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Quality Digest


Global Quality Leaders Gather in Philadelphia to Advance ESG Standards

ASQ will address absence of internationally recognized ESG benchmarks

Published: Monday, May 8, 2023 - 11:01

(ASQ: Milwaukee) -- The environmental, social and governance (ESG) revolution has transformed global expectations for twenty-first century business. More than 90 percent of S&P 500 companies now publish ESG reports, yet there is little global consensus on the targets they must meet or standards upon which their progress will be measured.

As the world’s leader in quality standards, ASQ will dedicate a full day of its annual World Conference on Quality and Improvement (WCQI) exploring the ESG movement. Internationally renowned experts, gathering in Philadelphia, May 7-10, will examine the critical challenges facing ESG measures, advancing the conversation toward the development of global ESG standards.

“ESG is a defining issue in today’s business yet it remains a remarkably nebulous responsibility for organizations worldwide,” says Sid Bhatnagar, interim CEO of the American Society for Quality. “Foundationally, ESG principles are built upon quality management systems, placing quality professionals at the forefront of the ESG movement. With a continued focus on quality, businesses will have the tools to demonstrate progress toward increased transparency and sustainability in their operations.”

WCQI will showcase an ESG Experience on May 9. It is the first time the conference has devoted a full day of sessions to exploring ESG challenges facing business, allowing global thought leaders and their peers to collaborate and inspire solutions. A panel of internationally renowned experts will also share lessons on how they leverage quality systems, the foundation of ESG principles, to transform their organizational processes and create a more sustainable future. The panel includes:

Rebekah Kowalski, vice president, Manpower Manufacturing

The ESG movement has created one of the most dynamic workforce revolutions in manufacturing history. Kowalski employs quality methodologies to help manufacturers address the shortage of rightly-skilled workers, creating a more sustainable workforce. She is the primary architect of ManpowerGroup’s proprietary workforce supply-and-demand forecast solution.

Phillip Ludvigsen, senior associate, First Environment

The creator of environmental, social, and governance due diligence workstream frameworks for some of North America’s largest pension funds, Ludvigsen is a renowned environmental financing expert. He uses quality engineering to assess sustainable financial products and ESG services including green bonds and carbon offsets as well as litigation support of Superfund Mega-Site cleanups costing over $1 billion.

Sunil Sinha, resident director, Tata Sons for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Named one of Business Week’s 25 Masters of Innovation, Sinha is a global leader in business excellence and innovation. While CEO of the Tata Business Excellence Group, he spearheaded the global implementation of the Tata Business Excellence Model built utilizing quality management systems. The model ensures consistency in quality standards and increased sustainability throughout more than 100 Tata companies worldwide.

Willy Vandenbrande, thought provoking quality leader

With more than 35 years in quality management, Vandenbrande is an internationally renowned leader in quality, recognized for his inspiring and thought provoking work on sustainability and the future of quality. He is the founder of QS Consult, a European consulting agency, where he employed his philosophy of “adapt, do not adopt” to help clients develop practical and personalized quality management solutions best suited to their needs.

“The ESG Experience and our expert panelists will stimulate meaningful conversation among quality professionals who are currently leading or want to begin the conversation with their organization on ESG initiatives,” says Bhatnagar. “Our sister organization ASQExcellence’s worldwide research shows that 85 percent of organizations already align their ESG approach to quality initiatives, reinforcing the critical role that quality professionals play in achieving meaningful ESG success. For the next two years, one of ASQ’s strategic objectives will be to align quality practices with industry to advance ESG initiatives to help these professionals create sustainable and measurable organizational change.”

As the international quality industry’s leading event, ASQ’s annual World Conference on Quality and Improvement convenes global quality experts and their peers to explore and advance solutions to the greatest challenges facing business today. WCQI’s 2023 keynote experts will examine how the diversity, equity and inclusion; artificial intelligence; and ESG movements continue to influence global business decisions. Attendees will also analyze how their use of quality processes and methodologies bolsters organizational response to risks like supply chain, economic pressures, and global volatility, and help spark a culture of excellence and a sustainable, strong foundation for success.


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For 40 years Quality Digest has been the go-to source for all things quality. Our newsletter, Quality Digest, shares expert commentary and relevant industry resources to assist our readers in their quest for continuous improvement. Our website includes every column and article from the newsletter since May 2009 as well as back issues of Quality Digest magazine to August 1995. We are committed to promoting a view wherein quality is not a niche, but an integral part of every phase of manufacturing and services.