given Monolith more confidence in their understanding of Information Security risks, and assurance that there aren’t any massive, unidentified risks that may cause trouble later down the line.

It’s also made it easier to discuss information security risk and policy decisions. Monolith AI are a remote first company, allowing their staff the freedom to experiment with new technologies, and be in an environment where they feel comfortable. Having formal risk treatment in place means they can maintain this highly flexible, highly innovative and productive way of working – but with their eyes wide open.

[11:40] What has Æsc learned from the experience of Implementing ISO 27001? Æsc is not new to ISO Management Systems, having been involved with the maintenance and implementation of a few in the past.

However, he has gained an appreciation for the nuance in ISO 27001. For example, the knowledge that the standard uses words like ‘should’ and ‘shall’ that have particular intentions – ‘shall’ being mandatory and ‘should’ being recommended.

His previous experiences with Management systems had more available resource than at Monolith, so learning this nuance has been important in the prioritization of focus and resources in his current position.

[13:30] What have been the main benefits from Implementing ISO 27001? Having a holistic and formal approach to Information Security and risk management compared to the ad-hoc approach they had prior.

It’s brought the company together on a really important issue, and helped everyone to understand the role they play in Information Security.

Personally, Æsc has enjoyed reaching out to people he may not ordinarily get the chance to work with, as a result of this unifying issue that everyone at Monolith cares about. 

[17:00] Once Monolith formally receive their ISO 27001 certificate, what benefits will that bring? – Currently Monolith AI are recommended for Certification, and are simply waiting on the delivery of their physical certificate.

Once received, they will be able to present it to prospects and clients if they are questioned on information security credentials – to show that they are serious about their commitment to security.

It will also open doors to new prospects that may bother considering them as a supplier due to the lack of ISO 27001 certification.

They are also a leading example in the relatively new industry of AI, those with ISO 27001 certification at this stage stand out from other competitors.

[19:15] What tips does Æsc have for those starting out on their ISO jorney? –  Speaking from experience, Æsc recommends hiring a specialist in ISO to assist with your implementation.

In his case, Blackmores helped to organise the process, drive a lot of the early gap analysis and gave him confidence in going through internal and external audits.

Having someone with experience acting as a guiding hand makes the whole process go a lot more smoothly. This could be a consultant, or someone you train within your own business.

These projects are the sort of thing that turn passion into action. Whether that’s information security or environmental management ect, it’s better to have someone experienced or trained in the nuances of the Standard to ensure it’s implemented in a way that truly benefits your business.

 [21:20] Æsc’s book recommendation –  Nature’s Calendar: The British Year in 72 Seasons by Kiera Chapman, Rowan Jaines, Lulah Ellender and Rebecca Warren. It’s Inspired by a traditional Japanese calendar which divides the year into segments of four to five days, this book guides you through a year of 72 seasons as they manifest in the British Isles.

As Æsc describes: “Lots of the seasons will be very familiar to people who’ve lived in this country their whole life, but they may not have necessarily thought about the context of it.

So I think is really grounding. Time and the way we measure it can seem so arbitrary and abstract sometimes, and measuring minutes and hours is responsible for so much stress and anxiety, so taking a breath, thinking about how nature moves at a different, slower, more deliberate pace, and finding the time to synchronise with that move with nature can be a really rewarding experience”

[24:15] One of Æsc’s favorite quotes –  “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived” – Henry David Thoreau (from his book ‘Walden’)

[26:10] Need help with your ISO 27001 transition? – We have an ISO 27001 Transition Gameplan available on the isologyhub. This Gameplan provides a step by step guide for you to transition to the latest 2022 Standard.

If you’d like to learn more about Monolith, check out their website.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

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The demand for tangible sustainability action is becoming more pressing as we inch closer to our 2030 and 2050 Net Zero targets.

However, that is still quite a way off, and many businesses are dragging their feet when it comes to taking action. Sure, some may have an ESG Policy or mention it on their website, however that term is starting to become synonymous with green washing due to poor implementation in many cases.

So, what can you do to make a difference right now?

In this weeks’ episode Mel explains the principle of Parkinson’s law, how ISO Standards can help to tackle climate change and how you can achieve Net Zero in just 90 days.

You’ll learn

  • What Parkinson’s Law is
  • How can ISO standards help tackle climate change
  • The 3 reasons why businesses are behind on achieving net zero
  • How you can achieve Net Zero in just 90 days using the Net Zero Planner


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:25] Come visit the Carbonology stand at EMEX! – EMEX is a free exhibition to learn about carbon management, ESG and sustainability. It takes place at ExCeL London on 22nd – 23rd November 2023 – Carbonology will be at Stand G38. Come grab a free Net Zero Planner while you’re there! Register your place here.

[02:10] Episode Summary – Today we’ll be talking about why we need to act now rather than in a decade or two, how ISO Standards can play a critical role in tackling climate change and using the Net Zero Planner to help you set achievable objectives to work towards Net Zero in just 90 days.    

[02:55]  We need to act now rather than later! – Our 2030 and 2050 targets are very far away, which results in businesses not doing much to address them in the meantime.

They might have an ESG policy or they might have something referencing ESG on their website, but are they actually taking action right now to make that happen? In many cases, no. Which is where Parkinson’s Law comes into play.

[03:40] What is Parkinson’s Law? Parkinson’s Law is the idea that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion. This may mean you take longer than necessary to complete a task or you procrastinate and complete the task right before the due date.

Parkinson’s Law is the old adage that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion. The term was first coined by Cyril Northcote Parkinson in a humorous essay he wrote for “The Economist” in 1955.

Lets say you are given a task to complete a report in 3 weeks, chances are if you were given the task to do in 1 week – you’d make it happen.

Parkinson’s Law says that the perceived importance and difficulty of a task will grow in proportion to the amount of time given to finish it.

[05:30] Is it possible to achieve Net Zero in 2024?: Yes! Carbonology® been turning around projects to help businesses to build net carbon neutral in less than three months –  so why can’t you?

[06:05] The Net Zero Planner –  The Net Zero in 90 days planner gives you a pathway to follow to achieve Net Carbon Zero.

Each day focuses on a specific task, enabling you to make step by step progress to achieve your goals.

Your Net Zero Planner provides the foundations for not only achieving Net Zero but also achieving verification to Carbon standards along the way. Grab a copy here!

[08:25] What role do ISO Standards play in tackling climate change? Standards have a critical role in helping meet climate goals. Particularly when there is an influx of greenwashing across industries.

The international standards for carbon verification (ISO 14064) and carbon neutrality (PAS 2060, due to be ISO 14064 in 2024) support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and create a level playing field, providing transparency, reliability, accountability and without a doubt, credibility.

[10:00] So why are businesses struggling to achieve Net Zero? there are three reasons why businesses are behind on achieving Net Zero:-

  • Time and resources have not been dedicated.
  • Lack of focus and structure
  • Lack of knowledge on what to do

The Net Zero Planner will help to address these challenges.

[11:15] Carbonology is there to support you – Some of the tasks in the planner may be tricky – quantifying your emissions for example, this is always going to be challenging.

Carbonology is there to support you, either with consultancy or digital resources via the Carbonologyhub. If you need some extra assistance, simply contact them.

[11:55] How can the Net Zero Planner help you? –  First and foremost, Net zero is not going to happen, unless you prioritise your time.

This starts with designing your ideal week. Imagine how would you structure your week if you had 100% control. What does your ideal week look like?

Remember, What gets scheduled gets done.  Sticking to a plan takes discipline, but imagine if every business dedicated 2 hours a day for 3 months, we’d be achieving net zero well before 2050!

By setting aside 2 hours a day to complete a Net Zero task, you and your team will be well equipped to put your planning in place and achieve Net Zero accreditation! Of course, not every week will be aligned with your ideal week, but it’s a guide that you can refer back to.

 [13:00] Making progress with the Net Zero Planner –  It’s imperative you review progress on a weekly and monthly basis and at the end of the 9O days. This will help to drive momentum when you see what you’ve achieved and also provide a reality check if you need additional support or time.

The weekly, monthly and quarterly review provides an opportunity to look back at your progress and allows you time to reflect on what went well, and where you’ve been having challenges which may result in making decisions to address any shortfalls.

 This could include allowing more time for a specific task the following week, delegating responsibilities internally or outsourcing activities i.e. carbon quantification or verification.

It’s recommended that you schedule this review and reflection time in your calendar i.e. 1 hour on a Friday afternoon or at the end of the month. In addition to the structured planner pages, there are blank pages for expanding on your ideas and taking notes.

[15:25] Special Deal! –  The Net Zero Planner is available for Amazon at a reduced price of £7.99 until the 15th December 2023. The Standard price will be £14.99. If you’re at EMEX on the 22nd or 23rd November 2023, we have 100 free copies to give away!

Lastly, if you have an questions or would like to learn more about how Carbonology can help you, feel free to book a call in via David’s Calendly.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episode’s:

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Sustainability has become a top topic to address in the last few years, both for businesses and individuals. In fact, 90% of business leaders think sustainability is important, but only 60% actually have a sustainability Strategy.

The demand for tangible action is becoming more pressing as we inch close to the 2030 milestone of the Paris Agreement.

To encourage action from businesses, we’re seeing more public and private sector contracts include a tendering requirement to show your commitment to sustainability. One such example is the need for a PPN 06/21 Carbon Reduction Plan.

In this weeks’ episode David Algar, Principal Carbonologist® at Carbonology, joins Mel to explain how to create a Carbon Reduction Plan, shares some top tips on presentation and how Carbonology® can support you.

You’ll learn

  • How to create a Carbon Reduction Plan
  • How Carbonology® can help you align that plan with ISO 14064 and PAS 2060
  • Addressing difficult tendering questions
  • How to best present your Carbon Reduction Plan


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:24] What are PPN 06/21 Carbon Reduction Plans? – Go back and listen to our previous episode to learn more.  

[00:42] Episode Summary – Today we’ll be talking about how to create a Carbon Reduction Plan (CRP), how to deal with difficult tendering questions and the best ways in which to present your CRP.   

[02:46]  How do you actually calculate the emissions? We have gone into this in a lot more detail on a previous episode, but to summarise:-

Emissions are calculated by taking your activity data, such as kWh of electricity, or miles driven in a vehicle, and multiplying it by an emission conversion factor.

