How a Global Conglomerate Identifies EHS Risks Across All Sites

November 08, 2018

Try to guess the identity of this company: a global conglomerate with more than 120,000 employees in 60 countries around the world, with revenues of more than $100 Billion, composed of about a dozen business units, and present in multiple industries including oil and gas, chemicals, electronics, energy, minerals, plastics, fertilizers, etc.

If you guessed Koch Industries, you guessed right! Koch is a corporation going through the same challenges as many other companies. One of these challenges consists of successfully identifying EHS risk areas across all business units, sites and locations, to achieve excellence in performance.

In fact, Koch companies can boast more than 1,200 excellence awards since 2009. At SPF Americas 2018, Koch Industries added to that impressive total by receiving the . Let’s take a closer look at Koch and its use of the Enablon platform.

SPF Americas 2018 Excellence Awards

The Need to Turn Data into Actionable Insights

At Koch Industries, there is a commercial compliance team responsible for various risks associated to commercial activities. The team also establishes the minimum levels of performance around commercial compliance activities. It performs audits across all Koch companies and reports back the results to leadership.

At Koch, the results and findings from audits and self-assessments would go in Excel spreadsheet-based systems, but it was not possible to run analytics on the data to generate insights. Information would go in the systems, but it was difficult to get information out of them. It would take the commercial compliance team weeks, and even sometimes months, to get meaningful information out of the systems.

The data going in the Excel spreadsheets was inconsistent and it could not be extracted in an appropriate format. There were disparate systems with different formats, so it was challenging to roll up data from a location, to a facility, to a business unit, and all the way up to Koch Industries.

All of this was happening while Charles Koch, one of the principal shareholders, was setting an expectation around digital transformation. This was leading to a lot of different initiatives to digitize information and turn it into data that can be used to create value. This backdrop, along with the need to have everything in one place to improve efficiency, led the commercial compliance team to look at an alternative solution.

A Clear View on EHS Risk Areas and Trends

Koch Industries set out to meet a goal of turning data into actionable insights to achieve its vision around EHS and commercial compliance. The organization had to be compliant with all the laws and regulations, and protect its employees, the environment, and the communities where it operates. Identifying risk areas and trends was key.

How have things changed with Enablon? By far the biggest difference is that now, when results and findings from audits and self-assessments are entered, data is immediately available on a dashboard. This allows the team to know exactly where to focus its attention because it can easily identify risk areas, and to look for trends affecting business units, facilities or locations, and address them before they become problems.

More specifically, Koch uses data from audits and events (including near misses, accidents, environmental events, commercial compliance events) to predict where they will potentially have issues. They can then take steps to mitigate the risk of future adverse events by focusing on the most affected areas, visiting specific sites, providing additional training, etc. Having all the data in one common system provides a predictive capability that was not there before.

Another benefit of using Enablon consists of driving consistency and common practices across all Koch businesses. The right processes and procedures are being followed by everyone around EHS and the management of incidents and events.

Addressing Risks Associated with Chemicals

For Koch Industries, having chemicals across many different facilities spread around the world introduces another element of risk. Enablon is also used for chemical management, specifically to roll up information on all chemicals across the organization to pinpoint the exact locations where there are regulated and hazardous chemicals.

It’s important to understand which chemicals are located at each site to better protect workers and the environment by making sure that chemicals are properly handled and stored. In addition, since regulations on chemicals vary enormously by geography (e.g. state laws, federal regulations), properties (e.g. hazardous vs non-hazardous) and classifications, Enablon is used to properly control chemicals and to have a precise view of exactly what is located where.

As a result of using Enablon to successfully reduce risks of adverse events and improve EHS performance, we’re proud to have designated Koch Industries as the winner of the at SPF Americas 2018. The recognition is fully deserved, and we look forward to continuing to help Koch turn data into actionable insights that drive value for the organization.

Download NAEM’s “How to Successfully Deploy an EHS&S Software System” report to learn more about six steps that will help you start and stay on the right track as you introduce an EHS&S application:

NAEM - How to Successfully Deploy an EHS&S Software System