Top 5 Components of a Sustainability Management System

Due to the impact of globalization and the key challenges related to global warming, from reducing waste production and carbon emissions to managing energy and water resources, a more responsible and sustainable approach towards a greener economy and healthier society is needed by all industry and governments all around the world, in order to prioritize the protection of natural resources, as well as enhance new business and social opportunities.

To achieve a more sustainable and long term political, economic and social development, all authorities, managers and politicians are urgently called upon to address top international cross-cutting problems, all while solving new local issues.


A solution to a regional problem involves tackling other connected world-wide challenges; and, such important holistic approach should be at the core of any integrated Sustainability Management System (SMS) for those private companies, or public organizations, that fully understand the importance of dealing with the complex interdependency of the ecosystems and environmental services, and wish to use more efficiently the naturaleconomic and labour resources, as well as minimize the environmental impacts of human activity.

An integrated SMS is a management system that authentically unifies as a whole an organization in its entirety, and integrates its systems and processes into one complete, cohesive framework by adopting a holistic approach and a common set of documentation, policies, procedures and processes that enable all internal and external staff and management to work as a single unit, all while helping deliver organization’s objectives effectively and efficiently.


A successfully integrated SMS consists of five essential phases, each needed to evaluate the organization’s achievements usually during a period of twelve months:


1) Reviewing a “starting point” for future comparisons;

2) Defining short, medium and long term objectives;

3) Aligning vision, programs and management systems;

4) Ensuring staff and partners contributions and actions;

5) Monitoring results and impact of outcome reporting.


The aim of an integrated SMS is to avoid the duplication of any Health Safety Environment (HSE), Energy, Quality, Social Responsibility and other Voluntary Management System already implemented, and coordinate more efficiently and effectively the existing operational plans by assembling the overall strategic framework into one clearer picture.

That’s why a genuinely integrated SMS can help keep away from any unnecessary repetition in company’s processes and procedures, all while making it easier to adopt further voluntary business standards-based systems, and create innovative sustainability initiatives.


With an integrated SMS it is now possible to provide a clear, comprehensive representation of all major and minor business aspects, and show how the different economic, environmental and social indicators can influence each single aspect in the short, medium and long term, all while suggesting the corporate risks associated with business development.

In particular, an effective and efficient integrated SMS helps better manage common and specific needs of employees, check competitors’ performance, and promote best practices to minimize business risks and maximize corporate resources.

An integrated Sustainability Management System improves the present and future economic, environmental and social performance of any organization, and helps achieve a more responsible growth and sustainable profitability both at local and global level.


We help our clients and partners address the most pressing economical, political, social and environmental challenges. If you want to learn more about our sustainability practices, please Contact Us for an initial introductory consultation to discuss what management and communications systems you may need for complete sustainability legislative and regulatory compliance, and better measurement and reporting of TBL performance.


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