4 EHS Best Practices from Industry Professionals

July 25, 2016

Enablon’s made a stop in Houston on April 21, 2016. SPF is a global conference series bringing together EHS, Sustainability, Risk Management, and IT professionals. During , I had the opportunity to moderate a peer exchange session where participants shared their key business needs, and discussed how EHS software solutions can help them achieve their strategic and day-to-day objectives.

As is the case with all peer exchange sessions at SPF events, a wealth of information and good ideas were shared across a range of topics. This post provides a summary of the four most important best practices from the session.

1) Implement Mature Processes to Improve Risk Management

Almost all participants reported the same thing: immature processes lead to inconsistencies in risk management. To improve risk management, a more structured knowledge base of risks must be created. Visibility across all risks must be provided to the entire organization, and predictive analytics must be leveraged as a means to anticipate risks, and therefore mitigate them more successfully. The link between the maturity of processes and risk management was further underlined by the fact that in many companies, the EHS team was new to risk management. This leads to a situation where new people are involved in risk management, thus requiring that there be a common understanding of processes.

2) Always Re-Visit KPIs to Make Sure They Are Still Relevant

Operational excellence is always an important topic at SPF events. One aspect of operational excellence that got a great deal of attention at SPF Houston was the set of KPIs tracked by organizations. Attendees highlighted the need to keep KPIs relevant. KPIs can become outdated for certain processes, and defining new KPIs is a challenge for many organizations. In addition, they need to be aware of industry best practices and knowledge, but also make data collection as easy as possible through a centralized and integrated system. Having data in different formats in different platforms throughout the organization can undermine operational excellence.

3) Transfer Knowledge for Efficient Management of Change

As a result of changes in workforces due to retirements, and the need for cross-functional collaboration, there must be a proper transfer of knowledge to manage change as efficiently as possible. Efficient management of change is a prerequisite to maintain efficiency of operations. A centralized knowledge base of procedures, policies and regulations helps to transfer knowledge throughout the organization. It is also important to minimize organizational resistance to change through the use of technology that increases communication and collaboration through notifications and central access to data.

4) Clearly Define Expectations Regarding Compliance

Regulatory compliance is always the most important topic for participants throughout all SPF events, and SPF Houston was not an exception. Many items contributing to compliance were highlighted, including: 1) proper integration with asset management and content providers, 2) managing global change of compliance activities, 3) establishing valid KPIs, 4) managing a large quantity of data, 5) reports and dashboards, and 6) accurate applicability determinations at the equipment level. But one item stood out. Participants underlined the importance of clearly defining compliance expectations through improved communication. Defining expectations well contributes to a better understanding of tasks that need to be completed, and improves accountability within the organization.

If you want to learn more about lessons from other SPF events, check out recaps from and , insights from the , as well as Anna Clark’s SPF Interview Series. Let’s see what interesting takeaways emerge out of .

Download the Verdantix Green Quadrant EHS Software 2019 report and learn more about the 23 most prominent EHS software vendors:

Green Quadrant EHS Software 2019