Monitoring environmental impacts by tracking sustainability KPIs is essential for any business that wants to improve or report on environmental performance. But, from a financial perspective, how these environmental metrics are tracked is as important as the fact they are tracked. Results increasingly show a software-based EMS is the most effective way of improving environmental performance and boosting revenue.
Environmental management has been overcomplicated in recent years, and business leaders often feel overwhelmed by the perceived array of complex requirements associated with environmental performance. But it is actually quite simple. On a rudimentary level, it involves tracking and reporting on four critical metrics: waste and wastewater output, water usage, and air emissions. After analyzing these factors, a business can develop and implement new policies to mitigate its environmental impacts and save money.
But the most substantial savings of environment management arises from the implementation of a software-based EMS. The return on investment (ROI) from a system that tracks, analyzes and reports on all of the metrics associated with your environment program can be enormous, and manifests in a number of ways:
- Efficiency: Environment management personnel commit a substantial amount of time and effort to basic tasks, including the collection, assessment and reporting of environmental data. These are all elements of an environment program that can be streamlined through software. For example, consider all the time an environment manager or full-time equivalent spends manually inputting data into a traditional spreadsheet program, assessing the data and generating reports based on the data. The right software will allow staff across all locations to input the four critical environmental metrics into a web-based platform and automate the processes of assessing and collecting data.
- Risk Avoidance: Often businesses face substantial fines from permit violations as a result of poor management of wastewater output and air emissions. A robust software-based EMS is capable or correlating real-time emissions and wastewater statistics to permit thresholds and issuing automatic email notifications to warn environment management personnel that a permit violation is likely or imminent. This allows a business to proactively manage emissions sources and discharge points to ensure permitted tolerances are not exceeded and costly fines are avoided.
- Brand Image: As the world becomes more environment-conscious, the value of a legitimate, environmentally progressive brand image is substantial. But the perception of a progressive environmental agenda is only as effective as the environment program supporting it. A software-based EMS will curb the amount of time spent on the minutiae of managing an environment program, freeing up time for environment managers to focus on improving environmental performance by implementing aggressive sustainability policies. Also, real-time access corporate environment KPIs and live reporting capabilities will enable a resort to prove its environmental performance with current data at any point.
A robust software solution will also provide cost savings associated with continual audit preparedness, the elimination of duplicate data, and the tracking of (and automatic following-up on) corrective actions. Further, environment management software is the most effective and efficient means of implementing and maintaining a robust EMS as well as ensuring continued compliance with regulatory and legislative standards.
Paul, this is a great article! A robust EMS can seem somewhat overwhelming to the casual observer, but you've done a great job breaking it down to it's core components and the value of a well-functioning system.
Loved reading this.