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EHS professionals need to manage, monitor, and report large volumes of data — and that isn't easy. EHS reporting is incredibly important. If documents are filed late, the best case scenario is that the company might face significant fines and penalties. But the worst case scenario is that the city or state may not be prepared in the event of an incident, and there could be a significant personal and environmental toll.
An environmental monitoring system or environmental management software platform can help. Environmental compliance software tracks the information that the EHS professional needs, deadlines for sending forms in, and what the EHS professional has to take action on. EHS professionals don't need to spend their time manually filling out and sending in continuous forms. Instead, the environmental data management software handles it all for them.
The easier the job is to do, the more likely it is to get correctly done.
There are many reporting software solutions, but they're not all made equal. Some of them simply compile and store forms and documents, so the EHS professional can find them in a single, consolidated area. Others interface directly with local and state-wide groups, so that the EHS professional can quickly send documents to them and get it confirmed that the documents have been received. In general, it's best for an EHS professional to find a suite that will automate as much of the job as possible.
As companies grow, their chemical needs can grow, and their resource management becomes more complex. An EHS professional may be working internally or may be working with a multitude of companies, and may be seeing the amount of clients, chemicals, and entities they're tracking swiftly growing. EHS platforms provide scalability for an EHS professional, so they can still do an increasing workload with the same amount of time.
But because there are so many EHS solutions, it can also be difficult for companies to choose the right EHS software. SaaS providers can partner with companies to deliver them with the services that they need to grow better and faster while still remaining sustainable, safe, and ethical.
EHS sustainability software can help companies and their EHS professionals monitor, manage, and report data. But EHS software is fairly broad; there are many types of sustainability software solutions and sustainability platforms. Here are some of the broader features and use cases for sustainability reporting software and environmentally monitoring software.
In general, the goal of EHS software is to improve compliance by making it easier for EHS professionals to do their job. But how this is implemented depends on the software solution itself. Some sustainability reporting software serves as a document consolidation system. EHS professionals are able to upload their EHS data to ensure that they have everything they need, both so that they can report things in advance, and so that they have a paper trail if they are ever audited for compliance.
Environmental monitoring software can also do things like track flags or alerts, so EHS professionals are able to react more swiftly to events that occur, whether those events are necessary maintenance and management (planned) or potential disaster events (unplanned).
Primarily, an environmental management system software is going to facilitate reporting for the EHS professional, so they are able to ensure that their reporting is both timely and accurate. Having reporting that is late or incorrect can be disastrous. Not only could it potentially cause environmental harm, but it could also cause dangers. As an example, if a chemical isn't reported to the local firefighting department, they may not know that it is present in the event of an incident.
An EHS professional can complete most of their position without any technological platform, but a technological platform makes it easier by far. EHS professionals should strongly consider adopting a platform before their position grows, as platforms can be leveraged for scale. Otherwise, an EHS professional runs the risk of potentially becoming overwhelmed by their reporting requirements, and consequently not being able to manage their reporting requirements as effectively as they need to.
Because so much of what an EHS professional does is based on local organizations, sustainability reporting software also needs to support the area that the professional is in. Some platforms may be based on the state, while other platforms may be available in dozens of states. Thus, when trying to find the right sustainability platforms, EHS professionals should first look to the solutions that cover their area and their local reporting requirements. From there, they should look at reviews, and determine whether the solution has the breadth of features they need.
With any solution, there are practical considerations. Not only is cost an issue, but there can also be issues with deciding between on-premise solutions, cloud-based solutions, and hybrid solutions which operate on both platforms. SaaS partners can help an organization take a look at their own needs, as well as the features offered by each software solution, to determine the right product for them. Because every organization has varying needs, it's not always a case of finding the "best EHS software solution," but rather finding the best EHS software solution for the organization.
Apart from the enterprise sustainability platform, there are also environmental data collection software suites. The best sustainability software will collect documents and data for the organization, so the organization can better manage its compliance. Through the right environmental compliance management system, companies are empowered to make the right choices, and EHS professionals have ore time for dealing with other areas of compliance.
