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Stuart Kelly Chief Commercial Officer View profile

LRQA’s recent Leadership Series event in London did exactly that, bringing together industry leaders and experts to discuss the issues shaping the business landscape in the era of Assurance 4.0 – the new era of risk management.

By Stuart Kelly – Chief Commercial Officer

LRQA’s recent Leadership Series event in London did exactly that, bringing together industry leaders and experts to discuss the issues shaping the business landscape in the era of Assurance 4.0 – the new era of risk management. 

LRQA defines this new era by three global trends - Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations, supply chain complexity, and evolving cybersecurity threats. These powerful new trends have combined with more traditional risks – assets, people and systems – to intensify the complexity of risk management in today’s world.  

The LRQA Leadership Series was therefore our way of creating a forum for businesses to discuss and address their key challenges proactively and holistically, taking steps to expand their knowledge, network and enable LRQA, partners and clients to gain fresh perspectives on emerging priorities and challenges. 

The agenda featured panels and presentations on innovative financing mechanisms for sustainability initiatives, to responsible sourcing best practice, the transition towards net zero, cybersecurity concerns in supply chains, and maintaining product integrity.  

Consistent themes emerged throughout – the power of data to inform decision making, the impact of AI (real and imagined!), and crucially that risk management is as much about value creation as it is value retention. How do companies leverage risk management strategies as a hallmark of quality for investors and stakeholders? How do brands create an authentic narrative within their organisation where commercial strategy, operations and sustainability align? How do businesses engage their entire supply chain as a community that is incentivised to talk, walk and deliver on risk management? 

Covering such a broad spectrum of topics for a variety of clients in one room can be a challenge, but the aim was to have ‘30,000ft discussions’ to provide different perspectives, share best practice across sectors, and stimulate new ways for clients to approach their own unique challenges. 

A particular standout was connecting the dots for our clients. Just one example was hearing from businesses preparing for new ESG legislation – like the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) – and being able to rely to our agenda to supplement those conversations. 

Our ‘Responsible sourcing – best practice’ panel provided practical guidance from legal experts on complying with such legislation, with the added complexity of different standards across legal jurisdictions, whilst another panellist from investment banking shared the value of doing so – far beyond compliance, to competitive advantage and becoming an attractive investment prospect with both financial and non-financial returns. It was a privilege to connect our clients with that expanded mindset and demonstrate the opportunities that lie within risk management. 

Beyond the formal agenda, the opportunity for face-to-face discussions in an era dominated by virtual interactions, was immensely valuable. The Leadership Series sparked essential conversations, fostering stronger partnerships built on trust and collaboration. This feedback loop enables us to better support clients, and for clients to be empowered to think differently about their risks too. 

The solutions to today’s biggest risk priorities lie in embracing continuous assurance, solution-based partnerships, and combining on-the-ground expertise with data-driven decision making. With that in mind, we also took the opportunity to demonstrate our supply chain intelligence platform – EiQ – in action.  

We’re proud to be cited within the public sustainability reports of over 30 global brands, who all reference insights derived from our EiQ platform, so it was exciting to show just some of the technical innovation that comes alongside proactive risk management. 

With heartfelt gratitude to our clients and partners who attended, until the next event, here’s to unlocking both the risks and opportunities within the era of Assurance 4.0 

Learn more about Assurance 4.0

Assurance 4.0