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World energy giant talks International Standards

by Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis on
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M. das Graças Silva Foster, Petrobras

How does the 4th largest energy company in the world ensure business competitiveness? By applying International Standards aimed at ensuring quality, operational efficiency and compliance with health, safety and environmental requirements.

In an exclusive interview in the November/December 2012 ISO Focus+, Maria das Graças Silva Foster, Chief Executive Officer of Petrobras, explains the use of International Standards in the company’s day-to-day operations. As she says: "Applying International Standards is of strategic importance to ensure competitiveness in our business.”

Both ISO 9001:2008 (quality) and ISO 14001:2004 (environment) management system standards are fully integrated in Petrobras' corporate quality network and environmental, health and safety organizations worldwide.

“The ISO 9001 model is a benchmark in quality management,” says Maria das Graças Silva Foster, “it has allowed us to identify the interfaces of the company’s vertical processes, enhancing the integration of corporate areas and helping improve the quality of inputs that pass through the company’s value chain up to delivery of the final product, with better and more sustainable results.”

Foster appreciates that participation in the standards development process has many benefits. “Petrobras participates in ISO, the leading organization for international technical standardization, with 249 representatives on technical committees, subcommittees and working groups. These standards (and regulations) are used extensively on the international market, where Petrobras works with technical requirements that satisfy quality, safety, health, environmental, deadline, cost and local content standards.”

Petrobras is a Brazilian integrated energy company with over one million shareholders, operating in the oil, natural gas, and biofuels sectors in 27 countries with a total of 84 000 employees. In 2011, Petrbroas’ net profit reached USD 20 billion.

Maria das Graças Silva Foster, who has been the Petrobras CEO since February 2012, speaks out for the first time in ISO Focus+. She is among the many high level executives to be featured in the "Guest View" column of ISO Focus+ magazine.

In addition to Foster’s interview, the November/December 2012 issue highlights some key examples of standards that are less well known (compared to the world famous ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 management systems), but which still intrigue, captivate and pique our interest. Did you know, for example, that ISO has standards for spaghetti and for symphony tuning?

Read on and discover the “other” ISO standards and how they benefit business, government and society.

Other highlights in this issue include articles on the following:

ISO Focus+, November-December 2012

ISO Focus+, November-December 2012

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