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The six strategic areas of good governance of organizations, according to the latest UNE report

31/01/2022

  • Around 40 UNE standards support the good governance of organizations in six strategic areas: corporate, resilience, inter-organisational relations, health and safety at work, digital transformation and sustainable activities.
  • The report highlights the crucial role of standardization in the development of best practices in order to reduce risks and ensure business continuity.

  • Standardization in this area allows us to address cross-cutting issues and to have a strategic vision with a 360º approach.

Madrid, 31 January 2022 - The Spanish Association for Standardization (UNE) has published a report analysing the standards required to promote six key aspects of good governance of organizations: corporate, resilience, inter-organisational relations, health and safety at work, digital transformation and sustainable activities. The Spanish standardization body has identified around 40 standards that support the good governance of organizations in these strategic areas.

The report Good Governance of Organizations it highlights the role of standardization as a crucial activity for the development of best practices in order to reduce risks, increase the resilience of companies and ensure business continuity.

Standardization in this area also allows us to address cross-cutting issues and to have a strategic vision with a 360º approach.

Javier García, UNE's CEO, highlights that "good governance is one of the major challenges of society and organizations today. Its proper management is essential to be better prepared to face changes, overcome crisis situations such as the current one and generate trust. Standardization, which is based on the principles of consensus, openness, transparency and its robust procedures, will help organizations successfully meet this challenge".

Corporate standardization helps establish governance principles, remuneration schemes and manage conflicts of interest, risks and CSR. Organizations are increasingly subject to scrutiny by their audiences, and their commitment to this matter affects their competitiveness, reputation, talent attraction, investor perception and relationships with their stakeholders. In this regard, compliance management should be integrated into all the organization's processes (finance, risks, quality, environment, health and safety) to secure best practices, the report states. A clear example is the standard UNE-ISO 37301, which establishes the requirements to develop an effective compliance management system in organizations.

Secondly, alongside risk management, crisis scenarios must be assessed to anticipate and adapt to a changing context that is often unstable. To carry out this analysis, the report reveals the standards that establish the principles, guidelines and terminology for managing risks and securing the company. For example, the standard UNE-EN ISO 22301 establishes the requirements of a business continuity management system.

Another essential aspect of good governance of organizations is the relationship between themselves. Paloma García, UNE's Director for Standardization and Interest Groups, stresses that "for decades, it has been demonstrated that companies that opt for teamwork, whether internally or with other organizations, have achieved better results than those that promote individuality among their workers". The ISO 44000 series of standards provides a framework for collaborative relations between organizations.

The report also highlights that standards relating to occupational health and safety are an ideal tool for increasing efficiency, reducing accidents and illnesses and increasing operational capacity by reducing emergencies and time off work. UNE has also highlighted the standards that help to manage the risks of COVID-19 and mental health. Among these standards is the UNE-ISO/PAS 45005 specification that offers guidelines to organizations on how to manage the risks of COVID-19 at work.

Digital transformation is also one of the most important challenges in this field. UNE specifications are intended to digitalize key business processes - those that have a significant impact on income, costs or customer experience. The integration of technology will result in the optimization and interaction of processes of research and development, design, production, logistics and the rendering of associated services. In this regard, UNE Specification 0060 establishes the requirements of a management system for going digital with Industry 4.0.

Finally, the report includes sustainability as a key activity in good governance, an area that has become a central element of domestic and European policies. European Regulation 2020/852 provides a framework for prioritizing sustainable investments through the so-called European Taxonomy, which is supported, in many cases, by technical standards. Technical standards help organizations to determine the environmental costs and benefits of their activity and translate them into economic value.