Specific emission conversion factors are available from DEFRA for specific activity data, they are also year-specific.

The hard part is sourcing your activity data, accounting for missing information, performing estimates, and ensuring the overall methodology is accurate.

This is all done in alignment with ISO1464-1, as well as the PPN guidelines, so one of the very first things we’ll do with you is define your organisational and reporting boundaries,

[05:27] How can a business set carbon reduction targets and forecast emissions? This is tricky as it involves trying to predict the future, not just in the short term, but potentially several decades ahead depending on your goal.

The good thing is you know the end destination of your carbon pathway: little to no emissions by 2050.

Using this and some simple maths you can at least map out where you should be each year when moving forward from the base year, the base year being the period you use to compare future results against.

Usually the base year is the first year you complete calculations, but this can change over time. We’re finding some clients are opting to change their base year to account for the disruption of COVID-19 on operations

[06:40] How do you actually set the targets?: When we look at target setting and emission forecasts we generally take 2 approaches:


  • The first, and our most common approach, is about setting milestones based on specific carbon reduction initiatives the business can implement, at specific dates.
  • For instance, all company vehicles being hybrid by 2025 and fully EV by 2035? Or what if we phased out gas by a certain date? Or cut out all single use plastics?
  • Using this milestone method for the forecasting can be tricky, but you can end up with a carbon pathway that is more representative of real life. 

Straight line method:

  • The second is what we refer to as the ‘straight line’ method. This is a simpler approach that involves doing some simple maths to plan out your carbon targets for each year, without factoring in specific milestones or events.
  • We refer to this unofficially as the ‘straight line’ method as the graph showing your carbon pathway is pretty much a straight line from your base year towards net zero, using the milestones method gives a ’bumpy’ line due to the influence of specific milestones at specific years.

[08:35] A tip for setting targets for the first time is by thinking ‘what if? This is essentially looking at the thing you’re doing now and replacing it with a more sustainable alternative. For instance, calculating what your business travel emissions would be last year if they were all completed in hybrids, or if domestic flights were replaced by train journeys.

Doing these ‘what if?’ calculations is a bit hypothetical as operations are likely to change over the years, but it still helps give you a specific target to aim for a specific GHG sources.

[10:40] How can you influence carbon reduction in areas where you have no direct control? Some areas will be out of your control, for instance if you ship goods in from around the world you can’t necessarily decide how they get to you, or if they are transported via more sustainable transport.

  • One thing you can do is aim to set a good example yourself as a business
  • You could also adopt the PPN framework yourself and request it from anyone that is aiming to win your business
  • Another quick win is actually speaking to your suppliers. If you use a local delivery firm you could speak to them about their plans for an electric fleet, or more sustainable packaging. Or if you use a data centre, you could enquire about if is run on renewable energy sources

[13:15] But what if we are planning to grow as a business? Results are expected to fluctuate over time, so if they go up after the base year this shouldn’t impact your success or failure in your tender submission. The aim is obviously to decrease on average over time

If you know for certain that they will increase in the next few years, for instance through opening new sites, making acquisitions, or just natural growth, that’s ok.

You could pick a new base year if operations significantly change as this will give a more realistic figure to work down from. You can also use this as an opportunity to evidence efficiency improvements through intensity metrics, such as your tonnes of carbon per employee, or relative to your revenue.

 [15:15] In what other ways can Carbonology help to support you? – Once everyone is happy with the CRP, you’ll then have to actually use it in tenders. The fun thing about tenders is that they can all ask different questions, despite PPN having technical requirements, so you can’t always have the information to hand before submitting one.

We can’t write your tender submissions for you, but we can provide guidance and pull out the necessary figures if requested, for instance if you need certain numbers to support with your Social Value Model reporting.

[16:20] How can this help on your journey to Carbon Neutrality? –  If you’ve gone through all the hard work to create a PPN 06/21 Carbon Reduction Plan, you’ll be in the ideal position to achieve carbon neutrality of your operations via PAS 2060.

The next step would be creating a PAS 2060 Qualifying Explanatory Statement, or QES, which details how you have achieved carbon neutrality through offsetting, and your commitment to maintain this for future reporting periods.

[17:25] Where does the verification come into play? If you’ve already calculated your emissions you may be asked to have them independently verified by an independent third party.

We’ve recently developed a process so we can check over you GHG calculations, policies, procedure and overall alignment with the standard.

As part of this, Carbonology can provide a verification report with all findings and opportunities for improvement, as a well as a verification statement to show you have had emission independently verified in alignment with ISO 14064.

For further information, David has prepared a quick guide for creating your PPN 06/21 Carbon Reduction Plan. Download it from the resources area above.

Lastly, if you have an questions or would like to learn more about how Carbonology can help you, feel free to book a call in via David’s Calendly.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episode’s:

Stitcher | Spotify | YouTube | iTunes | Soundcloud |

Sustainability has become one of the main focal points for businesses to address in the last few years, and for good reason! We’re already seeing the devastating effects of simply doing nothing in the form of more extreme weather, occurring much more frequently in areas not equip to handle it.

To encourage action from businesses, we’re seeing more public and private sector contracts include a tendering requirement to show your commitment to sustainability. One such example is the need for a PPN 06/21 Carbon Reduction Plan.

In this weeks’ episode David Algar, Principal Carbonologist at Carbonology, joins Mel to explain exactly what PPN 06/21 Carbon Reduction Plans are, what the requirements mean in practice and the consequences if a business does not meet the requirements.

You’ll learn

  • What are PPN 06/21 Carbon Reduction Plans?
  • What the requirements mean in practice
  • Benefits to a business
  • What if a business does not meet the requirements?


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:42] Episode Summary – We’re talking about PPN 06/21 Carbon Reduction Plans because there is a government requirement to submit one. This episode will cover the what and why, in part 2 we’ll go into more detail about how to create a Carbon Reduction Plan.   

[02:10]  What is a PPN 06/21 Carbon Reduction Plan? Procurement Policy Note 06/21 was introduced back in June 2021, hence the 06/21 part, and is a tendering requirement for companies looking to win contracts in the public sector that links to the Government’s Net Zero target.

[02:28] What is the UK government’s Net Zero target? The ‘net zero target’ refers to a government commitment to ensure the UK reduces its emissions by 100% from 1990 levels by 2050.  

[02:55] Who does PPN apply to?: Public sector, so any businesses that works with education, local authorities, housing, infrastructure, defence, transit, and of course, the NHS who have set a goal of Net Zero by 2040.

Officially this is for contracts that are valued at £5M or more, but in April 2024 the NHS will be requesting a Carbon Reduction Plan for all procurement.

Unofficially, this framework could be adopted by any business, so even if you don’t deal directly with the public sector, or are a subcontractor, your supply chain may soon be requesting a Carbon Reduction Plan!

[04:05] Why do you need a Carbon Reduction Plan? Although the Government’s targets and policies around Net Zero keep changing, the overall goal of PPN 06/21 is to encourage businesses to reach Net Zero before 2050, come up with a plan to do so, and implement emission reduction initiatives in the delivery of Government contracts.

[04:35] From a businesses perspective, what are the main benefits? There are 2 main benefits:

  • It’s essential for some tendering, with as much as a 10% weighting based on your carbon management and social values. Put simply, if you don’t produce one when needed, you may fail the tender requirements and probably won’t make the sale.
  • The second main benefit is that this isn’t just a piece of paper with a graph on it, it’s a great opportunity to investigate your business’ GHG emissions, and put a plan in place to reduce them. This also helps you show to stakeholders that you are actually committed to environmental protection and could identify some cost savings in your business after going through all the data.
  • It’s also a great addition to any existing ISO 14001 or ISO 50001 Management Systems!

[06:10] What are the key requirements of PPN 06/21? –    Firstly you’ll need to make a commitment to achieving net zero by 2050 at the latest. This includes annually calculating your emissions and updating the Carbon Reduction Plan.

Next you’ll need to report on a minimum set of GHG categories: 100% of your Scope 1 emissions, so direct emission from company vehicles, gas heating (so stuff you burn) and any fugitive emissions, which are leaks from HVAC systems for most businesses. 100% of your Scope 2 emissions which is electricity most of the time but can also refer to steam you import from an external source.

You’ll also need to report on 5 Scope 3 categories, these are your indirect emissions:

  • Waste generated in operations
  • Business travel in vehicles you don’t own, so staff cars, flights, trains, etc
  • Commuting, so staff traveling to and from work, being careful not to double count business travel not already claimed under expenses
  • And arguably the most complicated, upstream and downstream transportation, i.e. goods in, and goods out – physical transport of goods

[09:50] Are there any other categories covered by scope 3 that we should consider? –  Generally, when we produce a CRP for our clients, we’ll look at a few extra Scope 3 categories such as water, homeworking, or purchased goods, so carbon reduction planning can extend to other elements of the business. In all cases you’ll need to report in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, or tCO2e, as this accounts for the global warming potential of multiple GHGs.

[11:30] Are there any ISO standards that you can align the Carbon Reduction Plan to? Yes! At Carbonology, we use ISO 14064-1. This sets out a series requirements and guiding principles for the quantification and reporting of emissions. We wouldn’t necessarily have to go all the way to meeting every single requirement of the standard for your CRP but we always align with the key requirement of the standard when completing a CRP.

And if you’re lucky we’ll also cover your SECR figures!

[12:05] What is SECR? –  Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting. This is mandatory reporting for businesses that are defined as large, so 250+ staff, and 36M turnover or 18M on the balance sheet.

[18:20] Asset Management –  In 8.2 there is a consideration for Asset Management on your side. You should take care of any assets relating to the customer, where it’s stored and how it’s being looked after.

Standards such as ISO 27001 (Information Security) and ISO 55001 (Asset Management) already have some considerations for this.

[13:30] You’ve calculated your GHG results, what’s next?-  Once you’ve calculated emission from the required sources, you’ll then need to look at the carbon reduction side of your Carbon Reduction Plan.

To start with you’ll need to outline existing initiatives you have, for instance, a sustainable travel policy, EV charging on site or a hybrid working model. It’s really important that these are relevant to the delivery of the contract you are trying to secure.

