Aug. 3 2019 - 4 min

Certification for automotive manufacturers and suppliers used to mean just one thing: IATF 16949. However, with automotive technology rapidly evolving and the global business context becoming increasingly competitive, automakers recognize the need to go beyond a general standard and address new, emerging risks and social expectations.

Today’s connected cars raise questions of information security and data protection. Consumers are more conscious of the environmental and social impacts of their vehicles. The auto industry as a whole is closely scrutinized regarding responsible sourcing and workplace health and safety.

Companies that address these challenges through the use of management systems gain an important competitive advantage. They safeguard their workforce and productivity, the integrity of their connected vehicles, and, ultimately their reputation.

Protecting against digital risk

For over a decade, one of the most critical challenges faced by automotive players has been how to handle the digitalization of research and development, and the automation of the automotive manufacturing. Virtually all information exchange along the supply chain takes place via the internet. This makes protecting intellectual property and defending themselves from cyber-attacks is a top priority.

Digital responsibility can be demonstrated through specific certifications that address the challenges of information security management. Compliance with standards such as ISO 27001 and TISAX® can help manufacturers and suppliers mitigate risk and ensure speedy recovery from disruptive incidents.

The Trusted Information Security Assessment Exchange (TISAX®) is the foremost standard for information security in the automotive industry. Developed with the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), it is required by all major German automotive manufacturers and their suppliers throughout the world. Complementary with ISO 27001, TISAX® certification enables you to identify and manage risks, and ensure compliance with international requirements. ISO 27001 and TISAX® certification by Bureau Veritas sends clients a clear message that you take data protection seriously and are doing everything possible to safeguard their privacy.

Show you source responsibly

Consumers today are more demanding than ever, particularly when it comes to the social and environmental credentials of the brands they patronize. Governments and international watchdogs are also exerting increasing pressure on companies to operate more responsibly. In a 2017 report by Amnesty International, some major auto players were criticized for their failure to tackle child labor allegations in their supply chains. Industry giants, along with numerous other electronics companies, were ranked for progress in improving their cobalt sourcing practices. All were found lacking.

Ethical automotive players now have the opportunity to gain reputational advantage by proving their commitment to responsible sourcing through a variety of certification and assessment options.

Bureau Veritas offers assessment against several Responsible Sourcing Initiatives: the Responsible Business Alliance (previously EICC), the Responsible Mineral Initiative (RMI), the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) and the Assurance of Sustainability Reporting (ASR). Proving conformity with their standards ensures that you source responsibly, using suppliers with the highest environmental standards.

SA8000 certification, meanwhile, demonstrates your dedication to the fair treatment of workers. As the leading social accountability management system standard for organizations across the globe, it offers a rigorous approach to achieving the highest quality of social compliance in supply chains, without sacrificing business interests.

A commitment to your workers’ wellbeing

Guaranteeing that suppliers treat their workers ethically is vital to demonstrating responsible sourcing practices. But manufacturers also have to get their own houses in order, and ensure that they themselves implement a robust occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system. Based on OHSAS 18001 and International Labor Organization guidelines, and applicable to organizations of all sizes and types, ISO 45001 was created to reduce work-related injuries and ill-health.

Achieving ISO 45001 certification involves developing and implementing a clear OH&S policy and identifying, managing and seeking to eliminate or mitigate OH&S risks. It also requires organizations to evaluate and continuously attempt to improve their OH&S performance, all the while ensuring workers take an active role in their own wellbeing.

Compliance offers myriad benefits. First and foremost, it helps reduce absenteeism and employee turnover rates, and makes for a happier, healthier workforce that is, as a result, more productive. Operational downtime is reduced, as are the cost of disruptions to operations and insurance premiums. Furthermore, companies with ISO 45001 certification boast an internationally recognized seal of approval for their treatment of workers which can help then gain stakeholder trust and loyalty.

Don’t forget quality management

Despite the emergence of newer types of automotive risk, automotive Quality Management Systems certification remains the gold standard for demonstrating adherence to industry best practices and compliance with consumer and industry requirements. With a global network of over 250 automotive quality auditors, Bureau Veritas is one of the world’s leading providers of automotive quality certification. We audit and certify against both IATF 16949 and VDA 6.x— a set of standards required to do business with German automotive players.

Which certification?

Automotive players have more choices than ever when it comes to certification.

Whether you are looking to communicate your due diligence in information security, responsible sourcing practices or ethical treatment of workers, a standard exists to meet your needs. Assessment and certification from a world-renowned industry leader like Bureau Veritas can boost your business by improving your reputation, increasing your productivity and limiting your exposure to risk.