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The testing, inspection and certification (TIC) market is constantly evolving in response to changing technologies and consumption patterns, emerging market production, multi-channel distribution and an increased focus on quality, protection, efficiency and regulation. With sustainable development and new technologies increasingly being a feature of every industry, demand for sustainability-related services represents an important opportunity for SGS. Our sustainability services are fully integrated into the strategy of each business line.

For SGS, creating and delivering value means using our scale and expertise to enable a more responsible, balanced and sustainable future. We help our customers to adopt and develop more sustainable business practices, and in turn, support them in creating products, technologies and services that deliver added value.

We help organizations ensure that they and their partners have efficient and manageable processes and systems in place which comply with stakeholder requirements related to quality, health and safety, environmental management, corporate social responsibility and other areas of sustainable development. We help customers to:

  • Become more environmentally responsible: we offer a comprehensive range of testing, verification, certification, consulting and training services. For example, we verify CO2 emissions trading. We advise on the use of wind energy, test soil and water for contaminants, check air quality, assess noise pollution, model groundwater dispersion and establish whether a level of vibration is acceptable. We also audit and certify environmental management systems and train companies on how to implement and report them
  • Ensure sustainable facilities and production: we offer a number of services, including site operation and management, green process design, and carbon footprint evaluation for products and packaging
  • Minimize the risk of corruption: in some territories, corruption and bribery can be commonplace. We can help organizations to implement procedures that minimize the risk of corruption, undertake due diligence checks on business partners and verify programs for certification
  • Develop a better working or social environment: our audits, reporting and support services range from supply chain management and social responsibility to traceability and training

Some specific examples of SGS sustainability services include:

  • SGS precision irrigation enables farmers, agronomists and agricultural investors to optimize water efficiency and costs. With food and agriculture accounting for 70% of all water use according to the Pacific Institute, and the efficiency of irrigated agriculture estimated to be below 40% (John P.A. Lamers, Asia Khamzina, Inna Rudenko, Paul L.G. Vlek (eds), ‘Restructuring land allocation, water use and agricultural value chains’ (2014)), SGS helps clients through advanced data analytics, soil science, sensors and client interface to understand soil characteristics, weather patterning and irrigation methods
  • SGS ballast water services help to tackle invasive species such as zebra mussel, North Pacific sea star, North American comb jellyfish and Chinese mitten crab which are spread via ballast water. With 1% of the world’s oceans transported by ship each year, it is estimated that more than 10,000 species make the same voyage via ballast water. Using on board samplers, portable laboratories, rapid test methods, microscopic examination of plankton, adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP), fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH) and on-shore lab verification, we help organizations to manage the spread of invasive species and avoid the risks posed to human health and the damage to fragile ecosystems around the world. (For more information, see the San Francisco Estuary Institute, the NOAA, and Lloyd’s Register Marine guidance on understanding ballast water management)
  • SGS sustainability report assurance services help customers to demonstrate the accuracy, reliability and credibility of their reports against international standards, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the AA 1000 Accountability Principles (2008). Demand for these services is particularly evident in developing markets, where investors, customers, non-governmental organizations and governments increasingly expect companies to be transparent about their sustainability management practices and performance

Other services may have indirect sustainability benefits. For example:

  • We support the design of ecological buildings and ‘Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM, products through SGS Search based in the Netherlands. These services enable our clients to design and create enduring environments and products with reduced negative ecological and environmental impacts
  • SGS climate change training courses equip organizations with the knowledge and skills to demonstrate active and effective engagement in greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, carbon foot printing and GHG verification. Through SGS Systems and Services Certification and Environmental Services, our public, in-house and e-learning courses cover the monitoring and reporting of GHG emissions, carbon accounting, GHG inventory management and product carbon foot printing. We also provide industry-specific training to help organizations in sectors such as mining, oil and gas, hospitality and horticulture


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