Next, you’ll need to outline planned future initiatives, but bear in mind, these will need to be realistic and relevant, so no wild claims about buying an EV fleet or going zero waste next week!

Once you’ve done all this you can then start looking at carbon reduction forecasts and what the numbers might look like between now and 2050 (or you chosen date.

[15:10] Additional PPN 06/21 tips from David:  It will need to be signed off by a director, or equivalent, at your business to demonstrate leadership commitment. If the document isn’t signed off on you may fail on the tender.

You’ll need to publish it on your website, making it easy to access. Simple solution to this is just add a link at the bottom of your landing page.

And finally, you’ll need to make sure this is kept up to date each year. Reporting for emissions occurs on a 12 monthly basis. This can either be calendar year or your financial year, but ideally, you’ll want to publish the updated version as soon as you can after the year-end, certainly no longer than 6 months after.

[16:40] What does a Carbon Reduction Plan look like? – When the government announced this requirement, they also released a template document that businesses can complete. This is to simplify the process for businesses that are reporting on emission for the first time, but more importantly it standardises reporting. However, the template is a bit basic!

You’re not marked on presentation, but you can dress it up a little as long as you don’t deviate from the template too much. So feel free to put come company branding on it, make a cover page, change the font, etc.

You could also make a ‘full’ version of your CRP that includes further details on boundaries, methodologies and results, just make sure you only submit the template version to tenders.

[19:10] What happens if you don’t meet the requirements? – If you don’t meet the requirements without a valid reason, chances are you’ll fail the selection criteria. The selection criteria is a bit like the marking scheme associated with PPN. We can’t say for a fact that this means you’ll subsequently fail the tender, but it will certainly have a negative impact.

For further information, David has prepared a quick guide for creating your PPN 06/21 Carbon Reduction Plan. Feel free to download it below.

Lastly, if you have an questions or would like to learn more about how Carbonology can help you, feel free to book a call in via David’s Calendly.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episode’s

Stitcher | Spotify | YouTube | iTunes | Soundcloud |

Last week we gave you an introduction to ISO 20000, the Service Management Standard. As a refresher, the aim of the standard is to provide a framework for an effective end-to-end service management system which encompasses the entire lifecycle of a service from concept and design, through to service removal and end-of-life.

It’s best adopted by businesses who provide a service, particularly those that operate a help / service desk system.

For some this may still seem a bit nebulous, especially for those that may not be familiar with Service Management terminology. To help demystify this Standard, we’ve brought Steve back to take a deeper dive into what makes this Standard unique.

Join Steve Mason and Mel in this weeks’ episode as they explore Clauses 7 and 8 of ISO 20000 in more detail, and how certain aspects can apply to any business.   

You’ll learn

  • What is ISO 20000?
  • What is included in Clause 8 of ISO 20000?
  • How can ISO 20000 apply to any business?


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:43] What is ISO 20000? Go back and listen to our previous episode to learn what ISO 20000 is, a brief overview of the key clauses and the benefits of adopting the Service Management Standard.  

[02:00]  A recap of the main requirements of the Standard:

  • 4.0 Context of the Organisation
  • 5.0 Leadership
  • 6.0 Planning
  • 7.0 Support of Service Management System
  • 8.0 Operation of the Service Management System
  • 9.0 Performance Evaluation
  • 10.0 Improvement

Clauses 7 and 8 are where the main differences lie between this Standard and others. It includes requirements for aspects such as:

  • Service Portfolio
  • Relationship Agreements
  • Supply and Demand
  • Service Design and Transition
  • Resolution and Fulfilment

[03:15] Similarities with other ISO Standards – Ultimately, this standard in terms of the structure, it looks like any other ISO standard, i.e. we’ve got context of the organisation, leadership, Planning, performance Evaluation and improvement. These will be familiar if you’ve worked with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 or ISO 27001.

 [04:05] Clause 7 –  Support of Service Management System: This is where we’re really looking at the competency awareness communications and documented information required by the standard. In 7.5 there is a really useful list of all the documented information that’s required in the management system – one that we wish was included in every ISO Standard!

That required documented information doesn’t have to be in writing, it could be on computer or established system.

Another key aspect of Clause 7 is Knowledge – this is about ensuring all knowledge is documented and sharable and not just stuck in people’s heads. For Service Management, this may involve the creation of a customer portfolio where you can record any incidents that occur during a service call, and how you dealt with it ect.

Competence is also another major component – Make sure people are competent to do their job, i.e. they’ve been trained to do things properly and effectively.

[06:40] Different ways of knowledge sharing – Knowledge sharing doesn’t just have to be written down – it could be done via a recorded video. We use Loom a lot at Blackmores to get things across quickly.  

There are also a number of service desk tools available that can help you put together process flow diagrams to make things easier to understand.

[08:15] Clause 8 Operation of the Service Management System: Before you do any sort of service management, you need to plan it properly – otherwise, if you fail to plan, you’ll plan to fail.

First you need to understand what resources you have, what activities there are in the service management to deliver that service to the customer and ensure that they’re coordinated.

A top tip from Steve: Separate resources into five groups: people, technology, information, finance and service partners.

[09:55] Planning your Service – Now you understand what you’re trying to deliver, it’s time to plan your service.

First you want to take a look at the flow of the service through the organisation. Which departments does it go into? Is there good connection between departments? Can you ensure that a customer’s order is going to stay the same through the whole process, you wouldn’t want possibilities for miscommunication to occur.

We’d recommend drawing up a flow diagram for this process – just so you can clearly see who is doing and communicating what at any stage.

[11:20] Getting Operations in order – once you understand what the process is, you need to begin to control and involve the interested parties within the life cycle of your process.

This isn’t just the customer; this also includes confirming what services you’re actually delivering – as you’ll be looking to improve these services as time goes on.

You also need to consider the whole service life cycle. This includes things like if a customer wants to move to a different service – how would you deal with that? Have you got a process in place to handle the return of customer assets if they disengage from your services?

[12:30] Service Level Agreements: It’s a good idea to establish Service Level Agreements and Delivery Level Agreements early on. This is so you typically know what you are going to be delivering to a customer and how quickly can you deliver it and ensure the whole process is sustainable as well.

This will also clarify key accountabilities for everyone involved with delivering a specific service.

Clearly defined services – Finally, it also provides a clearly defined service for Salespeople. This avoids the situation where they simply sell what they think sounds good but isn’t backed up by any resources to actually deliver the service they sold.

You need to have a clear strategy that sales can use and go out and sell – this may be referred to as a Service Catalogue.

[15:18] A Service Catalogue in action –  In Blackmores case, our Service Catalogue is online on our website. We have all the ISO Standards we can assist with listed, in addition to a description of how we can help companies implement an applicable Management System.

You don’t have to have all your prices listed out at that stage, that can come later when you have a full view of the customer requirements and agreements are made.

[18:20] Asset Management –  In 8.2 there is a consideration for Asset Management on your side. You should take care of any assets relating to the customer, where it’s stored and how it’s being looked after.

Standards such as ISO 27001 (Information Security) and ISO 55001 (Asset Management) already have some considerations for this.

[19:05] Configuration Management –  Configuration management is understanding how the parts of the service fit, so you don’t disassociate them from each other.

The Standard asks you to identify what’s known as CIS, these are configuration items, and these are all the things that you need to deliver your service. We’ll dig more into this aspect in future content – so keep an eye out!

[20:40] A final top tip from Steve:  Collaboration and communication that involves leadership. If you just devolve it down to parties doing the work and just get them to work in silo, it will not work for you. It’s a collaborative standard – both inside and outside of the business.

[21:20] Resources available –  We’ve got a number of ISO 20000 related resources available on the islogyhub – contact us to learn more!  

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

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Often seen as the poor cousin to ISO 9001, ISO 20000 Service Management largely gets ignored in favour of the more popular Quality Management Standard.

To be fair, it’s title may have done it a disservice in the past. Being known as the IT Service Management Standard prior to 2018, it was often perceived as only applicable to IT service providers, when in actuality it could be adopted by any business!

So, what is ISO 20000 exactly? The aim of the standard is to provide a framework for an effective end-to-end service management system which encompasses the entire lifecycle of a service from concept and design, through to service removal and end-of-life.

It’s best adopted by businesses who provide a service, particularly those that operate a help / service desk system.

In this weeks’ episode, Steve Mason joins Mel to discuss what ISO 20000 is, who can use and benefit from the Standard and how it fits in with other more widely adopted ISO Standards.

You’ll learn

  • What is ISO 20000?
  • Who is ISO 20000 designed for?
  • What are the benefits of ISO 20000?
  • A brief overview of the Standard
  • How ISO 20000 integrates with other ISO Standards


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:50] Why are we talking about this Standard? We’ve had a lot of interest in a few of our informative videos available on YouTube over the past year, with ISO 20000 content constantly ranking in our top 5 most watched videos every month.

[01:00]  ISO 20000-1 was previously known as the ‘IT Service Management Standard’, but since it’s most recent update in 2018, it’s simply known as the ‘Service Management Standard’ now.

[03:10] Why is ISO 20000 one of Steve’s favourite Standards? – It takes some of the aspects of quality a step further and actually gives you much clearer detail on how you can improve your management systems. So, if you’ve got a Service Management System in any way, shape or form, this is the standard to go.

It’s also one of the easiest standards to audit because there’s some very simple questions to ask that can highlight some very obvious weaknesses. This can lead to significant improvement when compared to the likes of ISO 9001.

[04:05] What Is ISO 20000? –  ISO20000-1:2018 is a Service Management standard which has evolved from the IT industry and the ITIL Framework for Service Management; but today it can be used in all types of Service Industries particularly where there is a need for a Help Desk / Service Desk system.

Some may ask, isn’t this what ISO 9001 can do? In short, no. ISO 9001 will give you a bare framework of how to create a Quality Management System, but it won’t give you the fundamental details of how to improve that Service Management System, and that’s where ISO 20000 comes in.

[05:39] Who is ISO 20000 applicable to? – Any business that provides a service, but more specific examples include: IT Service provider, call centres, gas / electricity providers, retail ect.

