The Importance of Aligning EHS with Business Objectives

There has been a paradigm shift in the value that environmental health & safety (EHS) departments provide to their organization. Programs have evolved beyond the traditional expectation of providing fundamental regulatory EHS compliance and reporting requirements. Current and future stakeholder expectations and market demands require addressing climate change and ensuring sustainable growth.

Strategic alignment of environmental and business objectives is a primary ingredient for driving overall success. Top-performing organizations are achieving impactful results for key stakeholders including: customers, investors, employees, community, and the global environment.

But not all organizations have recognized and transformed their programs along with this evolution. Or, perhaps they just don’t know where to start?

Afterall, most of the EHS departments we encounter are built on deeply rooted programs that have been around a long time. Operating under a “if it’s not broken why fix it” mentality can certainly continue to mitigate the risk of your organization encountering EHS compliance issues or regulatory fines, but it might also mean you are operating under the radar of stakeholders and missing out on opportunities to make substantial improvements to the overall value and growth of your organization.

Read on to discover some of the ways you can start integrating your EHS department goals with broader business objectives.

Promote Cross Functional Collaboration

EHS departments are in a unique position to break down organizational silos. Typically, EHS has access to a wide range of operational data which provides a more complete perspective of where improvements can be made. Seize this opportunity to collaborate with other departments and reposition EHS as a driver of interconnectivity and innovation within your organization.

Get Executives Involved 

A strong EHS compliance record and focus on sustainability make your organization more valuable to potential investors and strengthen brand value in today’s marketplace. These are issues that resonate with business leaders.

Find out the areas your executive team is focusing on and spotlight EHS metrics that support those initiatives. Then develop a transparent and consistent reporting process to communicate key performance indicators.

Embrace New Technology

There is no doubt that we have seen a lot of great spreadsheets. Spreadsheet applications like Microsoft Excel are not without value, but they are not the best tool for managing an EHS department holistically. Static information managed in spreadsheets limits transparency, accuracy, and timeliness.

Data management applications empower EHS managers to utilize larger data sets and provide value by channeling all current and incoming streams of data into a single location. This results in the ability to create a more comprehensive overview of your EHS program and identify opportunities for the greatest impact. In fact, we believe in this concept so much that we developed our own EHS software application, the EHS-Dashboard™.

Focus on Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is closely tied to positive business outcomes. Organizations with engaged employees and focused safety culture are more likely to have employees who are committed to doing quality work, have reduced incident rates, and higher productivity. According to a Gallup study, the behaviors of highly engaged business units result in 21% greater profitability.

Technology can be a great tool in promoting engagement. Use EHS software applications to enable frontline employees to directly contribute to data streams. For example, the EHS-Dashboard™ has replaced paper forms with QR codes which connect employees to digital forms where they can log Incident Reports or EHS improvement suggestions directly to a central system. The principal truth is that highly engaged organizations support open communication that starts at the top and EHS departments are instrumental in developing practices that foster employee engagement.

For more information

If you have any questions regarding this subject matter or would like to discuss how you could better align with business objectives, please:

At CAPACCIO, we live our mission of “Helping Industry and the Environment Prosper”. We align EHS with your overall business objectives to strategically position you for success.  Our unique approach combines our extensive EHS experience with innovative tools, such as our EHS Dashboard™, to effectively address your challenges.  Our comprehensive solutions have resulted in award-winning EHS and overall business performance for our clients.