Introducing: Peter Bele

Please describe your career path at Bureau Veritas.

I joined BV Slovenia in 2005 as an inspector for wood products. In my first two years at BV, I had the opportunity to learn from highly qualified experts in the wood and forestry industry, working on various projects in Slovenia and other European countries. In 2007, I started studying Wood and Forest certification services and successfully passed FSC® and PEFC™ CoC Lead Auditor courses in Paris, followed by an IRCA (International Register of Certified Auditors) approved Lead auditor course for ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

From 2008 to 2014, I participated in more than 500 wood scheme audits in different countries around Europe and the Middle East, including Russia and Turkey. Since 2010, in addition to conducting third party auditing, I have also acted as a FSC® CoC technical reviewer, PEFC™ Lead auditor trainer, and EMEA Internal auditor for the FSC® CoC scheme.

In 2014, I was appointed Business Unit Manager for Wood and Forest certification for the Adriatic Mediterranean District (AMD), and as of 2018, I was put in charge of regional PEFC™ Forest Management certification in Slovenia. In 2021, I took on a new role in BV Slovenia as Sustainability Services Manager.

What is your role within Bureau Veritas?

My role within Bureau Veritas is to maintain a clear overview of market developments, including current and future trends and potential areas of sustainability development. My goal is to communicate the benefits of BV Sustainability services to all stakeholders, drive unit performance toward set goals, manage internal and external staff, and define short- and medium-term development plans.

It is also my responsibility to find areas of overlap between business units that are developing and offering different services, and adopt best practices from other Bureau Veritas offices. When developing new services to meet client demands, my role is to put in place comprehensive controls over the implementation of these services. I ensure that they are in line with Bureau Veritas’ internal regulations, and in the case of accredited services, with accreditation requirements and standards.

Sustainability is embedded within our strategy, our entire organization, and across all our businesses. Could you please explain to us how you contribute to preserving natural resources and protecting the environment?

Bureau Veritas puts great focus on environmental and social impact. Our organization is fully committed to meeting the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by United Nations Member States in 2015. By joining the Science Based Targets initiative, Bureau Veritas has sent a clear message to all stakeholders that both our services and actions are in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

As a member of this group, Bureau Veritas is committed to meeting climate targets to help limit a global temperature rise of more than 1.5°C. Through our BV Green Line of services and solutions, we further offer our clients solutions to minimize their impact on the environment. If we define sustainability as, “something that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs”, we can say that Bureau Veritas’ services and solutions are fundamentally sustainable.

I am very aware of environmental challenges and aim to incorporate sustainability into my everyday life, protecting the environment and contributing to society as an individual. When choosing consumer goods, I strive to buy those that have recycled packaging, are made from natural materials and are responsible sourced. I try to walk or bike as often as possible, save energy and use reusable energy, and reduce, reuse, and recycle.

What is your greatest professional achievement, and what is the biggest challenge you've faced at BV?

My greatest professional achievement so far has been the successful development of the AMD’s wood and forest certification business unit, which I started building in 2007. We are now one of the three biggest BV offices in the EMEA region in terms of certificate number and auditor range, offering all kinds of wood and forest certification services.

When I first started working on this project, I was the only BV Lead auditor for forestry certification in the AMD. Today, I am thrilled to say that we have a solid team of committed people ready to bring benefits to our clients in the wood and forestry sector.

As for my biggest challenge at BV, it is happening right now. I am in process of passing on to other people a great number of the tasks that I have been working on for the past 14 years. This will enable me to take on tasks at a higher level and cover a wider scope of services inside Bureau Veritas.

Thankfully, it is easier to let go of something I care for when I know that we’ve built a great team that will continue my work with the same level of passion and commitment. This gives me the peace of mind I need to focus on new challenges and continue developing my career in Sustainability services.