BS 8900:2006 Guidance for managing sustainable development is designed to enable organisations to develop an approach to sustainable development that will continue to evolve and adapt to meet new challenges and demands. It illustrates how improvements in sustainable development can be achieved
through strengthening relationships, enhancing internal cohesion, developing trust, stimulating learning and understanding and managing risks and opportunities within an organisation.
The new standard is based on building learning and developing decision-making frameworks in organisations to make them more sustainable.

The standard sets out the outcomes an organisation should achieve rather than processes it should follow and provides a means for identifying the maturity of an organisation’s sustainability so that its current position can be measured and progress charted.

Mike Low, Director of BSI British Standards said, “This standard is an important step towards helping organisations realise a sustainable future, whilst maintaining business performance.

“A successful approach to managing sustainable development will help ensure that an organisation makes high quality decisions that promote continuing and lasting success. These decisions often relate to an organisation asking itself the following questions:

o How can you be sure no groups or individuals are disadvantaged or kept in the dark?
o How do you try to deal with others with integrity?
o Will organisational decisions lead to irreversible environmental or societal change?
o How do you make certain that relevant and reliable information is available in an accessible, low-cost and comparable way?
o How are significant interests, influences and beneficiaries recorded, communicated and managed?”

The sustainable development maturity matrix in BS 8900 helps organisations to answer such questions by providing a means of tracking performance against criteria and continually working toward improvement in each area.