A Story About Technology and the Future of EHS

Hi there! If you're reading this, you're probably like me—putting in the long hours to manage EHS compliance at your company.

You probably have a million things on your plate: spreadsheets on spreadsheets, deadlines to keep up with, reports to file, and on, and on...

But have you ever thought about why these "work tools" are the standard for the EHS industry? And why this has stayed the same for so long?

To answer these questions, and to explain why we created Encamp, we have to travel back in time.

In the years after World War II, the United States underwent the most massive wave of industrialization we had ever known.

With this prosperity, however, came growing concern about our nation's environment and public health.

On January 1, 1970, the EPA was created. EHS regulations were signed into existence and countless industries across the United States needed to adapt.

A new class of expert was born: the Environmental, Health, and Safety professional.

EHS professionals laid the groundwork for keeping up with the new regulations. Compliance deadlines were tracked with pen and paper, reports were typed and mailed to regulators, and records were maintained in binders and filing cabinets.

External EHS consulting firms were created, modeling themselves on traditional services groups such as lawyers and accountants. They parceled out their expertise and billed by the hour.

Fast forward to the 80s and 90s, when computers entered the EHS world. This first wave of computing in the workplace brought general business software.

Databases and share drives replaced filing cabinets, while spreadsheets, email, and word processors soaked up everything that didn't fit cleanly into these rigid systems.

These tools increased the pace of work, but the basic workflow of documents on desktops remained the same.

Through the 2000s, technology continued to accelerate.

This second wave of computing in the workplace brought specialized, cloud-based tools to many professionals. Those in Sales, Marketing, and Finance were equipped with tools that fundamentally transformed how they did their jobs for the better.

The promise of a third wave of computing- bringing modern, easy to use, and cost effective software to professionals such as EHS specialists, seemed right around the corner...

But things didn't turn out that way.

While those in other industries had hundreds of modern tools built specifically for them, innovation for EHS workers hit a pause.

User friendly EHS software products failed to be developed. Environmental Management Systems came at a high price and were hard to use. Consultants had no incentive to use technology to increase efficiency, protecting their billable hours.

EHS professionals were left using legacy systems, spreadsheets, and share drives - all while constantly being asked to do more with less.

And that's where we're at today.

EHS professionals are stuck with tools and processes that haven't improved in a decade (or more!)

Work is scattered across dozens of spreadsheets, hundreds of folders, and thousands of emails. There is no central location for compliance due dates, forms, and reports. And when working with consultants, the billable hour still rules the day.

We duct-tape everything together with emails, copy/paste, and countless spreadsheets, feeling consistently overwhelmed and like there has to be a better way.

That's where Encamp comes in. We want to break away from today's processes—and build the platform where EHS work happens.

As a first step, we are bringing in all your facility information into the first end-to-end Compliance Platform for EHS professionals.  Want a task list? A compliance calendar that keeps you up to date? A form library? They are now all in one place. You can even pull in your facility data directly from the EPA to get started in minutes.

Know exactly what you need to do every day to stay in compliance, with more consistency and confidence.

Hopefully you've gotten a good sense of why we started Encamp.

Challenging the status quo is not an easy task. Check out the product! Write in! We need EHS professionals like you to start a movement.

See you soon!

If you put good people in bad systems, you get bad results. You have to water the flowers you want to grow.

Stephen Covey, Business Pioneer
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