With 2020 expected to see major growth in compliance, leading testing, inspection and certification authority, Bureau Veritas, has revealed that a focus on tackling climate change, ‘Big Data’ and ethical supply chains will be the key trends in the year ahead.

Despite concerns over Brexit and a slowing economy, recent findings from HSBC show almost half of UK companies are planning to increase their environment-related spending between now and summer 20211. The study, which surveyed 2,500 organisations, found that 69% will be looking to make their manufacturing processes more sustainable, 66% will be improving internal practices and 63% will be updating buildings and equipment2.

Meanwhile, a new report reveals that 75% of UK shoppers want supermarkets to only stock food from sustainable and ethical sources3 – putting pressure on the food industry to ensure such practices apply throughout the global supply chain.

Ken Smith, Country Chief at Bureau Veritas UK, states: “As we look to the year ahead, considering ways in which a business can meaningfully help to tackle climate change will remain a top priority, and in many instances, this will be increasingly critical to their commercial success.

“To do this well requires a holistic and well thought out sustainability strategy – encompassing everything from energy efficiency through to waste management. It can be an incredibly complex area, hence our advice to businesses for 2020 would be to seek out expert consultancy to ensure any sustainability framework can be clearly verified and validated so that it delivers results in line with your environmental objectives.

“In addition, in recent years we’ve seen an exponential rise in consumers, investors and the stock market seeking transparency and ethical standards around food products. As such, the pressing challenge for the food industry will be to demonstrate effectively how such standards are being adopted at every stage of a global supply chain – from manufacturing, down to logistics and delivery right through to when the product ends up on our plates.”

Another key trend for 2020, adds Bureau Veritas, will be how businesses use ‘Big Data’ to inform and improve existing compliance regimes, particularly in responding to changing future regulations.

Ken adds: “At Bureau Veritas, we carry out millions of engineering inspections for audit and compliance purposes each year. More and more, however, we’re finding that companies want to compile and decipher the large amounts of data this generates to create a more agile and cost-effective approach to compliance, through sector and regional benchmarking in key areas such as H&S, quality and sustainability. In the coming year, we expect this to be particularly prevalent for multinational entities looking to get ahead of fast-changing regulatory frameworks

“At the same time, this will need to be balanced against requirements under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), where firms must understand their data protection obligations in storing and using ‘Big Data’ or risk facing hefty fines.”

Bureau Veritas recently launched Circular+; a platform that offers a holistic approach to process audit and management system services to help organisations manage both their environmental and social impacts.

For further information, call 0345 600 1828 or visit www.bureauveritas.co.uk