Leveraging ISO 45001:2018 to Build a Strong Foundation to a Sustainability Framework

For over two decades, achieving sustainable practices has been top of mind for decision makers in many industries and the oil and gas industry is no exception. In fact, it appears that the need to meet this objective has become more critical because of volatility in the industry, a disrupted supply chain due to COVID-19 and falling prices. That’s not to say that it is not achievable – it just requires a strong framework, followed by thorough execution.

In the Insight Report, “Leveraging ISO 45001:2018 to Build a Strong Foundation to a Sustainability Framework,” author Chris Ward quotes Sun-Tzu, a Chinese military strategist, who shrewdly observed that “In the midst of chaos, there is opportunity.”

“This has never been so true; the way forward for the oil and gas industry is to provide sustainability through applied technology in an efficient and reliable way,” writes Ward, an ex-UK regulator (Health and Safety Executive) principal inspector. Ward is a member of the British Standards Institute committee responsible for OHSAS 18001 and the development of ISO 45001, a fatal accident investigator, OHSMS consultant and provider of ISO 45001 assessment scheme.

“This includes producing crude oil with low carbon intensity, contributing to sustainable transport whilst addressing climate change issues by reducing harmful emissions, protecting nature, and preserving the planet,” he adds.

Meeting New Challenges

Declining revenue, market volatility, COVID-19, a changing political and environmental landscape; how can the oil and gas industry successfully meet these challenges and possibly use them as opportunities?

According to Ward, organizations that want to successfully ride out current events and even grow their businesses should develop a sustainability framework. He suggests focusing on the following:

ISO 45001:2018:

  • ISO 45001:2018 is designed to help organizations strengthen their OH&S management systems, as it relates to their OH&S policies. A sustainability plan which incorporates this will create a strong “framework that enables a harmonization of thought, method, and application to ensure the highest standards in OH&S through ISO 45001:2018 and through the other integrated management system standards of ISO 9001:2015 for quality and ISO 14001:2015 for environment.”

Supply Chain:

  • There needs to be a strong focus on strengthening existing and creating new partnerships and alliances between oil and gas and technology leaders to help lessen fluctuations in supply chains.


  • Leaders should heavily invest in technology to keep exploration and development at pace with current trends, to reduce reliance on human factors, and to increase the intelligence of these practices through AI.


  • It’s critical for leaders to apply a collaborative approach to developing and executing these plans.

Transform Theory into Actionable Recommendations

In “Using ISO 45001 to Create a Sustainable Model for the Oil and Gas Industry” Ward offers insight into:

  1. The real-world applicability and effectiveness of the ISO 45001:2018 standard, particularly as it relates to the oil and gas industry.
  2. Why decision makers should incorporate the principles of the SWOT analysis to their sustainability planning strategies.
  3. Why the PESTLE analysis (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental), when designed to work with ISO 45001:2018 requirements, is the most effective way to achieve sustainability.

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