Taking a lead in digital assurance
Businesses are facing rapid change, digital transformation and increased complexity entailing a growing need for assurance services. Companies are increasingly expected to manage their value chains and communicate reliable and sustainable performance to stakeholders and consumers. The ways to manage performance and assurance solutions are evolving to enable the right type of communication and build the necessary trust.
We strengthened our position as a leader in management system certification, supported by the transition to the new versions of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. We successfully helped customers transition to the new ISO standard versions by the September deadline. Our customers tell us, through our ViewPoint Espresso Survey, that they have derived specific benefits and value by implementing the new requirements in the new versions of the standards.
We are growing our overall market position and continuing our dedicated work to innovate and digitalize processes and audit tools in order to become more efficient and drive additional value for our customers from the certification process. This includes further advancing our audit methodology Risk Based Certification™ by developing a digital focus area library and implementing this into our auditing tools.
The focus area library helps our customers identify areas of importance for their business strategy and we then focus the audit on these. It also allows us to analyse the performance of specific focus areas across the customer base, using our performance benchmarking tool Lumina™.
Through our pioneering developments and partnership with blockchain technology company VeChain, we have piloted and launched blockchain-based solutions to enable trust in supply chains and products. My Story™ is a solution that gives consumers access to verified data stored in a public blockchain.
It allows companies to tell the true and verified story of their product – from quality, origin and authenticity to ethical, societal and environmental aspects of the supply chain. For companies serious about sustainable value chains, it is a means to effectively bridge the existing trust gap between their efforts and consumers’ concerns. My Story is applicable to any supply chain for consumer-packaged goods.
We also expanded the digital assurance concept to build trust in circular and sharing economy business models that help companies create and share value with consumers using blockchain-powered technology and tokenization. Together with partners, we created a solution to reward enterprises´ and consumers´ carbon-cutting behaviours in sharing economies.
By rewarding low-carbon activities, the ecosystem can encourage more sustainable behaviours for both enterprises and consumers, with a significant positive impact on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As a result of investments and strategic refocusing of the service line in the previous year, we continue to show exceptional growth in product assurance. Special emphasis was placed on the market sectors and we discontinued several minor schemes or transitioned them to key strategic partners to focus on growing the core of this business.
We acquired full ownership of DNV GL Nemko Presafe (Presafe). Presafe comprises two operational units in Norway and Denmark which are accredited certification and EU notified bodies for the Medical Devices Directive, In-Vitro Diagnostic Devices Directive and Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres (ATEX) Directive.
The single ownership allows us to create a more focused service delivery organization, removing barriers and enabling us to be more responsive to our customers’ needs. The effect of inorganic revenue from Presafe brought significant total year-on-year growth.
Companies today are under pressure to manage performance and value chains in a sustainable and transparent way. At the same time, supply chains are evolving, augmented by digitalization, new regulations and increasing consumer power. The systematic management of supply chain risks throughout all tiers is essential.
Beyond our digital efforts, we continued to expand our portfolio of social and ethical audits to recognized brand programmes and independent schemes and expanded our certification to accredited schemes. We have strengthened the portfolio to support specific industry sectors like food & beverage and areas such as energy efficiency, occupational health & safety and environmental management.
We were recognized by the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) and Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) to issue certificates proving compliance with the AWS international standard for water management and ASI certification to players in the aluminium value chain. Our position was further strengthened through relationships and collaboration with recognized international bodies, such as APSCA and the Social & Labour Convergence Project (SLCP).
We continue to be a significant player in the food & beverage and healthcare industries, and we have a particular focus on these in our strategy. These industry sectors are also central to our digital assurance advancement, for both more radical innovations and incremental developments related to existing assurance and accreditation services.
In the food & beverage sector, our growth rate was 11% in 2018. In the healthcare sector, we achieved significant growth in hospital- and disease-specific accreditation to advance patient safety in the US and Greater China. We also achieved significant growth in assessments of disability services in Australia. Subsequently, the growth rate was 14%.