[07:15] A high level overview of ISO 20000 – This Standard follows the Standard structure that many other ISO Standards follow. The first 3 clauses are all informative, starting from clause 4 we have:

  • 4.0 Context of the Organisation
  • 5.0 Leadership
  • 6.0 Planning
  • 7.0 Support of Service Management System
  • 8.0 Operation of the Service Management System
  • 9.0 Performance Evaluation
  • 10.0 Improvement

Clause 8.0 is where ISO 20000 fills in the gaps for other Standards, as it covers topics such as:

  • Service Portfolio
  • Relationship and Agreement
  • Supply and Demand
  • Service Design, Build and Transition
  • Resolution
  • Service Assurance

[08:20] Familiar to some – Those in Service Management may recognise some of those terms, but may not use that exact wording. For example ‘relationships and agreements’ may be more commonly known as Service Level Agreements and Operating Level Agreements – which can be a business critical area for some.

[10:45] What are the benefits of ISO 20000? –  Improve the planning and introduction of services: This standard would help you understand what it is you need to do to introduce that new service, go through the planning, testing through a proper change management system and launch through a release and deployment management system.

SLA’s and OLA’s – Achieve Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Operating Level Agreements (OLAs) will be achieved consistently month on month.

Reduce Stress – It will help to reduce employee stress as service request, incident and problem queues become manageable. Knowledge articles can be created to document incidents and solutions for future reference.

Improved quality of service through continual improvement gained from Incidents and Problem fixes resulting in both time and financial savings.

[12:30] ISO 20000 to the rescue –  Steve recounts an experience he had at a company that had an outstanding issue ticket queue of 800. With the introduction of elements of ISO 20000, they we able to reduce this ludicrous amount down to 30!

[14:05] A top recommendation –  We’d highly recommend that you consider doing a Gap Analysis against ISO 20000. Even if you have no plans to implement it, you can still benefit from the findings.

[14:40] Further resources –  You can purchase the Standard directly from the ISO website.

We also have a number of short courses covering specific clauses in ISO 20000, available in the isologyhub.

[15:55] How does ISO 20000 fit in with other ISO Standards?-  ISO20000-1:2018 has now been remodelled using the High Level Standard (HLS) framework so that clauses 4 to 7 and 9 to 10 can all be interconnected with only minor differences due to the nature of each standard.

Essentially, if you already have ISO9001:2015 or ISO27001:2013 most of the framework for ISO20000-1:2018 will have already been done; all that would be required is to address the service aspects in those six clause before tackling the main work in clause 8.

[18:20] Business Continuity –  ISO 20000 specifies a section on ‘service continuity management’ which can neatly slot in with ISO 22301 – the Standard for Business Continuity. While ISO 22301 focuses on the bigger picture, the ISO 20000 element focuses on how a service can continue for a customer during an incident or accident occurring.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

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One of the most crucial steps to gaining your ISO certification is the completion of a Stage 1 and Stage 2 assessment, conducted by an accredited Certification Body. A quick reminder – your certification doesn’t mean much if you haven’t received certification from an accredited Certification Body – so make sure you do your research!

Businesses going through their final Assessments to gain ISO certification may see any decisions made by Certification Body Assessors as infallible, however there’s still a very human aspect which can lead to some common pitfalls.

Last week we dived into the requirements of ISO 17021 – the Conformity Assessment Standard designed for Certification Bodies, and more specifically the requirements in relation to you as a client.

In this weeks’ episode, Steve Mason joins Mel once again to share some issues raised by Blackmores’ clients against Certification Bodies, and explains the related rules in ISO 17021 which Certification Bodies should abide by.  

You’ll learn

  • What is ISO 17021?
  • Key issues raised by Blackmores’ clients in relation to Certification Bodies
  • Related ISO 17021 requirements


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:24] What is ISO 17021? It’s the Conformity Assessment Standard designed for Certification Bodies. In effect, it acts as a service level agreement. These are the rules that these certification bodies need to comply with if they are accredited by an accreditation body like UKAS. Listen to the previous episode to learn more.

[01:10] What are we focusing on in this episode? There have been some issues raised by some of our clients time and time again over the last 6 – 8 months.  We want to break some of these issues down, and help listeners to understand what are the actual rules around these areas in relation to ISO 17021.

[01:40] Issue #1: Cancellations – Sometimes a cancellation is unavoidable, however there are still rules that any Certification Body needs to follow – most importantly they should notify the client.

Steve shares his experience with an Assessor who was due to show up on the 5th September 2023, and never turned up! it turned out that whilst the date was in the previous report, it had been removed from his diary, but it hadn’t then been put into somebody else’s diary, and because it hadn’t been put into somebody else’s diary, there was no flag to anybody to let the client know that the visits should take place. Now that visit had to be pushed back into January next year, which is the only time we can make it.

[02:50] Balancing Expectations –  There’s an expectation from certification bodies that clients should not cancel a month or less than a month before they visit. Steve recommends that should apply to certification bodies cancelling for clients too.

There are many considerations to Certification Body visits, including:- cost, scheduling the right people to be present, setting time aside for the audit ect.

[04:30] One-sided penalties – Penalties seem to be very one-sided. For example: if the client cancelled two or three weeks beforehand because they had personal circumstances which meant that they couldn’t attend, they would be penalised and would have to pay in full for that visit. Yet the certification body can not show up on a day, and there’s no compensation whatsoever.

[05:10] This is not the norm for Certification Bodies – A reminder that the issues were raising are not the norm for Certification Bodies – however we are seeing an increase of complaints raised by our clients. This may have been exacerbated due to the recent shortage of Assessors.

[05:50] Issue #2: Planning Audits – Another issue that’s been cropping up is about planning audits – not just surveillance audits, but also stage 1 and stage 2 Assessments.

In regards to ISO 17021, Certification Bodies should be providing an Stage 1 Audit plan to the client to detail what will happen during the visit.

That plan is often not happening, or there’s a generic plan that gets sent out by the certification body which bears no relevance to what the assessor ends up doing. So that’s as useful as a chocolate teapot.

It should be sent a month ahead of the visit, not 2 -3 days before the visit takes place. Companies need time to organise the right people and Certification Bodies need to be considerate of that fact.

[07:35] Steve’s experience with a poor Audit plan from a Certification Body – Steve had an occasion where he had to write a plan on behalf of the Certification Body Assessor for the client as they’d neglected to even send one!

Steve used to be an Assessor, so is familiar with how these plans should be structured. The designated Assessor ended up using his plan – but this should not have been the case.

[07:58] Poor planning –  There have been instances where the planning has been so poor that they send the wrong Assessor to a client site. We’ve had experiences where an ISO 27001 Audit was due to take place and the Assessor turned up expecting to Audit against ISO 9001.

[08:50] What should Certification Bodies be providing following a Stage 1 Assessment visit? –  After your Stage 1, you should have another plan come out of that stage, after what’s known as the Programme Management Day.  The reason for that is because the assessor sometimes needs to go away, look at what they’ve written up, and take into account what they’ve heard from the client, and put a reasonable plan in place.

The assessor should then sit down with the client to discuss the plan and what sites are going to be visited during the Stage 2 Assessment.

[09:30] Using the right language –  Often we see plans come out with language in the plans that is alright for certification body, but the client has no idea what the assessor is going on about. Steve always used to sit down with his clients and say right, ‘what language do you want me to use?’ And then would use their language and would also put the clause from the related standard next to that and say ‘that’s the bit I’m going to audit’. You’re writing the plan for the customer, not for yourself.

It also acts as assurance for a potential replacement Assessor if the first Assessor is off sick and can’t make the next visit.

[11:33] What does ISO 17021 say? –  In clause 9, ISO 17021 states that: the certification should ensure that the audit plan is established prior to each audit identified in the audit programme to provide the basis for agreement regarding the conduct and scheduling of the audit activities.

If they fail to put a plan in place, they are not meeting a requirement.

ISO 17021 also says that if you’ve got an organisation that’s got different sites, then the plan should take into account the different sites and whether the visit is going to be on site off site – as remote audits have become more common place post-pandemic.

[12:35] Steve’s experience with a flimsy plan provided by a Certification Body –  ‘I came across an audit plan which was just a list of all the requirements a standard. It was across 5 days. But there was no indication as to which day those requirements were going to be assessed. There’s no indication as to how long each of those requirements are going to be assessed? So what could the client do to prepare for that?’

Steve did say to client send it back and get a proper plan, but they have absolutely no joy with the certification body.

[13:50] Issue #3: Unnecessary charges –  Mel recounts a recent incident where a Certification Body cancelled 2 site visits, and due to the long delay between rebooking, the client had moved office. However, they only relocated a few doors down in one instance and across the road in another. The client then received a quote for an extension to scope – amounting to 3 extra days due to the address change!

Mel checked ISO 17021 and confirmed that an extension to scope is only applicable if changing what you’re doing or you’re adding a new location to the scope – however if you’re using the exact same scope and are only moving your business from one location to the next – it is not an extension to scope, it’s just a change of address.

Steve recounts a similar instance where a client was charged £160 for the address to be changed on their certificate! Which is a ridiculous and unnecessary admin fee which only serves to upset the client.

[17:50] Issue #4: No disclosure of the appeals process –  if client a company isn’t happy with their nonconformities, there is an appeals process, which is a requirement of ISO 17021.

Steve highlights an incident where an Assessor told a client ‘don’t bother with the appeals process because it’ll only delay the delivery your certificate’ – Which was highly unprofessional of that particular Assessor to say.

The appeals process there is there to help clients if they disagree with their assessor, and allow them to go to a sort of third party that’s within the certification body and say, look, I don’t agree with this. Can you explain why it’s a nonconformity?

Top tip: If you do get a non-conformity that you’re confused about – Ask the Assessor to show you where in the standard it requires you to do that. If an assessor cannot show you that, then it is not a nonconformity.

[20:30] The complaints process –  The complaints process really is not about appealing against a nonconformity, but complaining against perhaps not getting your plans in your reports and all that sort of thing.

[21:20] These issues are not the norm – don’t be put off ISO certification! –  While we have noticed an increase in complaints in the last year, we also want to highlight that these have mostly been for 1 or 2 select Certification Bodies.

