Sustainability seems to be the latest big buzzword for businesses these days and more and more are taking initiatives that allow them to practice good sustainable measures. In some cases, this is even government-mandated, with certain industries needing to follow environmental compliance regulations and focusing on environmental health and safety management. However, all businesses could implement even better sustainability measures past those just needed for environmental compliance. On the other hand, managing health and safety, environmental regulatory compliance, and possibly even water and waste regulatory compliance can be hard to navigate and cost a business a great deal in time and energy. Software systems can now help business owners stay on top of these regulations and keep them from being penalized and make a safer and more environmentally friendly workplace for everyone.
What’s One Step a Business Can Take?
Some businesses who are heavily invested in creating better environmental standards for themselves and their businesses hire environmental, health, and safety management (often abbreviated EHS). They figure out how to manage waste, focus on environmental compliance, and cut down on the carbon footprint that the company produces. They can also strengthen workplace safety and keep employees healthier and happier in the workplace by improving air quality, and other aspects. This is important as three-quarters of employees say that feeling personally safe and secure at work is of high importance to them. However, businesses need to advertise that they have an EHS function, since over 70% of employees who had an EHS team didn’t know they existed. And over 40% of employees wanted to have the ability to offer feedback to the team. These are all things for businesses to keep in mind moving forward.
Most EHS managers are engineers or scientists and are highly specialized in their field. They merge the expertise they have in their field with management skills to make sure that company policies are put into actual use.
Why Is Sustainability So Important?
Executives are sitting up and taking notice of the recent push for better sustainability practices. Over 50% of executives say they believe sustainability is either “very” or “extremely” important to their business in an array of areas, such as developing new products, building or improving their reputation, and their overall corporate strategy, according to the most recent McKinsey survey. (Sustainability is here defined as the management of environmental, social, and governance issues.) Over 75% of executives say that having sustainable measures makes shareholder value go up long-term and half say that they see short-term value creation as well.
However, surprisingly despite the lip service paid to sustainability, many businesses are lagging in actual practice. Just over 25% of respondents said that their CEOs or other C-level executives were running their sustainability initiatives on a daily basis and only 35% of executives said their companies have really been able to tangibly quantify the impact environmental and social regulation would have on their business. This is, perhaps, where environmental software and health and safety software can come into play for these businesses.
What Is an Environmental Management System and Why Should Companies Invest?
An environmental management system adheres to ISO 14001 requirements or another system created with a similar focus and helps companies adhere to environmental compliance regulations or other health and safety regulations. Since this type of management can be time-consuming and difficult for businesses to do themselves, this type of software steps in, streamlines the process, and gathers all the data into one place for analysts. Results can be compiled into graphs or charts for visual reference and reports can be generated on a regulation or corporate scale if needed. Having this overview can reduce operational risk, improve worker health and safety, and help you plan goals and a vision for your company’s sustainability policies and more.
The hope of course, is that more and more companies will be focused on preserving the Earth and its natural resources. If more companies start taking responsibility and focusing on sustainability policies, real change can be effected. With environmental management systems, businesses don’t have to spend a fortune and a significant amount of time dealing with the logistics of it all.
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