Influential Voices: Doing Good through Quality

Okay, so I’m a little late to the draw since Paul posted about Social Responsibility in July… but my summers are not just busy – they are brutal, so I hope that my readers will forgive me. What triggered my responding today was an article by fellow Green Mountain College MBA Graduate Bryan Sheehan on Sustainableplant.com, titled “Sustainability is the New ‘Quality’ for 21st Century Companies.”

Within ASQ, we talk about Social Responsibility, and use the definition from ISO 26000. Bryan argues that “sustainability is just as mission-critical as any other vital function, such as quality, customer service or employee safety.” In using the term sustainability, this expands to include John Elkington’s concept of a Triple Bottom Line, including not just people and planet, but also that remaining profitable is the also key to remaining in business.

As quality professionals, when we apply our quality tools to doing good, it is likely that we are also being sustainable in our actions, because by their nature quality tools will typically help to reduce the costs of poor quality. When we consider sustainability in applying these tools, we can amplify their effects.

What are you doing to help your organization become more sustainable?

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