Business Assurance

Enabling digital trust

The adoption of digital technologies combined with digital connectivity is impacting societies, enterprises and consumers, while making it more complex for companies to address multi-dimensional compliance. Companies are increasingly expected to demonstrate and communicate their commitment to and credibility regarding both performance and compliance, creating a growing need for assurance services.

Management system certification standards evolving

Management system certification constitutes the major share of our Business Assurance portfolio. DNV GL continues to hold a leading market share and the growth of this service portfolio persisted in 2017, mainly related to ISO standard certification. New editions of the major ISO standards, i.e. ISO 9001 (quality) and ISO 14001 (environment), and sector-specific standards such as AS/EN 9100 (aviation, space and defence) and IATF 16949 (automotive) have been launched and companies certified to these standards must transition to the new versions by 15 September 2018. While the transition progressed slowly in 2016, we saw a significant increase in 2017, which also led to more demand for our transition training services. 

The new ISO 45001 (occupational health & safety) will replace OHSAS 18001 in 2018. We actively participated in the ISO Working Group and consultation rounds. As a co-founder of OHSAS 18001, we fully support its replacement. ISO standards provide for a more transparent development process and broader stakeholder involvement. Converting to an ISO standard allows for efficient integration with companies’ other management systems, e.g. quality and environmental, and helps create safer and healthier workplaces.

Lumina benchmarking tool

We continued our work to advance the value of assurance by developing concepts, services and roles in the digital space. With the launch of Lumina™ in 2017, customers gained access to a suite of benchmarking tools based on advanced analytics and data gathered from DNV GL’s thousands of company audits. It provides unique market-based insights and support to identify and prioritize improvement areas in management systems and business performance. 

Whether addressing environmental, quality or safety aspects or targeting energy, information security or food safety, Lumina allows companies to identify weak spots and creates valuable insight to discover improvement areas and understand where to invest time and resources. By the end of 2017, Lumina contained two million audit findings. A self-service tool (Lumina app) was made available via DNV GL’s Veracity platform and the benchmarking tool will be further developed and expanded throughout 2018.

Industry 1st: using blockchain technology for certificates

In September, we announced that all management system, product and supply chain certificates issued to our customers are stored in a secure, private blockchain. This was the first blockchain application in production in the assurance industry, as well as outside the finance industry. Every certificate is digitally tagged, traceable and stored in the blockchain. The technology blocks counterfeit certificates, allowing companies to communicate their certification in a transparent and secure way. A unique QR code allows anyone to instantly confirm that a certificate is valid. Building digital trust into every certificate is the first step towards building digital assurance concepts in supply chains and other areas.

Increasing impact in food and beverage sector

Food and beverage sales continued to grow strongly, by 15% in 2017. We expanded our aquaculture portfolio to include system and product certification and aquaculture inspection services in addition to technical assurance services. Technical assurance, such as risk management, project development and classification of floating structures, has been applied to new, innovative aquaculture structures and concepts. By combining our aquaculture-, industry- and assurance competence with our expertise in the maritime and oil & gas industries, we developed into a significant partner for the aquaculture industry in Northern Europe.

Digital drives new assurance opportunities

Together with customers and partners, we are exploring how our Veracity industry data platform and ecosystem of services, as well as blockchain technology, can be used for advanced analytics to ensure better decision-making and address traceability and increased transparency and trust in our customers’ supply chains. A growing interest in services related to food safety culture and food fraud poses new challenges and digital solutions offer interesting opportunities for effective improvements. We see the digital transformation as a major challenge and opportunity for all industries in the years to come.

Double-digit growth in healthcare

Sales of healthcare accreditation and certification services grew by 14% in 2017 and we continued to make headway within precision medicine. In 2016, DNV GL became a partner in BIGMED, a key Norwegian innovation project exploring the IT bottlenecks that inhibit the implementation of precision medicine. In 2017, we used our Veracity data platform technology to build a prototype for sharing anonymous information on genetic variants between hospitals in Norway and Sweden. Leveraging Veracity’s ability to securely share data between hospitals, the solution can be used for genetic analysis in laboratories and lead to a safer and more efficient service for patients.

Product assurance grows in automotive sector

Our product assurance portfolio sales grew by 7% in 2017, driven by the assurance of medical devices, hazardous area services and functional safety services. The latter particularly continues to grow in the field of autonomous vehicles and vehicular systems, especially in Japan and Korea. We successfully expanded into the emerging Chinese market in 2017.

Companies focus on sustainable supply chains

Sales of supply chain services grew by 29% in 2017. The demand for sustainable supply chains is continuing to put pressure on companies, from both a risk and business opportunity perspective. Companies with a high degree of supply chain maturity tend to be more in control of their operational risks, responding to increasing legislative and stakeholder requirements and demands and deriving benefits from more sustainable operations throughout their value chain. 

Helping companies sustainably manage their supply chains continues to be a focus area for us in 2018, combining our core assurance and industry expertise with digital solutions to create new digital assurance arenas.

Sustainable solutions

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Food safety and supply chain audits

We conduct audits that address hunger, clean water and climate by assuring compliance to high standards. Our aquaculture assurance services also help customers contribute to life below water and in 2017 we released our project on advanced analytics in the aquaculture sector to help fish farmers improve feed efficiency and fish health and reduce mortality levels.

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Product certification

Certification enables trust in the safety and quality of products. In 2017, DNV GL together with UNIDO launched a water calculation tool for the textile industry to help companies evaluate the water footprint of their manufacturing process.

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Management system certification

This assures compliance with best-practice standards and requirements, ranging from quality, safety and environmental to social, ethical and climate change. In 2017, we launched Lumina™, a suite of benchmarking tools to help customers identify and prioritize improvement areas in management systems and business performance.

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