On the whole, Certification Bodies provide a wonderful service to their clients. We just wanted to bring their code of practice to your attention, that you can check ISO 17021 to verify that the Certification Body is being fair to you and fulfilling their own requirements in relation to customer service.

[23:35] Receiving reports –  Lastly a reminder that reports to clients following visits should not take months to get to them. Clients should expect reports from Assessors in 2 – 3 days – not months!

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

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If you are going for certification, or currently manage a certified ISO Management System, then you should also be aware of ISO 17021 ahead of any Assessments or Surveillance audits conducted by an accredited Certification Body.

ISO 17021 sets out requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems. It ensures that Certification Bodies provide a reliable assessment of compliance with the applicable requirements, carried out by a competent impartial audit team, to achieve a consistent result for all clients.

So, why should you be aware of this Standard in particular? ISO 17021 also establishes what you as a client should expect from your Certification Body.

Steve Mason, Managing Consultant at Blackmores, joins Mel to discuss what ISO 17021 is, why you should be aware of it and the requirements related to expected service delivery from Certification Bodies.

You’ll learn

  • What is ISO 17021
  • The difference between accredited and non-accredited certification bodies
  • A brief overview of the Standard and client related requirements


In this episode, we talk about:

[01:40] Why are we talking about ISO 17021 now? In our internal Team Meetings, Certification Bodies are an established talking point. Highlighting the good and the bad, but in recent months it’s been more on the negative side. Steve had highlighted ISO 17021 as the Standard to look at in regard to expected service delivery requirements from Certification Bodies – so here we are!

[03:00] What is ISO 17021? The reason for the standard is that it ensures that all certification bodies are delivering the same level of service to all customers. Certification Bodies don’t need to be certified to other standards such as ISO 9001, as ISO 17021 was specifically designed for the purpose of delivering certifications.

It’s also the standard where you can find out what’s expected of Certification Bodies – like a Terms and Conditions or service level agreement.

[05:00] The difference between accredited and non-accredited Certification Bodies – Go back and watch episode 19 to learn more.

[06:10] Why is it important that the Certification Body is accredited? –  Accreditation proves that the Certification Body is being checked by another body. Accreditation is also recognised worldwide – it’s trusted as a gold standard of performance. There are many different accreditation bodies around the world, here in the UK it’s UKAS, but there are others such as ANAB in the US. Check out the International Accreditation Forum website to confirm the accreditation body for your country.

[08:10] Ultimately, a Certification Body can’t offer accredited certification services unless they’ve actually been assessed by the applicable accreditation body to ISO 17021, and they need to do that on an ongoing basis like any other certification.

They also may not be accredited to deliver every standard they offer – so make sure you verify with the certification body that they are in fact accredited to ISO 9001, ISO 27001 ect.

[09:15] A brief overview of what’s included in ISO 17021 – A lot of the clauses before this are really about the management of certification body, but when it comes to clause 9, this is where the customer becomes a lot more involved in the requirements. It covers topics such as planning audits, conducting audits, certification decision making, maintaining certification, the appeals process, the complaints process and then keeping client records.

Clause 9 in particular is where you, as a client, should focus.

[11:00] What core principles are described in ISO 17021? – Impartiality, competence, responsibility, openness, confidentiality, responsiveness to complaints, risk based approach and legal responsibilities.

[12:20] What personal behaviors should you expect from your assessor? – In Steve’s experience, he’s seen more and more assessors not living up to the requirements of ISO 17021. This could be for a number of reasons, i.e. they could have an uncooperative client, they may not have had adequate training, perhaps there’s a break down between clients and client managers. Either way, these are a few of the qualities that Assessors should embody: ethical, fair, truthful, sincere, honest, discrete and open-minded.

[14:00] A lack of open mindedness –  Steve had encountered an Assessor that stated ‘This must be wrong because I’ve never seen it done that way’ – which is not open minded in the least. This resulted in a non-conformity which should have never been raised.

ISO 17021, clause 9.4.5 states that any non-conformity raised shall be recorded against a specific requirement in the Standard being audited. Assessors need to take heed not to assess to their preference.

[15:15] Top Tip –  If you get asked a question, then give an answer and they raise that as a non-conformity that you’re unsure as to why it’s being raised – it’s always worth asking the Assessor to show you where in the standard they’re raising the non-conformity against.

It’s a case of clarifying the question and verifying what they’re raising a non-conformity against, and if there’s a justification for it. If there is, then great, they’re doing a great job! If not, it may be the Assessor’s personal bias, and there’s a chance you can get that non-conformity down to an opportunity for improvement.

[17:05] Other expected traits for Assessors to be aware of –  Collaborative: It should be a partnership between the client and Assessor – they want what’s best for you.

Tenacious: This can sometimes be taken too far. For example, if your Assessor it still assessing past 5pm, tell them to go home. If they need more time, then it’s up to the certification body to work that one out.

Other basic traits include: Observational, being perceptive and versatile.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes’

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One of the most common reasons why businesses look to achieve certification is because a client or prospective client is demanding it.  Questions are often asked in tenders such as do you have an Environmental policy? A complaints procedure? Data privacy controls? And of course do you have ISO 9001 (the quality standard)? Or ISO 14001 (the Environmental Management Standard)?

These answers accrue points and when bidding for a contract, the more points you can get the better chance you have of winning that lucrative contract, which could bring your company 1 – 3 years of high value revenue and profit.

So why are ISO Standards, Policies and Procedures mentioned in tenders?

And why should you look to align your business with quality, environmental and risk standards?    

Join Mel on today’s episode as she shares 10 reasons why ISO Standards can help businesses win tenders.

You’ll learn

  • Why are ISO Standards mentioned in Tenders?
  • The difference between accredited and non-accredited certification bodies
  • 10 Reasons why ISO Standards can help to win Tenders


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:55] Based on 17 years of running four businesses relating to ISO standards, Mel estimates that 8 out of 10 businesses that look to achieve certification is because they want to win or retain a client contract.

[01:35] If you’ve got your Policies, Procedures, Standards and systems in place, it does make the whole process of bidding for tenders a lot easier, in addition to giving you a greater chance of winning those tenders.

[02:30] Reason #1: Proof that you have achieved the highest standards – Put yourself in your clients’ shoes – would you rather work with a company that pays lip service to protecting your valuable data? Or that they have over 100 controls to manage your data in the security? (Such as in the Standard for Information Security – ISO 27001)  

One of the main reasons your clients will be looking for your company to be certified to an  ISO as because it demonstrates that you operate your business to the highest global standards.

[04:00] Reason #2: Demonstrates independent 3rd party certification –  This means that its not just you that claims that your business has good health and safety controls in place – an ISO certified business has to prove that its compliant year after year.  Being certified is proof that you practice what you preach and that there is evidence to back this up.

[04:50] Be careful – know the difference between accredited and non-accredited certification – Go back and watch episode 19 to learn more.

[05:45] Reason #3: Recognised across the globe – Passport to trade – When organisations are looking to expand internationally, ISO certification is often a requirement to deliver services or provide products overseas.  This is because ISO Standards are recognised globally as they way businesses should be run.

ISO’s aren’t just passports to trade internationally – they are also passports to trade in certain sectors.  For example in Construction – you aren’t going to get very far in tenders if you don’t have ISO 9001 (Quality), ISO 14001 (Environment) and ISO 45001 (Health and Safety).

[08:40] Reason #4 – USP – Many organisations adopt ISO Standards to give them a competitive edge and score more points in a tender.  For example, let’s say you’re bidding for a public sector contract worth £2 million, and they are very keen on their suppliers verifying their carbon footprint and being carbon neutral. It would give you a massive competitive edge if you could prove this and demonstrate evidence, once such way would be to get certified to ISO 14064 (Carbon Verification) and PAS 2060 (Carbon Neutrality). If you’d like to learn more about those Standards, go back and listen to episodes 72 and 73.

Note: PAS 2060 is set to become an ISO in the near future! Keep an eye out for news concerning ISO 14068

[11:55] Reason #5: Risk Management – ISO Standards help to significantly reduce risk.  This is why certified business have lower insurance costs and win more business.  All businesses need effective risk management – even Law Firms.  Over the last few years, we’ve seen more and more law firms achieve certification to ISO 27001 (Info Sec), ISO 27701 (GDPR) and business continuity (ISO 22301).

[13:20] Reason #6: Meeting customer requirements –  The one thing that a client outsourcing services expects as a minimum is that you actually meet their needs. It’s not much to ask is it? Though, you would be surprised how many businesses operate without processes!

ISO Standards help to define what your processes, and provide a blueprint for how you run your business – therefore providing clients with a standardised approach that is repeatable and guarantees high standards of quality products and services time and time again.

[14:30] Reason #7: Reduce ambiguity –  ISO Standards set out very clear specification – Many of them require certain documents that non-certified businesses often don’t have.

One such example is a process for dealing with problems, otherwise known as ‘Non-conformities’ in the ISO world. Businesses shouldn’t just bury their heads in the sand, they should have a system in place to log issues / customer complaints, rectify the issue and put preventative measures in place to prevent a recurrence.

[16:05] Reason #8: Industry specific standards –  Certain ISO Standards prove that you meet the highest quality best practice standards for your industry.

Not every industry has specific ISO Standards – but an example of this may be an events company that wants to stand out by being sustainable. ISO 20121 (Sustainable Event Management) would give them a huge advantage over competitors.

[17:10] Reason #9: Competent personnel with clear accountability and responsibility –  ISO Standards do stipulate that you have people that actually know what they’re talking about, in some cases, for businesses that don’t have ISO’s, this can be a bit of a steep learning curve.

If you’re looking to gain some basic competency in ISO Standards – check out our online learning platform, the isologyhub.

[18:10] Reason #10: Gives assurance to clients for a period of 3 years – ISO Standards are continuously maintained over a 3-year cycle.  It’s not a case of passing an assessment then waving goodbye to the systems you’ve got in place to run the business. 

You have to prove continued compliance through annual surveillance audits, and recertify after 3 years.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episode’s:

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Quality and environmental management are top priorities for many organisations, backed up by the increasing number of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certificates being issued every year.

Aside from being a popular requirement on tenders, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 provide a robust framework for businesses to ensure they follow Best Practice, enhance their businesses performance and put measures in place to reduce their environmental impact. We often see these two Standards being implemented in tandem, as is the case with todays’ guest, Asynt.

