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Basque companies are committed to quality and the environment

Basque companies are keenly aware of their responsibility to improve quality and reduce the environmental impact of their activity. The figures compiled by environmental certification agencies such as Ihobe and Aenor show that the Basque Country leads the field in terms of the number of companies that have adopted Quality and Environmental Management Systems, which enables them to be more competitive by reducing the costs of improductive or ‘poor quality’ processes.

In the Basque Country, there are over 4,700 companies that have been certified by Aenor, with industry, services and construction being the sectors with the greatest demand for such certificates, accounting for 60% of the total, both for UNE-EN ISO 9001 -the most widely requested standard in the region- and for UNE-EN ISO 14001. Furthermore, implementation of such systems is particularly strong in strategic sectors such as the automotive industry, the national leader with over 60 Quality Management certificates (ISO/TS 16949), on a par with companies dedicated to sustainability and new technologies.

The Basque Country is, in this sense, Spain’s leading region in terms of sustainability with over 40 Aenor certificates issued under the section of Ecodesign (UNE-EN ISO 14006) – the first standard issued by the International Standards Organization (ISOto have originated in the Basque Country-. This figure represents over half the total for this type of certificate issued by the body, recognising the work of these companies to reduce their environmental footprint.

The Basque Country is already spearheading the field of information and communication technologies, as the leading region in terms of webpage accessibility certificates: 40% of companies have been approved by Aenor. It is also second in terms of the number of certificates issued for Information Technology Services Management, with 30 certificates.

Basque organisations also occupy the top positions in the certification of Quality Management systems in the Aerospace sector (UNE-EN 9100), representing 22% of the total number issued by Aenor, a position it shares with manufacturing and services companies.

Over 9,000 products have been awarded the ‘N’ seal.

Hence, Basque companies have over 1,500 certificates that endorse the quality of over 9,000 products and services provided in the territory, and which are identified with Aenor’s N mark. This quality standard, added to the major prestige and the exemplary structure of innovation in the Basque Country, is opening the doors to new markets for Basque companies. It is, therefore, an important step in processes of internationalisation.

These figures confirm that Basque companies are committed to being competitive and are at the cutting edge in terms of certification, since they account for over half the quality seals issued in Spain as a whole, according to Luz Emparanza, director of Aenor in the Basque Country. The head of this body in the Basque Country also signals that the territory is strongly involved with health and safety in the workplace (OHSAS 180010), leading the national ranking with 160 certificates.

For more information, see:

-Bilbao City Council obtains UNE 178301 certificate from AENOR relating to Open  Data and Smart Cities.

-The Bilbao Port Authority is awarded EMAS environmental certificate.

-Figures for Basque companies pertaining to environmental matters, provided by Ihobe.

-The Basque Country is committed to securing certification as a sustainable tourist destination through UNESCO and UNWTO.

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