Doosan Babcock – ISO 26000 Case Study

Doosan Babcock is a specialist in the delivery of engineering, aftermarket and upgrade services to the thermal power, nuclear, oil and gas and process industries. A global business with over 3000 employees it has a varied customer base across the energy and process sectors, including all major UK energy providers. 

The company already has many management system certificates in place including ISO 9001 Quality, OHSAS 18001 Health and Safety and ISO 14001 Environmental. With an esteemed heritage of over 120 years within the energy sector, long term sustainable business delivery is ingrained within the organisation. 

Doosan Babcock aspire to meet their customer needs and be an innovator of products and services that improve the quality of life and wellbeing for communities around the world. One of the ways to achieve this is by applying the Doosan Babcock Credo values with respect to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which include: 

  • Creating a socially responsible enterprise is our duty to society
  • Seeing business and society as a close partnership and an opportunity for mutual growth 
  • Doosan Babcock will be proactive in partnerships, contributing the time and resources required 
  • Aim to contribute to the development of talent in society 

Why ISO 26000? 

Organizations around the world have become increasingly aware of the need for socially responsible behaviour, and are subject to far greater scrutiny by their various stakeholders. Stakeholders expect that businesses look beyond simply controlling their impact upon society and the environment, wherever possible looking to make a positive difference to the wider society in which they operate. By implementing ISO 26000 an organizations performance on social responsibility can influence competitive advantage, reputation, and also the ability to attract and retain workers, clients and users. Doosan Babcock wanted to validate their comprehensive corporate social responsibility program to its varied stakeholders. Using ISO 26000 as a framework the company has seen that, done properly, corporate social responsibility is not just about being a good business, it also makes good business sense.

Strategy

Given the wide scope of the topics covered within ISO 26000 the prospect of implementing the standard can seem daunting. Underlying the standard are the seven key principles of social responsibility: accountability, transparency, ethical behaviour, respect for stakeholder interests, respect for the rule of law, respect for international norms of behaviour, and respect for human rights. However, as Doosan Babcock found, many organisations find that their business processes already implement some or part of these principles. Where gaps were identified with respect to ISO 26000, the business was able to focus on where the key risks and opportunities were within their business operations.

With an established CSR program already integrated with their management system, the first step for Doosan Babcock was to review the guidance document to see which areas needed improvement. They recognised that having LRQA involved at the planning stage of the strategy for ISO 26000 was invaluable.

LRQA worked collaboratively with Doosan Babcock to ensure that the principles of social responsibility were fully understood throughout the business before undertaking a structured assessment of the implementation of socially responsible principles across the relevant core subjects covered by the standard.

A workshop led by LRQA and involving a cross-functional ISO 26000 Implementation team, co-ordinated by Doosan Babcock, was undertaken in the run up to the 2 stage assessment. Following the workshop an ISO 26000 action plan was collated and coordinated prior to the LRQA assessment. This enabled all those involved in the CSR programme at Doosan Babcock to be familiar with the assessment approach and the fundamental principles that were relevant to their area of the business.

LRQA's approach was welcomed by Andy Hunt Doosan Babcock CEO: "Lloyd's Register have helped us all the way through this process, in identifying our gaps and in identifying our gap closure technology and then coached us and mentored us all of the way through the process."

The actual assessment was a 2 stage process with the audit team spending time with all the relevant parts of the business. Stage 1 of the assessment involved scoping the business processes that were relevant to the core subjects covered by the standard and defining a structured assessment plan to be implemented at Stage 2. Stage 1 is vital in evaluating how prepared an organisation is for the second visit. The purpose of stage 2 is generally to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the management system by assessing examples of the organisations activities.

The Doosan Babcock CSR team ensured the required time and resources were provided once the LRQA scope was confirmed.

Implementation

By working with the communities that are affected by their operations and the employees that have worked for the company over the years, striving to operate as a responsible company has been a long held principle at Doosan Babcock. Recent implementation of the principles outlined in the Doosan Credo throughout the business has also driven responsible business operations and governance to the forefront of the company’s agenda.

Using the ISO 26000 framework enabled the company to structure their management of risks associated with human rights, labour practices, fair operating practices, organisational governance and community involvement in accordance with internationally accepted best practice. Simon Hopkins Director HSE & CSR sums this up - "ISO 26000 helps us clearly define what CSR is and importantly what it isn't".

Using ISO 26000 Doosan Babcock has formalised their management approach to the risks and opportunities posed by implementing the principles of social responsibility throughout their business operations. The company demonstrated significant strengths in the areas of community involvement and development and the integration of fair operating practices throughout all levels of the business. It was evident that the significant work undertaken by Doosan Babcock over the past few years with respect to corporate social responsibility has resulted in the principles of social responsibility being effectively implemented and managed throughout the company’s’ UK operations.

This demonstrated a solid foundation from which to expand the management of associated risks and opportunities within oversees projects and also within the companies supply chain. Simon Hopkins Director HSE & CSR- "Our next challenge is further cementing our CSR programmes and importantly making them sustainable… the big challenge is supply chain and ensuring that our supply chain are supported in understanding good CSR as essentially our reputation rests on our supply chain - ISO 26000 is an important part of that programme."

There are challenges ensuring that supply chains are well monitored and informed of requirements regarding CSR. As a multi-national business Doosan Babcock’s suppliers are varied, legislation relating to human rights, labour practices, environmental performance and responsible operating practices vary from country to country. A key challenge for Doosan Babcock’s overseas operations and supply chains is to ensure that internationally recognised best practice regarding social responsibility is applied regardless of location. ISO 26000 outlines exactly what companies should be doing in respect to socially responsible business operations. Part of the ISO 26000 process at Doosan Babcock has involved ensuring that suppliers are aware of the expectations of Doosan Babcock and of the mutual benefits that socially responsible business practices would bring. The Implementation of ISO 26000 has improved the robustness of their supply chain vetting process as well as improving relations with their suppliers.

Learning Points

If you are considering implementing ISO 26000, Alec Bell, Senior Quality Leader (Governance & Accreditation) offers advice from the Doosan Babcock perspective.

Ensure that roles and responsibilities within the internal ISO 26000 team are clearly defined, and create a clear communication line with Executive management with regular progress reports so that accountability for actions is maintained.

For organisations considering a similar CSR route, Alec Bell recommends that businesses should undertake an honest review of their own CSR activities and how these are integrated and managed within their business. This should be followed by a gap analysis and then support from external resources such as LRQA.

The role of an external company such as LRQA greatly assisted Doosan Babcock throughout the process of further strengthening their CSR activities and in preparing for the successful demonstration of implementation, and in turn promoting this success externally and to the wider Doosan family.

Final Comments

Alec Bell said “By implementing ISO 26000 the Corporate Social Responsibility standing of Doosan Babcock has been enriched with both internal and external stakeholders and as such, has increased our standing in the marketplace.”

Andy Hunt, CEO, explains how important the implementation of ISO 26000 is "In order for Doosan Babcock to do business using the right codes of practice, 3 key ingredients need to come together, the people, creating the right environmental conditions and a framework in which to govern the CSR. ISO 26000 gives us that framework."

"Without the people though CSR is nothing, and the Doosan Babcock people have been excellent in delivering this program for and on behalf of the company."