How ISO 37101 certification benefits organizations & communities?

How ISO 37101 certification benefits organizations & communities?

09 Jan 2023

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This informal CPD article, ‘How ISO 37101 certification benefits organizations & communities?’ was provided by Punyam Academy, an industry leader in training of international compliance standards.

Over the past two decades, many developed and developing countries have witnessed significant socio-economic growth. This rapid growth has come at the cost of the environment and has caused depletion of finite resources, such as clean water, flora and fauna, fertile land, food sources, etc. Undoubtedly, it will leave our younger generations with the burden of resource exhaustion. Therefore, changing our way of living and making our communities more sustainable is the need of the hour.

 A sustainable future can be made at local community level by citizens themselves. The need for a more sustainable lifestyle in our communities is also reflected in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities, which calls to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Taking the UN SDGs into consideration, ISO 37101:2016 was published for the first time by ISO on 15 July 2016; it was last reviewed and confirmed in January 2022. It provides guidance for organisations whether involved directly or indirectly in sustainable development in communities at different stages in their life cycles. Sustainable development is about integrating the goals of a high quality of life, health and prosperity with social justice and maintaining the earth’s capacity to support life in all its diversity.

What is ISO 37101 management system?

ISO 37101 is a management system for sustainable development in communities of all sizes, structures and types, in developed or developing countries, at local, regional or national levels, and in urban or rural areas. It helps in managing sustainability in communities, which means managing its environmental, social and economic aspects, in a manner that the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. ISO 37101 management systems can help communities become more resilient, smart and sustainable, through the implementation of strategies, programs, projects, plans and services.

ISO 37101 management system for sustainable development in communities helps communities, organisations, local governments, city leaders and developers in the management of real-life projects in cities and communities. It helps them in defining sustainable development objectives and developing and implementing strategies to achieve those objectives. 

This management system can be used at community level by a group or structure that will implement it on behalf of the community. This can be in the form of local government or municipal bodies. It can also be used by an external organisation mandated by a community to drive the implementation of the standard. In addition, anyone involved in the life of a community, for example a local developer, may also use the standard to ensure that his or her plans take into account the principles of sustainable development. City leaders can use this standard to set and achieve their city's sustainable development agenda.

ISO 37101 management system for sustainable development

Why ISO 37101 management system is becoming popular?

One of the main reasons behind popularity of anything is its benefits. Recently, the world has started realising the benefits of ISO 37101 management system. Some of its benefits are:

  • Fosters smartness and resilience in communities
  • Enables communities to develop their purpose and vision;
  • Helps preserve and improve the environment, reduce GHG emission and address climate change issues;
  • Promotes diversity, equity, heritage, inclusiveness, sense of belonging and social mobility;
  • Improves land management;
  • Promotes sustainable production, storage, transport, distribution;
  • Supports responsible use of all types of resources;
  • Improvement in health and wellbeing of people in the community;
  • Better governance and empowerment of community;
  • Helps to establish a system which can address most of the economic, social, and environmental issues as well as the UN SDGs.

The ever-increasing burden of population, particularly in urban areas of a majority of nations, is hammering hard on the existing resources, infrastructures and management systems of municipal bodies, urban developers and organisations involved in management of environmental, economic and social needs of the communities.

ISO 37101 management system for sustainable development in communities helps them to address environmental, social and economic issues, as well as supports them to achieve sustainable development in communities through Plan-Do- Check- Act approach to achieve them. The PDCA approach and the continual improvement principle of ISO 37101 helps them to regularly adjust their objectives and strategy to ensure they are constantly moving forward.

Community and local initiatives are at the core of ISO 37101 management system for sustainable development in communities. It focuses on communities as stepping stones towards sustainability of society as a whole. This management system adopts a holistic approach that facilitates the cooperation of all interested parties. In addition, this management system is compatible with other commonly used management systems, such as ISO 14001 environmental management system, ISO 45001 occupational health and safety management system, ISO 50001 energy management system, etc.

Moreover, during the pandemic, the world has recognised the value of community, local initiatives, and the need for smart and resilient public facilities and smart cities. That is why urban planners, city leaders and developers are looking towards ISO 37101 management system implementation and certification as well.

Benefits of ISO 37101 certification

ISO 37101 certification helps organisations, local governments, urban developers and promoters to demonstrate their commitment, credentials and competency to help communities achieve the goals of sustainable development. If an organization achieves ISO 37101:2022 certification upon fulfillment of all the requirements of this standard, it will be able to demonstrate its commitment and credentials to help communities achieve the goals of sustainable development in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals.

This certification ensures that the organisation has the competencies to help communities improve their sustainability. An ISO 37101 certified organisation could help communities by making them more attractive to investors, and also help improve their practices of environmental preservation, make them more resilient, steer them toward more responsible resource usage, ultimately contributing to sustainable development.

We hope this article was helpful. For more information from Punyam Academy, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively, you can go to the CPD Industry Hubs for more articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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Punyam Academy Pvt. Ltd.

Punyam Academy Pvt. Ltd.

For more information from Punyam Academy Pvt. Ltd., please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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