The environmental engineering software list is replete with sustainability reporting tools. Sustainability SaaS companies have a multitude of offerings, many of them cloud-based (though some support on-premise), and some of them localized to the company's specific reporting requirements. SaaS companies are the best choice of partner to help setup enterprise sustainability platforms and reporting tools, because they are able to integrate these tools into the organization's existing infrastructure and workflow.
Here's an example of environmental data software.
Chemical data can be compiled within the data solution, as can any tests that the organization has to do to ensure that it's still within levels of compliance. Environmental data collection software can track compliance forms and reporting to ensure that the reporting has been done, as well as tracking incidents such as spills. When in doubt, an environmental suite can tell the EHS professional when a spill qualifies for notifying the relevant authorities and when it falls below safety standards. Environmental data software can also be used to analyze the organization's performance, as well as the organization's overall monitoring and management of potentially harmful chemicals.
With the right amount of environmental data, complex analysis can be performed through machine learning algorithms. In advanced and sophisticated systems, this analysis can be used to identify high risk areas of an organization, and chemicals that pose more of a potential danger.
There are many top EHS solutions available. When companies compare them, they often first look at price — but price doesn't fully depict the value that the organization gets from the product. Most products have a tiered pricing solution, based on the features and services the company needs, and the size of the company. Companies can use demos of these solutions to determine which ones best fit their own needs and workflow.
EHS software is a critical component of environmental health, safety, and risk management. With the right solutions, EHS professionals are able to better determine the organization's own risk factors, and give the company actionable ways to control for these risk factors. Organizations should consider improving upon their EHS management before scaling, as EHS management can become more difficult with scale — and they should conduct regular EHS audits to ensure that their current processes and technology are up to the challenge.
Environmental softwares exist to facilitate things like CSR reporting. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an annual report that's published by companies with the goal of sharing their corporate social responsibility actions. Meanwhile, ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) reporting measures the three central factors in measuring the sustainability and societal impact of an investment in a company or a business. ESG reporting tools can be used to better quantify this impact, while ESG software solutions can help in creating an analysis and report for investors.
Today, companies are extraordinarily conscientious about their environmental and social impact. SAP sustainability software, and other sustainability solutions, are used to help organizations manage their environmental impact, and report upon it to key stakeholders. Companies today have a responsibility to investigate the right software for environmental science; software solutions that are going to better promote sustainability and help protect and heal the environment.
Not only are many governments looking for companies to provide a good software sustainability example, but investors want to see that an organization has the right sustainability management tools. Often, investors want to be told where their money is going to go, and how their money is going to impact the world as a whole
And that can be difficult for a company to quantify.
Today, organizations are working on a global scale, even if they are a local business. They are procuring products from international businesses, they are impacting other markets. This requires in-depth analysis to determine exactly how money is being spent, and how money is going to have an overall impact on the world. Many investors are particularly looking for ethical investments, and they want to know that their investments are going to be put to good use.
But CSR and ESG reporting isn't just for outsiders. CSR and ESG is also used to ensure that sustainability initiatives are working internally. Many companies are also hoping to improve upon their corporate responsibility; they want to make sure that they're moving towards a better world and making the world a better place. Companies are able to track whether their initiatives are working through CSR and ESG solutions.
Without the right software solutions, companies aren't able to track the metrics that matter, and aren't able to determine whether their environmental or sustainability processes might not be working. The best way for a company to determine whether their solutions are moving them to the place they want to be is through careful data collection and analysis.
Tool like software solutions help EHS professionals stay on track. And EHS professionals often have a significant workload, because they have to track issues of compliance on multiple levels. As organizations continue to grow, EHS professionals are going to need to track new analysis and issues of compliance. But the right software lessens the chances that things can go unnoticed, making it more likely that an organization is going to be able to work effectively towards their environmental and sustainability goals.
Corporate responsibility is the new normal for organizations in virtually every industry. Without the right sustainability and responsibility messaging, companies are not going to find themselves welcome on domestic and international platforms. But with the help of the right professionals, partners, and programs, companies today can achieve better sustainability for themselves and the future.
If you're interested in how Encamp helps EHS managers deliver consistent processes and first-rate compliance programs, learn more at our free webinar.