Asynt is a global provider of world leading technologies and services for scientific research, developed by chemists for chemists, their laboratory equipment responds to the real demands of industry and academia across the globe.

Today we welcome Siobhan Ellwood, Sales Support at Asynt, as she explains their journey towards ISO 9001 Implementation, and how they embedded ISO 14001 along the way using our online learning platform – the isologyhub.

You’ll learn

  • Who are Asynt?
  • How did Siobhan get involved with ISO Standards?
  • What was Asynt’s main driver for obtaining ISO 9001 and ISO 14001?
  • What did Asynt learn while implementing ISO 9001 and ISO 14001?
  • Siobhan’s experience using the isologyhub to implement ISO 14001


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:55] An Introduction to Asynt – A global provider of world leading technologies and services for scientific research. Based just outside of Ely in Cambridgeshire, they just celebrated 20 years in business!

[02:10] Siobhan’s role and how she got involved with ISO Standards: Siobhan is the Sales Support Manager for Asynt, she assist with raising quotations, managing sales orders and providing support for the warehouse.

In January 2023, 3 members of the Asynt Team were tasked with researching and obtaining ISO 9001, with a view to adopt ISO 14001 later on. Siobhan had experience working with Quality Standards thanks to her previous work in aviation and automotive companies, and had even previously implemented the Standard. Naturally, she was a perfect fit to head the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 project at Asynt.

[05:40] What did Siobhan enjoy most about Implementing ISO Standards? Initially, realising that she had a lot more knowledge about ISO than she gave herself credit for. Also, making use of the 5 Why’s to identify where something has gone wrong, implement a solution and preventing it from recurring.

[06:40] What were the main drivers behind Implementing ISO 9001 and ISO 14001?: For ISO 9001 – Top Management saw the need to have proper procedures in place, to ensure that everything was written down and could be communicated and conducted by other staff if needed. Ultimately, they wanted a cohesive system where everything, included roles and responsibilities, were documented and managed.

For ISO 14001 – Customers often ask for ISO 9001, but ISO 14001 was also starting to pop up in conversation more. Top Management at Asynt wanted to get ahead of the curve and make the move towards becoming more environmentally friendly. It was also seen as a stepping stone towards being in a position to calculate their Carbon Footprint and make further improvements.

[09:50] The ISO 14001 Coaching Programme – Asynt were one of the first companies to go through our ISO Coaching Programme, hosted via the isologyhub. This programme combined the DIY digital platform with group coaching sessions, allowing all participants to work collaboratively towards creating their own Environmental Management System.  

[10:20] Siobhan’s experience with the ISO 14001 Coaching Programme:  Overall Siobhan had a very positive experience in the coaching programme, a few highlights include:

Sharing ideas: Other participants come from a wide range of industries, and each brought their own unique ideas to the table, encouraging others to look at things from many different points of view.

Support: If another participant is struggling with something, there is a group of people to support and provide possible solutions. Siobhan gave an example of where she provided an Excel guide to another member who was looking for a solution.

Resources: Siobhan had previous experience with implementing ISO Standards, so she was aware of what type of documentation was required. She found the resources on the hub useful to refer to outside of coaching sessions, to enhance Asynt’s own ISO Standard Implementation.  

[12:20] What was the biggest Gap identified during Asynt’s Gap Analysis? Mostly it was the lack of documentation, which required a lot of work to get everything written down in cohesive processes and procedures.

For ISO 14001, Asynt are fortunate enough to own the buildings that they operate in. So, gathering the initial information required where potential energy and environmental improvements could be made was fairly easy.

[15:00] What differences did Asynt see after addressing the identified gaps? For ISO 14001 – Some elements were already in place (recycling waste ect), but weren’t being monitored in any meaningful way. Now Siobhan has got processes in place to ensure the recycling is being separated correctly and weighed so they can properly gauge their impact.

For ISO 9001 – It was the introduction of the 5 Why’s, which Asynt have used to great effect to identify problems and implement solutions. An example of this can be found in their warehouse, lanes and shelves weren’t labelled, causing confusion. It was a quick fix that could have been implemented years ago, but the 5 Why’s forced a much needed change.

[18:00] What did Siobhan learn from the experience of Implementing ISO 9001 and ISO 14001?  Integrating a Management System can save on a lot of paperwork! Initially the plan was to have just an ISO 9001 System, with ISO 14001 implemented at a later date. Going through the process of Implementing them as the same time highlighted how much easier it would be to combine them, thanks in part to how many elements overlap between the two.

It also makes the system a lot easier to interact with, having everything in one place rather than spread between two separate systems means staff don’t have to waste time digging for policies and Procedures.

[20:00] Certification plans: Asynt are well on their way towards ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification with their Stage 1 in October and Stage 2 in November 2023. With just under 2 months before the Stage 1, Siobhan plans to continue working through some opportunities for Improvement, raised by Blackmores in some recent Internal Audits.

[21:41] Siobhan’s top tip: Trust in the process and make sure that you have the right person in your business to lead the ISO project.

Also being open to change, being honest with yourself about where the gaps are and trying to get those closed but also manage expectations within the business.

[23:50] Siobhan’s book recommendation:  Salt path by Raynor Winn.

[26:05] Siobhan’s favorite quote: “Personal growth is not a matter of learning new information, but unlearning old limits” – Alan Cohen

If you’d like to learn more about Asynt check out their website!

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The UK events industry accounts for 35% of the UK visitor economy and is estimated to be worth £42 billion, yet it is still incredibly wasteful, with 68% of waste going directly to landfill.

Haymarket Media Group is a global media data and information company, who offer a wide range of digital print, tech and live event services. Haymarket UK had been certified to ISO 14001 (Environmental Management) and ISO 50001 (Energy Management) for a few years prior to 2019, covering most aspects of their business from a sustainability point of view.

However, their live events still had many sustainability opportunities that were not being taken into consideration by their existing certifications. So, in early 2022 they embarked on their journey to gain ISO 20121 (Sustainable Event Management) certification. 

Today, Gary Charlton and Natalie Harris from Haymarket join Mel to discuss exactly why they added ISO 20121 to their portfolio, the challenges faced with Implementing the Standard, and the benefits gained from certification.

You’ll learn

  • Who are Haymarket?
  • What is ISO 20121 Sustainable Event Management?
  • Why did Haymarket choose to Implement ISO 20121?
  • What challenges did they face?
  • What are the benefits of ISO 20121?


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:50] An Introduction to Haymarket Media Group – A global media data and information company, with offices in the UK, US, Germany, India and Asia. They produce live events (including award ceremonies, conferences and exhibitions), digital print, education data and tech services.

[02:25] Gary Charlton is the Head of Procurement for the UK –  Part of his role includes supporting the Haymarket approach towards sustainability, to ensure their products and services are as environmentally and socially sustainable as possible.

[02:45] Natalie Harris is the Procurement Executive at Haymarket – A lot of her role revolves around live events in addition to purchasing our products and services. Additionally, she advises the wider team on buying legally, sustainably and ethically. Both Natalie and Gary form a team, and were the main driving force behind the creation of their Sustainable Event Management System.

[03:40] What is ISO 20121?: ISO 20121 was launched for, and named after, the 2012 Olympics, making it the worlds first sustainable Olympics!  The Standard provides a framework for managing events sustainably, that includes having the policies, procedures, registers and records to demonstrate that the events are being run in a sustainable manner. Being certified indicates that a company is not just paying lip service to sustainability, it’s actually practicing what they preach. If you’d like to learn more about ISO 20121, go back and listen to episode 38.

[05:30] What was the main driver behind Haymarket achieving ISO 20121?: Haymarket first contacted Blackmores about assisting with ISO 20121 Implementation in 2019. At the time, they were already certified to ISO 14001 and ISO 50001, so they understood the benefits that came with ISO certifications – including the framework to start making better decisions and accurately measure what you’re doing.

Their head of facilities had started the process of evaluating other areas they could improve with ISO Standards, particularly around sustainability. Live events are a large service offering for Haymarket, which has a significant environmental footprint, so a case was put forward for the benefits if reducing that impact with the help of ISO 20121. The team running their live events were very positive about the potential benefits presented, and the go ahead was given.

[07:20] Sustainability is central to how Haymarket wants to operate – Implementing ISO 20121 would ensure that there was more standardisation across their processes. This would introduce some uniformity that could apply to all types of events, which was very important to the Live event lead – Donna Murphy.

Natalie was in the right place at the right time, already in the position of working in collaboration with Haymarket’s Live events team on sustainable procurement, ensuring that due diligence was followed with suppliers and their accreditations. So, it was a no-brainer getting her on board with the ISO 20121 project!

[09:30] How long did it take to implement ISO 20121?:  Haymarket engaged in Blackmores services in February 2022 and were accredited by July 2023. In total, it took 18 months for the planning, creation and development ahead of the assessment.

They ensured the system was refined to ensure it worked efficiently, encouraging continual improvement and a harmonious approach for the whole business.

[11:15] Above and beyond: Haymarket received a lot of praise from their Assessor – highlighting their thoroughness, including the involvement of top management and many others within the organisation in the creation of the Management System. Also for ensuring that the system would be applicable for the 4 main types of events that Haymarket runs.

[12:00] ISO 20121 requires an audit to be conducted during a live event – So Haymarket had a lot to consider when selecting the event to be audited.  

[13:30] Haymarket’s key insights on Implementing ISO 20121: #1: The Gap Analysis was an integral part of the process – by highlighting the gaps you can clearly see where improvements can be made. While they may have been a bit crestfallen and daunted by the gaps presented, they came out if knowing they already had around 27% of a Sustainable Event Management system already in place – partly due to their existing certifications. 

This soon bumped up to 59% at the half-way checkpoint! This assured them that ISO 20121 was within reach, and simply required at bit of time and effort to achieve.

#2 Having leadership involvement and backing – They were quick to involve their live event lead, Donna Murphy, in key decision making and with the roll-out of the Management System. She was instrumental in ensuring the Standard was in place and being followed.

