Business Assurance

Trust has never been more important

Sound management systems, supplier qualification programmes and product assurance are vital for companies to grow, but the pandemic has put all these under pressure.

In unpredictable circumstances, DNV is ideally positioned to help customers sustainably build long-term resilience and trust into their operations, supply chains, products and ecosystems.


In 2020, DNV focused on scaling and improving existing assurance services based on blockchain solutions and other new digital technologies. The emphasis has been to increase trust and transparency in consumer-packaged goods, global supply chains and digital ecosystems. DNV combines expertise in sustainability, supply chains and new digital technologies to scale existing services and create new solutions and assurance models.

The My Story™ solution for telling the true story of a product received an upgrade. The portfolio was expanded with a new track & trace solution that helps companies fight fraud and illicit trade. This is particularly relevant for companies or brands wanting to share product claims across value chains and with consumers. In addition, much effort was spent on solutions that help companies transition from linear to circular economies by tracing products from origin to end-use and recycling.

Automating compliance with building regulations

DNV also launched a novel, digital platform to help companies digitize and automate their compliance with building regulations. Applying technologies that create a digital twin of a building and matching this with always up-to-date building regulations puts control at any building manager’s fingertips, both ensuring timely compliance and saving time.

Mitigating the risk of infection

A pulse survey on infection risk management identified a high maturity level among companies, but also a need for more structured systems and capabilities.

DNV launched My Care, its proprietary infection risk management methodology, to help companies measure the effectiveness of processes and identify gaps. My Care provides a systems-based maturity approach built on DNV’s risk management schemes, industry expertise and infection prevention standard for hospitals.

Companies build confidence in their own capabilities, enabling lasting and resilient changes. Commitment and efforts can easily be shared with employees, consumers and other stakeholders who have instant access to the performance report stored on a blockchain.

Cleaning up oceans

Trust and transparency are now a prerequisite in sectors where the validation of authenticity and product claims influences purchasing decisions. DNV released its public Chain of Custody Standard for plastics retrieved from the hydrosphere, which is developed in partnership with The Ocean Cleanup. Certification to the standard lets any company communicate the origin and authenticity of plastic retrieved from an ocean, river or lake.

The Ocean Cleanup sunglasses made from plastic retrieved from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) are the first certified product. The proceeds go to further clean up the ocean and demonstrate the ability of standards to contribute to a more sustainable future.

A foundation for any operation

A DNV customer survey on risk management showed that the pandemic accelerated the adoption of business continuity plans. Companies report that they use their ISO certified management systems, such as ISO 22301, to rto have a structured approach to respond to disruption, such as a pandemic.

After the major updates of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 were completed, the management system certification market stabilized in 2020 despite the pandemic. Much effort was spent to ensure continued compliance through remote audits that were approved by scheme owners and accreditation bodies for the respective standards. In addition, DNV moved quickly to make available eLearning and remote courses, allowing companies to continue mandatory training programmes. Migration to the ISO 45001 standard continued and will close in 2021.

The food & beverage, and automotive sectors – safety and trusted trade

A DNV ViewPoint survey on consumer trust in food and beverage products found that food safety continues to be a primary concern. Consumers trust brands the most to keep them safe and look to specific products for assurance. DNV has its own food safety culture programme, implemented by major producers taking steps to further evolve, and digital assurance solutions allowing producers and brand owners to communicate product features directly to consumers.

DNV was accredited for the FDA Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) by ANSI. Part of the Food Safety Modernization Act, the program intends to ensure food safety in the US market. Certified companies can fast-track products arriving at US customs. DNV also bought a minority share in Valoritalia as part of its strategy to develop international markets.

The automotive industry was hard hit by the pandemic. Nevertheless, the pressure on functional safety and supply chain quality continues to be high. DNV saw considerable growth in functional safety activities and was accredited to provide TISAX supplier quality certification.

Supply chain management is a competitive advantage

Despite supply chains being abruptly disrupted in early 2020, companies were quickly looking to restart supplier qualification and monitoring to prevent failures. A DNV ViewPoint survey highlighted that tough times require tailored tactics and forced companies to review and improve maturity and actions. Most common were tactics to spread risk by expanding and diversifying their supplier base and exploring digitalization to improve future supply chain management and resilience.

DNV joined a working group on virtual audits to ensure ethical trading standards. The working group was set up by Sedex, a worldleading ethical trade membership organization. As part of the cooperation, DNV helped to develop the methodology and piloted the new format for virtual audits with a major global brand. DNV’s virtual audits enabled companies to continue with confidence.

ESG requirements are rising on corporate agendas. Demonstrating a good ESG performance in addition to a sound credit rating is becoming essential for companies to attract investors. Assurance helps investors gain confidence and trust in companies’ sustainability records. DNV is active in the growing market for green bond second-party opinions, an important scheme to help close the SDG-funding gap.

DNV was also approved as an auditing body for ResponsibleSteel’s certification programme designed to improve responsible sourcing and reduce ESG risks in the steel supply chain.

Trust in medical devices

DNV gained notified body (NB) accreditation under the EU Medical Device Directive (MDR) in March 2020. With the tougher regulation comes stricter demands on NBs, and these demands are expected to reduce the number of certification providers. Public scrutiny of the authenticity and safety of medical devices increased during the pandemic. Digital solutions helped to validate the authenticity of certificates and trace regulatory compliance to combat fraud and illicit trade.