Beyond ESG Compliance: Quality for a Sustainable Future

Willy Vandenbrande Instructor:
Willy Vandenbrande 
75 Minutes
Webinar ID: 501960

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Price Details
Recorded Webinar
$199 One Attendee
$399 Corporate Recorded

Recorded: Access recorded version, only for one participant unlimited viewing for 6 months ( Access information will be emailed 24 hours after the completion of live webinar)

Corporate Recorded: Access recorded version, Any number of participants unlimited viewing for 6 months ( Access information will be emailed 24 hours after the completion of live webinar)


As an introduction we point out how important sustainability is for the planet as a whole and how companies will be faced with increasing demands on their impact on society, in all aspects of the term. We also give a brief overview of how sustainability has been wrongly tackled in the past.

Surprisingly there is still very little knowledge on the basics of sustainability, so to set the scene we will start with an internationally accepted definition of sustainability. In addition we will make clear that there are three building blocks: financial, environmental and social sustainability. This in itself will show that there is no contradiction between profitability and sustainability. But to make this very clear we will expand on this by using some examples and also by showing how a company will experience more and more pressure to be sustainable in the future.

This pressure is presenting itself in guidelines (ESG reporting, B-Corps, …) and in legislation (EU CSRD). These systems put a high emphasis on reporting. That is important, but reporting in itself will not make a company more sustainable. Being compliant (with customer demands or legislation) is vital but will not bring you a competitive advantage. All your competitors will also be compliant, otherwise they would not be your competitors.

To turn sustainability into an investment with a high return, we present a simple, action directed and practical approach: the Sustainability - Quality matrix. It links quality to the three aspects of sustainability and does that in three maturity phases or steps: Awareness, Adoption and Achievement.

Each step is linked to a set of quality tools and quality system elements. In this way sustainability is integrated in our quality philosophy and strategy and it can be implemented without additional structures or added administration. We are also not looking for added certifications.

In the Awareness phase (or operational sustainability) we focus on an action directed approach leading to tangible results. It is the first step in building sustainability into the management system of the company and focusses on improvement projects that link quality to finance to sustainability. It now becomes clear for the company that sustainability is an investment and not a cost and that quality oriented actions also improve sustainability.

In the Adoption phase the organization takes up sustainability in the overall strategy (strategical sustainability). There is no doubt within the organization that sustainability is a factor adding to the long term success of the organization. This means that it will become part of the mission and vision statements of the organization and included in decisions on investments. We expand our activities beyond the operational boundaries involving and committing all departments in our sustainability efforts. We are focusing on a sustainable total value chain and not just on sustainable internal operations.

The final step, Achievement or holistic sustainability takes this one step further. The most important aspect of the achievement phase is that “reducing harm” is no longer seen as good enough. Even if the most advanced companies in the most advanced economies bring their harm back to zero, this might not be enough to safeguard and improve our global ecosystem for the next generations.

This gives a direct link to the last part of the presentation where we will look at the future of sustainability and evaluate if the current concepts and definitions will be sufficient for the future. We will propose a new definition, based on quality for all life.

Why should you Attend: Sustainability is a hot topic and almost daily we read and hear about global warming and the mass extinction of species. Companies are now faced with increasing administrative and legal demands on these topics: ESG as a requirement to convince investors or the EU CSRD as a legal requirement in company annual reporting. There is also an increased direct financial pressure: the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism introduces a CO2 tax.

Apart from these government demands, consumers are more sensitive to and knowledgeable about the sustainability of producers. This is also true for potential employees. Not being sustainable could be an important cause for losing the battle for talent.

Despite all of this attention many organizations are still hesitant to use sustainability as a fundamental strategy and a guiding principle in their business. The main reason for that is the perceived contradiction between sustainability and profitability. This is caused by a lack of knowledge on sustainability and the fear that actions taken on this subject will lead to higher cost.

In this webinar you will learn that profitability and sustainability go hand in hand and that the fear is ungrounded and the contradiction a false one. We will present a sound and cost effective approach applicable to all organizations and no matter what their current state is on sustainability. Using quality tools and methods in an integrated and holistic way will allow you to turn your sustainability strategy into actions that have a positive impact on society and on the competitiveness of your company.

Areas Covered in the Session:

  • Sustainability: the need to go beyond marketing
  • The false contradiction between sustainability and profitability
  • A practical approach: the quality - sustainability matrix
    • Step 1: Awareness or operational sustainability
    • Step 2: Adoption or strategical sustainability
    • Step 3: Achievement or holistic sustainability
  • A look into the future: Quality of All Life
  • Concluding remarks

Who Will Benefit:
  • CEO
  • Quality Manager
  • Sustainability officers - interested parties

Speaker Profile
Willy Vandenbrande is the founder and President of QS Consult, a European consulting agency that assists organizations in various aspects of Quality Management. His client list as a consultant includes a wide variety of manufacturing companies as well as service and non-profit organizations. He has delivered presentations at many international conferences and has written numerous articles on Quality Management. He is retired since January 2022 but has recently started a new organization “Quality For Nature”. The objective is to publish and speak on quality and sustainability. Any profit generated will go to projects supporting ecosystem restoration.

Willy holds a Masters degree in Civil Engineering Metallurgy and a Masters Degree in Total Quality Management. He holds a Six Sigma Black Belt Certification from the American Society for Quality (ASQ). Willy is an ASQ Fellow and an Academician to the International Academy for Quality (IAQ). He is the chair of the Quality in Planet Earth Concerns Think Tank of IAQ.

Mr. Vandenbrande is the recipient of the 2019 Jack E. Lancaster Medal (ASQ) for outstanding leadership in promoting quality worldwide.

Recent international presentations 2023 - "Quality Methodologies the Drive Sustainability Performance Maturity" ASQE - Executive roundtable keynote speech

2023 - "Restoring the Triple P Model though Quality" 77th WCQI 2023 Philadelphia

2022 - "A Man and his Dog: on the Future of Quality" - keynote speech at the VCK Quality Day

2022 - "Holistic Quality: from Management to Care" - ASQE - Executive roundtable keynote speech

2022 - "Not to be Forgotten: Quality 0.0" - 76th WCQI 2022 Anaheim

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