[18:45] What were some of the gap identified and how did Haymarket bridge them?  Required documentation – Many ISO standards have required documentation. A lot of times companies do have a lot of it place, but it’s simply just not formalised. Natalie highlights that this was the case with a Risk Register. It’s not a universal company need to have, but as part of the Procurement Team it’s simply a part of who they are and what they do.

For live events, they need to do the appropriate health and safety checks, but it wasn’t formalised in any way. Thankfully their facilities and environment specialist, who assisted with the existing ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 certifications, was on hand to help with the creation of risk procedures based on procedures from the existing Management System.

With this collaborative approach, using elements from the exiting Management System, they created 31 brand new documents consisting of Procedures, Registers, Log and Records that are continuously used, monitored and updated.

This new documentation, while a lot of work to create, ultimately helps Haymarket track, measure and set parameter’s for continuous Improvement. It ensured they have a really visual system, with a clear view of what needs to be done to run sustainable events. 

[23:00] What difference has Implementing ISO 20121 made?: There was a big amount of short-time work for a long term gain. It’s not simply a stack of useless documents sitting in a corner, it’s a living, breathing system that is injected into the business.

The Management system is of benefit to everyone, including those new to Haymarket’s team as it provides a structured and standardised approach to sustainable event delivery. It’s provided knowledge and helped to develop new skills that will stick with all those that interact with the Management system, whether they stay with Haymarket or move elsewhere.

Ultimately, it’s all about ensuring they are doing the right thing for the planet. By creating more sustainable events, they are reducing their impact as a whole.

[26:00] What is the main achievement from being certified to ISO 20121?: Morale and confidence that they can say they really do practice what they preach. They could hold a mirror up and say, right, we’ve created this system and we’re confident in it – with internal audits conducted by third-parities to confirm they’re on the right track with their intended goals.

Certification is not the end goal. You have annual Surveillance Audits to check-in, so the system must be a long-term feature in your business, and it must drive continual improvement.

[27:50] What top tip would Gary and Natalie give for ISO 20121 Implementation? Gary: Make sure you’re resolute in your reasoning for Implementing the standard and the implications of doing so. Also, enlist the help of someone with Implementation experience!

Natalie: Don’t underestimate the amount of work required. Select someone in-house to manage the project and when / if you can, use external resources such as a consultant to assist. They can also provide unbias, reflective feedback to ensure you’re on the right track.

[30:10] What’s a favorite quote? “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it” – Robert Swan

If you’d like to learn more about Haymarket check out their website!

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Energy Management can be a tricky topic to approach depending on your industry. There are a lot of factors that need to be considered to ensure that you are accurately monitoring and measuring your energy consumption.

Thankfully ISO 50001, the Standard for Energy Management, does provide a lot of useful guidance to help you get started. As a reminder, ISO 50001 can help your business to continually improve its energy performance, energy efficiency, energy use and energy consumption. Building an energy management system (EMS) based on the requirements of ISO 50001 will ultimately help you to understand, monitor and measure your use of energy.

However, even with the guidance, we often see a few common mistakes companies make while managing their EMS. Today Darren Morrow, Senior Isologist here at Blackmores, joins us to share his top 5 mistakes to avoid while managing an EMS.

You’ll learn

  • What is ISO 50001?
  • 5 mistakes to avoid while managing an Energy Management System
  • How can you avoid these mistakes?  


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:30] What is ISO 50001? ISO 50001 is all about continually improving energy performance, energy efficiency, energy use and energy consumption. By Implementing an energy management system, you will be able to fully understand and monitor and measure your use of energy. Like most other ISO’s, continual improvement is at the heart of ISO 50001, and It’s also based on the Annex SL format. So, it shares some similarities with Standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. If you’ve got ISO 14001, you’re already half-way there!

[01:14] We have a more detailed walkthrough of ISO 50001 Implementation available in our steps to success podcast series, which are episodes: 84, 85 and 88

[02:00] Mistake 1 – Lack of commitment from top management: This can be one of the biggest issues and can cause the most damage in relation to any management system.

A lack of support from top management often leads to:-

  • A loss of motivation for improvement
  • A lack of financial support and resources – The EMS should be considered in budgets so you can account for any additional maintenance that needs to be done to ensure equipment is running optimally, or possibly investing in newer technology that is designed to be more efficient.
  • Lack of alignment of the EMS and organisational goals and objectives – Everyone in the business should be aware of the organisation’s goals, if energy management is included as part of those goals, then they are more likely to be fulfilled.

Having a commitment from top management ensures that EMS is part of the business and not just a bolt on.  

[03:25] Mistake 2 – Built by one person or department: If one person is deemed ultimately responsible, even if supported by top management, overall commitment throughout the business can be difficult, sometimes with comments such as ‘that’s Bob’s job’.

With one person or department, there can be the lack of authority to make decisions, and inevitably they can become siloed from the rest of the business – not hearing about improvement opportunities, not being involved in internal projects, etc.

Ensure that, even in a smaller businesses where one person may form the ‘Energy Team’,  that everyone is able to contribute.

[04:20] Mistake 3 – Rushed Implementation of the Energy Management System: This can lead to confusion as to who is responsible and what responsibilities are shared. It can also lead to failures to record opportunities for improvement, or for monitoring and managing any deviations in energy consumption that may occur and require investigation.

There is also the risk of a lack of awareness amongst staff if you’ve not taken the time to communicate roles and responsibilities in relation to the EMS.

[05:30] Mistake 4 – Manual controls that can be overridden by staff:  A lot of what you monitor and measure may be automated, but there will always be elements where there is a potential for human error. So ideally, where possible during energy reviews or audits, consider those elements that humans have direct impact for the control and influence of energy.

Typical examples include:

  • Heating and cooling – Problems and excessive energy use can be caused through individuals changing temperatures resulting in equipment working harder and on many occasions working against each other.
  • Lighting – Many companies now have sensor controlled lighting, this ensures lights are only switched on when required. Manual lighting controls typically have resulted in lights being switched on and left on in rooms that are not occupied, example being meeting rooms.

[06:50] Mistake 5 – Data collection and monitoring: Data collection is crucial in supporting decision making and also to be able to demonstrate improvement. Common pitfalls in this category include:

  • Lack of attention to monitoring and measurement results / trends – there is a likelihood that data will not be collected properly, recorded incorrectly, resulting in data that is only used to populate a spreadsheet or software based database, and does not provide any valuable information.

Results may not be analyzed at appropriate times to identify any trends or issues / deviations that may arise, potentially leading to inefficiencies in equipment operations, and ultimately increased costs

  • Poor data collection and record keeping and general housekeeping – Data if not collected periodically, covering determined periods, will result in being unable to compare consumption on a like-for-like basis. This means you will only be recording usage, with significantly reduced means to identify opportunities for improvement and / or causes for deviations.
  • Relying on energy bills (estimated and not reading meters) – This should be a last resort for data collection. This will not provide accurate information to base decisions on, inevitably bills will show an estimated consumption and cost, followed by a ‘reading’ sometime during the year, resulting in an amendment or adjustment being made – primarily cost.

This has a significant impact the data collected, along with any possibility of accurately identifying improvements and / or deviations that could impact the business

[09:40] We’re offering a Buy 1 Get 1 Free offer on isologyhub memberships until the 31st October 2023! Contact us to book a demo.

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There are a lot of tedious tasks that we put off or would rather just not do! Often, these types of tasks don’t take too long, but can cause delays if not completed. If you find yourself battling with this, it may be time to ask:

Where could you save 10 minutes a day?

That’s the exact question Lorna Leonard, Managing Director of Leonard Business Services, asked her team at the start of 2023. Focusing on tasks that were being put off for various reasons, Lorna found a potential time saving of 54 hours a month!

Today Lorna joins us to share her story of how saving just 10 minutes a day can potentially lead to 8 days’ worth of time saved, in addition to the pitfalls and solutions she found along the way.

You’ll learn

  • Who are Leonard Business Services
  • Why did the 10 minute initiative start?
  • The power of saving 10 minutes a day
  • What challenges did they face?


In this episode, we talk about:

[01:25] An Introduction to Lorna Leonard and Leonard Business Services – a virtual finance department who are certified to ISO 9001. Lorna also joined us on a previous episode, Chaos to Calm, to talk about their experience working during the COVID pandemic.  

[03:25] The challenge: Lorna started off with only 1 other member of staff, over the years they’ve grown to 7, with an increasing number of associates. With the organisation growing, Lorna was unable to be as hands on as she was before, so some things started to slip through the cracks. She wanted to ensure that was nipped in the bud early on.

The nature of her business needs very specific qualities in individuals, ones that are hard to come by. So, she was seeking to save as much wasted time with her current team as possible.

[04:50] Nothing is ever down to human error, it always comes down to a process – Some words of wisdom from Rachel Churchman, a Blackmores Managing Consultant who works with Lorna with on-going support. Processes change, they need regular review and updates to ensure they work well for you. Lorna found that a number of their processes created bubbles of inefficiency, which resulted in various 10-15 minute tasks that others found frustrating to complete.

[05:50] Saving 10 minutes a day: As a result of the process review, Lorna decided to focus on just saving 10 minutes a day – taking baby steps to tackle a bigger problem. She asked all of her staff to think of any tasks they found frustrating, and added them to a log. She kept that log going until May, to capture a snapshot of the issues before tackling them. This is just so she could measure the results more accurately later on.

[08:15] What tasks did Lorna’s staff highlight as frustrating?: A lot of problems were a result of software systems not talking to each other, meaning a lot of basic merging / collating of data had to be done manually between 2 systems.

[09:25] How they calculated the potential time-savings: Using the log, they estimated the time taken for each task, including consideration for which other members of staff may be affected by the same issues. At the end of the May, they found that there was a potential time-saving of 54 hours, which amounts to a full 8 days of work!

[11:25] Taking principles of ISO 9001 to heart:  Lorna has truly embraced one of the key elements of ISO 9001 – addressing non-conformities through looking at your risks and weaknesses. By taking a step back and shining a spotlight on the negative, you can work towards making a positive change, and continually improving your way of working.

[13:30] How did Lorna’s team feel about the iniative: At the start, it was like pulling teeth. Many felt as if the wasted time was a reflection on their performance rather than a failure of processes and systems which weren’t working as efficiently as they could. Once improvements were starting to be implemented, the team could see just how valuable this exercise was. Lorna even received kudos (through an internal perk system) from the Team!

