2024 Thought Leaders: Charlene Loo

BSI Group

Monday, 15 January, 2024

2024 Thought Leaders: Charlene Loo

What growth opportunities do you predict for your industry in 2024?

Clients and stakeholders will need expert guidance and strategic support in navigating the myriad global challenges but also opportunities they will face in 2024. Whether it is on climate, quality of life or cybersecurity, BSI will be responding to these needs as a trusted partner for organisations looking to accelerate progress towards a sustainable, ethical and digitally safe world.

What are the three biggest challenges or threats facing your industry in 2024?

Climate change is something we take very seriously and is a consideration for all those we work with. At BSI, we are committed to using our expertise to guide organisations on how to adapt their own operations to this transition.

A second challenge we and those we work with face day-to-day is cyber risk. As we digitise our business, adapting our services for organisations that are themselves digitising at a rapid pace, we become heavily dependent on IT systems. To counter this, we continue to invest in our cybersecurity program and BSI is globally certified to the Information Security standard ISO 27001.

A third challenge — equally one we see as an opportunity — comes around social sustainability and workplace culture. Organisations have the opportunity to partner with their people to build diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace cultures with the potential to bring enormous benefit to individuals, organisations and society.

How is your company mentoring staff and developing workforce skills in 2024 and beyond?

We take equality and diversity seriously, understanding that by using the talent and skills available in all groups and communities, we can build the strong team needed to accelerate progress for the long-term benefit of all.

In 2022 we launched our global Smart Working policy, which provides a flexible structure to help leaders, teams and employees consider where, when and how work best gets done.

Through our ‘human connections’ series, we have continued to mature our approach across diversity, inclusion and wellbeing, encouraging open conversations among our people and giving them the opportunity to share their perspectives on topics they care deeply about.

To support talent retention, we have also expanded our parent mentoring program and have supported a total of 51 mothers matched since it began. Our Global Women’s Network Forum launched last year and now has six regional branches.

What strategies is your company developing to build resilience to extreme weather conditions in 2024?

Sustainability is core to our operations. We produced the world’s first environmental management standard in 1992 and since then we have led the way in developing new standards around areas including energy management and sustainable events. For example, the ISO Net Zero Guidelines, an output of Our 2050 World collaboration facilitated by BSI, provide a practical, end-to-end framework for organisations at any level of maturity on their net zero journey.

Recognising that water security is a key area of the conversation about extreme weather, we also recently launched a campaign setting out concrete steps to support progress towards a water positive future.

What plans does your company have in terms of the energy transition, electrification and replacement of gas?

We have a Kitemark for Electric Vehicle Charging, which supports market assurance amidst the rapid expansion and technological advancement in electric vehicles and their associated systems. We also offer comprehensive hydrogen testing and certification services as we take steps to cleaner energy.

Earlier this year we launched the revised carbon management standard, PAS 2080:2023, designed to help built environment organisations accelerate progress to a sustainable world by reducing their carbon emissions.

How is your company tracking with its net zero emissions by 2050 targets?

BSI has made a public commitment to reach net zero in its operations by 2030, requiring a 90% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions. A further commitment has been made to reduce Scope 3 emissions by 42% in the same timeframe. Our Carbon Allowance Model gives leaders across BSI personal accountability for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction by introducing a designated carbon budget for each team and linking the achievement of organisational net zero goals to individual remuneration.

Adopting standards and BSI’s own solutions is a strategic cornerstone: thus, measurement and reporting of BSI’s GHG data is being done in line with the requirements of the GHG standard (ISO 14064-1). BSI is also implementing the ISO Net Zero Guidelines.

What resource recovery initiatives is your company planning to implement in 2024?

We work with Circular Computing, an organisation that repurposes old laptops, to address resource scarcity and accelerate progress towards a circular economy. BSI awarded Circular Computing a Kitemark for its unique Circular Remanufacturing Process, assuring customers and giving them the confidence that the devices are as good as or better than new according to manufacturing standards (BS 8887).

Every remanufactured laptop will help remove 316 kg of carbon from BSI’s emissions and use 190,000 fewer litres of water in production.

How will your company step up its cybersecurity in 2024?

Across BSI, we are constantly responding to the changes of a digital world, whether by integrating AI into our work or finding ways to carry out our certifications remotely or in a hybrid model during the pandemic.

As a leading global standards organisation and certification provider, it is essential that BSI is recognised as being proactive in our cybersecurity efforts and demonstrate to our clients the digital trust they require when engaging with us.

Charlene Loo joined BSI ANZ in 2017 and was appointed Managing Director in April 2023, overseeing all facets of the organisation.  With over two decades of leadership experience, she has steered the business to new heights through strategic planning, a customer-centric approach and a passion for fostering a collaborative work culture. Notably, sustainability is a key focus in her leadership approach.

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