“Why should my company adopt an EH&S register?” may be a question that is on the lips of top management of many multi-site and multi-jurisdictional companies.
Contrary to this statement, a recent report by Verdantix states that the driving forces behind the strong growth in the global EH&S software market are an:
- Increased demand for Environment and Health & Safety software globally
- Influx of investment from private equity firms for EH&S software
Moreover, the report states that the global EH&S software market will grow from $584 million in 2014 to $1,150 million by 2019.
In the December 2013 issue of the Environmentalist, John Barwise writes that environment management systems (EMS) are becoming increasingly popular as organisations have found that by employing the use of one they can:
- Reduce the environmental impact of the organisation
- Improve business performance
Additional benefits include:
- Control of environmental impacts
- Reduction of risk
- Enables the organisation to comply with regulations
- Improvement of environmental performance of an organisation
- Identification of non-compliance
The report by Verdantix also affirms the results of an auditing benchmarking survey carried out in 2012/2013. It found that of its 300 respondents who ranged between large and medium sized publicly-traded companies encompassing all areas of business and industry that:
- Approximately 75% of respondents in all categories were cited as saying that compliance assurance was extremely important.
Further to this survey, one respondent explained that by auditing his company it has reduced accidents by 95% and their environmental footprint by >75% over the past 20+ years.
So it seems that more and more organisations are beginning to accept the benefits of such systems as the number of companies certified to ISO 14001 globally had increased from 286,000 in 2012 to 301,647 in 2013.
This certification along with an EMS opens a new world for the organisation engaging with them, as the UK’s environment regulators have been exploring the idea of linking third-party EMS certification audits with inspection regimes that would benefit all involved and could possibly lead to:
- Compliance auditing by proxy
- Certified companies having:
- Fewer inspections
- Lower compliance fees
Ultimately this could lead to Environment agencies being able to focus their attention on organisations whose actions and activities pose the most risk to the environment.
There is certainly the belief that an effective EMS has the potential to improve regulatory compliance that will not only benefit your organisation but also your community and the economy.
Compliance = improved economic performance = better quality of life for all.
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- Verdantix: EH&S Software: Global Market Forecast 2014-2019, summary
- The Environmentalist: Oct 2014 pg 8; ‘Climate Action good for the economy’
- The Environmentalist: Sept 2014 pg 30; ‘Raising Standards – Environment and Sustainability Guidance’
- The Environmentalist: Dec 2013 pg 15; ‘Certifying Compliance’