[16:45] A part of the exercise involved accepting some things that you can’t change.

[17:00] The tip of the iceberg: One issue can lead down a deeper path. For example, Lorna found that their expenses app wasn’t integrating with their accounting app – resulting in a manual exchange of data. By talking to app support, they were able to find a solution. 2 weeks later Lorna found that, that solution resulted in fixing a problem elsewhere that she wasn’t even aware of!

[18:30] For the things that can’t be changed, there is always a possibility to look at more long-term solutions that may require a roadmap to get to. The key takeaway is that you’re making worthwhile improvements, no matter how quickly or long they may take to achieve.

[19:30] Other types of solutions found: Most of the solutions came down to outsourcing. For example, Lorna is not a software expert, so resolving the software system issues would have taken a long time. Luckily, she found an associate in Michigan who specialised in API development, who could create ways to make the systems talk to each other using Zapier. It wasn’t always possible as some apps don’t allow for custom triggers, but there was a lot of issues he could help resolve. Lorna now thinks of him as an extension of the team.

[22:00] Another example of time-saving: Lorna’s team often have to fill out P11D’s and submit them to HMRC on behalf of clients. The format that is provided made it difficult for staff to fill out, meaning it caused a lot of headache and wasted a lot of time just trying to reformat them in an easily editable way. They managed to source a system that does this for them, at a small cost per year. It was definitely worth it – saving the whole team 3 days’ worth of time a year!

[26:00] Leonard Business Services is a perfect example of how taking a proactive approach can lead to great success. They have won a number of awards over the years, and will no doubt win many more in the future.

If you’d like to learn more about Leonard Business Services, check out their website! Also take a look at Lorna’s LinkedIn, where she shares a lot of insightful business tips.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
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We’re already seeing the devastating effects of failing to maintain global warming at the 1.5 degrees, as pledged in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. In order to get this back on track we all need to consider our current energy consumption.

So, what can businesses do to manage their impact?

That’s where ISO 50001, the Standard for Energy Management, comes in! ISO 50001 can help your business to continually improve its energy performance, energy efficiency, energy use and energy consumption. Building an energy management system will ultimately help you to understand, monitor and measure your use of energy.

Today Darren Morrow, Senior Isologist here at Blackmores, joins us to share his top 5 top tips for ISO 50001 Implementation.

You’ll learn

  • What is ISO 50001?
  • 5 top tips for Implementing and Energy Management System


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:52] We have a more detailed walkthrough of ISO 50001 Implementation available in our steps to success podcast series, which are episodes: 84, 85 and 88

[01:05] What is ISO 50001? ISO 50001 is all about continually improving energy performance, energy efficiency, energy use and energy consumption. By Implementing an energy management system, you will be able to fully understand and monitor and measure your use of energy. Like most other ISO’s, continual improvement is at the heart of ISO 50001, and It’s also based on the Annex SL format. So, it shares some similarities with Standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. If you’ve got ISO 14001, you’re already half-way there!

[01:40] ISO 50001 and ESOS – ISO 50001 can also help you comply with ESOS (The Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme). If you’d like to learn more about that, listen to episode 138.

[02:50] Tip 1 – Top Management commitment and allocation of resources: This is vital, as the reason for implementation, management, requirements and aims along with expectations of everyone within the business for their support, is clearly demonstrated and communicated from the top down.

With an energy management system, part of this commitment includes making sure suitable resources are made available, this includes:

  • People – For implementation, maintenance and improvement of the systems, including the means of gathering and reporting data.
  • Financial support – There will be times where investment will be required. Ensuring existing equipment maintenance and servicing undertaken as required to maintain efficiency.

Allocate clear responsibilities for individuals e.g. gathering data such as meter readings, fuel usage, so that this is done consistently and the data is not only available but accurate.

[04:14] Tip 2 – Data: For data collection we need to understand certain things, an Energy review will support the identification of energy sources, identify and understand energy use and determine clear performance monitoring and indicators, leading to the determination of the data required. Some key considerations include:

  • Identify sources of energy and your energy consumption from the energy review
  • The quality, precision and accuracy of the data collected needs to be considered and monitored if measuring / monitoring results are to be meaningful.
  • Data collection frequency should be determined and maintained to support the overall statistical analysis.

Finally, set goals and targets for improvement (EnPIs) – this can be in overall energy consumption, specific equipment improvements, other ratios measures such as consumption per person of consumption vs revenue.

[06:10] Tip 3 – Align and Integrate with other business management systems, goals and strategies: Sounds simple, but not always undertaken effectively, when implementing an energy management system consider any other management system that is already in place and look at any similarities, any elements that already exist that can be tweaked or expanded – this way, it is treated as ‘business as usual’.

[07:20] Tip 4 – Communication, training and awareness:  Communication plays a key role in any system, make sure you:

  • Communicate requirements, goals and commitments, and objectives or targets.
  • Keep staff informed of what’s going on as their involvement and direct actions support achieving goals and targets, along with identifying improvements.
  • Assign responsibilities, create a team and/or assign a champion – This supports the effectiveness of data collection, and also can increase motivation and encourage identification of energy saving opportunities

Energy savings require the commitment of the whole workforce. There ideally needs to be a champion in the organization who can drive change and savings.

[08:41] Tip 5 – Record opportunities for improving energy efficiency: Any and all identified opportunities can be, and should be logged and monitored for suitability, no matter how ‘far out there’ these may be.

Some may not be appropriate or feasible immediately, or in the short term, possibly due to costs / investment requirements. However, once an opportunity is logged, it can be monitored, assigned financial support and be planned for Implementation.

[10:40] We’re offering a Buy 1 Get 1 Free offer on isologyhub memberships until the 31st October 2023! Contact us to book a demo

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
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We sadly often see Management Systems fade into the background following successful certification. When this happens, it can stagnate and cease to be a driving force for continual Improvement within the business.

So, what can you do to reinvigorate interest?

That’s where the Engagement Amplifier Gameplan comes in! This Gameplan was created by today’s guest, Sarah Ball, an isologist here at Blackmores and one of the main driving forces behind our online membership – the isologyhub.

Today Sarah will continue on from the last episode and explain the last few steps in the Engagement Amplifier Gameplan. 

You’ll learn

  • What is the isologyhub?  
  • What are the final 4 steps in the Engagement Amplifier Gameplan?


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:55] The isologyhub is our online Membership our online membership site that includes a full ISO 14001 roadmap to help you create and launch your own bespoke environmental management system. Also included are a suite of templates and training on various ISO’s to help take you from zero to hero in ISO Standards.

[01:15] Sarah Ball created the Engagement Amplifier Gameplan in addition to many other resources on the hub. She is one of the key people behind the hub’s creation and currently drives it’s development.

[01:30] This is part 2! We covered what the Engagement Amplifier is, along with the first few steps in the Gameplan in the last episode. If you missed out, I highly recommend going back and giving it a listen.  

[01:45] Step 4 – Champions: A team of management system Champions, whether that be Health & Safety Champions, Quality Champions or any other discipline, can have a significant impact on engagement levels. They can advocate for the management system and, crucially, Champions lead by example when they engage with the management system themselves. In Step 4, the Gameplan takes you through what Champions can do, what makes a good team of Champions and how to start your own team of Champions.

[03:40] Step 5 – Brand Boost: This is how you brand and sell your management system to your employees and other key stakeholders, which is crucial to how they relate to it and engage with it. It walks you through the importance of a brand identity for your management system, how to develop this and how to launch, or re-launch, the management system with a new brand within the business. This step can be useful for the implementation of your management system and for when engagement has really fallen. For further listening – go back to our ‘What’s in a Name’ episode.

[04:30] Practicing what we preach – We did a recent rebrand of our Management System at Blackmores. Even though it’s a mature system that’s many years old, we felt that it wasn’t doing much for us. So we followed our own plan and created H20 (How 2 Operate), a much more accessible and collaborative Management System that is housed on our shared Teams channel and SharePoint.  

[05:40] Step 6 – Communicate and Celebrate: . Ongoing communication is a key part of maintaining momentum and engagement, it provides an opportunity to keep the management system at the forefront of people’s minds and to celebrate successes. It also allows you to recognise examples of engagement with the management system. The Gameplan takes you through what you should communicate and how and is something that you can revisit at any point as your management system matures.

[06:45] Step 7 – Momentum: Once you have reinvigorated engagement, it is crucial to maintain that momentum. This step takes members through how to recognise engagement, continue to reassess engagement levels and developing a future strategy to maintain the desired level of engagement.

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About Blackmores

Our 7 Steps to Success

The Blackmores ISO Roadmap is a proven path to go from idea to launching your ISO Management System.

Whether you choose to work with one of our isologist consultants or work your own way through the process on our isology Hub, we’re certain you’ll achieve certification in no time!

What our clients have to say

The support and advise I get from our assigned auditors is immense. Forward planning for the following year is great and they are flexible and always willing to help.

Kalil Vandi

“Blackmores have assisted us almost since the start of our adoption of the ISO 9001 quality standard. Their input has improved our processes since the start, and enabled our goal of continuous improvement to be achieved. The people are also extremely easy to get on with, and they really understand our business, giving us a great deal of confidence in their advice.”

David Gibson

Photon Lines Ltd

“Blackmores are the perfect bridge between working on your ISO as an individual or company, to being audited each year.  We find that any queries we have are covered and we feel sure that we have everything as needs be before going into an external audit.”

Mandy Welsby

Jaama Ltd

“We have been extremely impressed with the service and support provided by Blackmores.  There knowledge and assistance through out our ISO journey has been amazing!”

Philip Hannabuss

Dome Consulting

“Blackmores have really kept us on our toes with the broad scope and level of detail they apply to our internal audit schedule. They always stay abreast of ISO standard changes and help us to adapt our processes and documents to embrace these changes accordingly. Having Blackmores shadow our external audits provides invaluable confidence and peace of mind – would highly recommend their services!”

Phil Geens

Kingsley Napley

“Our ISO 27001 certification project has gone so well, that there was no doubt in who we were going to ask to help us with our aspirations of becoming ISO 14001 certified. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Blackmores, and we are really looking forward to working with them for the foreseeable future.”


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