Toyota' organisation is decentralised with 90 sales centres, each with its own distinctive character, distributed all over Norway. The process requires the description of and compliance with a number of working procedures. A team of employees will help to ensure that Toyota’s operations in Norway have the best environmental documentation in the sector.
Hanne Bjørseth, head of Faveo's environmental team in Oslo, and project manager Anne Katrine Sjøholt have guided Toyota on their journey towards ISO certification.
The journey does not have to be that difficult
The international environmental management standard ISO 14001 requires companies to identify all types of environmental impact, to introduce measures to improve environmental procedures and to ensure that they are complied with. Faveo helped to simplify and explain the specialist terminology associated with ISO certification. Many of the dealers realised that a number of routines and systems were already in place, and the process encouraged them to deal with those areas that were ion need of improvement.
"Our role often involves showing clients that the journey does not have to be that difficult," says Hanne.
The dealers were shown that the ISO process could also have a positive impact on the financial result. This generated involvement among the commercially-oriented dealers. Having a clearer overview of your own use of resources and routines often serves to streamline your operations. One outcome of ISO certification is that it ensures a better adapted management of chemicals and waste.
Motivation through communication
Anne Katrine Sjøholt has been in charge of making preparations for Faveo's own environmental work at its Oslo office, which resulted in Miljøfyrtårn (Eco-Lighthouse) certification and ISO 14001 certification. As Toyota's consultant project manager, she was able to encourage the dealers to take responsibility for the process in their own operations, and thus gained experience from 'both sides of the table'. The dealers met Faveo's project manager in both formal and informal situations. Regular telephone conferences, clearly defined milestones and regular updating meetings helped to maintain a high level of motivation. The results show that by 30 June 2010, 33 of the 40 dealers who started the process had been fully certified.
Per Løken, Head of Environment and Quality at Toyota Norway, emphasises the importance of Hanne Bjørseth's focus on the dealers’ involvement throughout the process.
"It would have been easier for us at head office to have done a lot of the work centrally with a series of checklists that that would have ended up decorating the office walls of our dealers," says Løken. "Faveo made it clear that this kind of approach would have had no long-term impact. It was important to make sure that the dealers themselves took responsibility for the process both before and after ISO certification.”
Faveo regards project management as a profession, and frequently uses methods and approaches that are geared to ensure that clients can monitor improvements themselves.
"It can be a difficult business for a small company to implement an improvement process," says Hanne. "We don’t like playing the role of a stern teacher. We want to offer a professional, service-oriented support function that gives managers the self-confidence to do the job themselves. Our role is to provide encouragement and advice with the goal of boosting our clients' motivation."