Interview with Mr David Horlock

Mr David Horlock
Mr David Horlock
VP Global Inspection and Auditing (Consumer Goods)

Are your Group's offerings customizable to regional needs?

Intertek is a listed company on the London stock exchange and present in 100 countries around the world with 26,000 employees. Our country businesses are led by local country managers who are able to think global and act local in order to customize our solution to meet local needs and the needs applicable to the relevant export markets.

For example, where ever, we do environmental audits we do it based on individual country’s environmental laws. The same applies to work place condition assessments which are based on local labour laws.

When we do testing of a product which is duty bound for exports, we adapt the testing program based on the country regulations in which the products shall be sold. For example, say an Indian manufactures who is exporting to UK, US, Germany, Japan or Korea etc– all these shall have different regulatory requirements which we communicate to customize a packaged solution. So in a sense, we think global and act local.

Intertek has recently launched 'Think Green Initiative' (TGI). What is it all about?

Everybody is been thinking green lately. You could say this is in response to societies concerns about the obvious deterioration of our planets environment. As a global community we have been doing a lot of thinking but not necessarily acting green. Society has a choice about the way we conduct business and its impact on the planet. We can focus on maximizing profit at any cost which is short term, or we can look for more sustainable business models for the actual future.

It is generally apparent that the world adopted the maximizing profit model at any cost because the by product of doing that is- we are running out of natural resources, our forests have been cut down, we have scarce fish resources left which continue to dwindle. We pollute our rivers and water ways, reduce our biodiversity resulting in mass extinction of species and mono culture farming and destroy our atmosphere with the by products of fossil fuel.

We know the mistakes that have been made by the Developed economies because many of them are only recovering from their own environmental destruction. Their mistakes and problems have become the basis for the new environmental rules and regulations being imposed on the developed world today. This may seem unfair at times but the reality is that we can not afford to make the same mistake as the Western World did through the great industrial revolution from 1760 to 1850. The simple reason being that back in 1800 the worlds population was 1 billion. Today is almost 7 Billion and growing at the rate of 1 Billion every 12-15 years. With the developing world aspiring to the same living standard and level of affluence as the developed world we have no option but to find a more sustainable business model.

The major brands and retailers will respond to this challenges and Intertek is taking a leadership position in helping them green up their supply chains. In doing this we developed a program called ‘Think Green Initiative’. This program enables those who think green to act green and the by product of acting green is actually becoming green. Our program consists of 8 modules which include:

Two Core Compliance Modules * Environmental Legal Compliance Review * Environmental Management System

Six Environmental Modules * Water * Air Emissions * Energy * Noise Emissions * Hazardous Materials, Equipment and Waste * Sustainable Production

We basically provide the mechanism to put clients onto auto pilot in acting and becoming green. The benefits are many. It helps set measuring standard on environmental performances. It helps establishing benchmarking against peers. It helps to identify and prioritize KPIs. It drives sustainable production. It minimizes waste and environmental impact- thus enhancing enterprise’s vitality and social responsibility, and ultimately helping reduce operational costs drastically. Most importantly it helps you showcase your green and environmental credentials to potential business partners.

For those that want to become early adopters and paradigm pioneers, Intertek is running a number of pilot programs in India - explained below. Those interested can contact the local Intertek Office for more information. Please click here.


Published on: 11/10/2010

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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