Second Week Highlights from COP26 – The Good and Bad News

Global leaders pledged to work towards ensuring that by 2040 or earlier and no later than 2035 in leading markets all new cars and vans sold will be zero emission vehicles.
Global leaders pledged to work towards ensuring that by 2040 or earlier and no later than 2035 in leading markets all new cars and vans sold will be zero emission vehicles.

“We have kept 1.5°C (global warming limit by the end of the century) alive. But its pulse is weak, and it will only survive if we keep our promises and translate commitments into rapid action.” – COP26 President Alok Sharma

Therein lies the ultimate question as leaders of the world breakoff from the conclusion of COP26. Political will seems absent, particularly among the biggest carbon dioxide-emitting nations, to take rapid action?

But let’s start with the positive. A mere two years ago, only 30 percent of the world was committed to net zero greenhouse gas emission targets and at the conclusion of COP26 it now stands at around 90 percent with 154 parties having submitted new CO2 national targets … Read more...

Highlights from COP26 – Will Leaders Deliver on Promises Made?

The tools needed to solve the environment crisis exist and commitments promised by world leaders last week could help the world move towards solutions.
Over 130 leaders of countries representing more than 90 percent of the world’s forests pledged to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by 2030.

The halfway point of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP26 saw many green commitments made by world leaders, but will these promises be kept?

Judging by a historical lack of collective action from the international community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the answer to that question would seem to be a resounding “no!” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had estimated in 2011 that limiting global average temperature increases to 1.5C would require a reduction of carbon dioxide or CO2 emissions of 45 percent in 2030, or a 25 percent reduction by 2030 to limit warming to 2C.  

Discouraging news came this week with the latest results of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) from more than 100 nations monitoring their CO2 … Read more...

COP26 and the Scary Season of Environmental Urgency

Where does the world stand in achieving the 2° – and 1.5°C ideal – for global warming? A much more detailed answer is forthcoming as COP26 bears witness to nationally determined contribution (NDC)
Nothing is more intensive and polluting than coal and there continues to be significant reliance upon it for two-thirds of the world’s electricity production. Switch to LED bulbs to reduce electriity consumption. Save the planet while saving money!

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland—COP26—begins on the frightful day of Halloween.

These are scary times on the environmental front and the global risk of damaging climate change has never been greater. More chilling is the fact that the window for averting the worst is rapidly closing. The time to act is now.

So, this year’s 26th annual conference—the first was held in 1995—features world leaders from more than 190 countries and is the most crucial ever. Will the international community at last heed the urgency and aggressively act on reducing carbon emissions and slowing the rate of inevitable climate … Read more...

Here’s How ESG Will Further the Cause of EHS

ESG will further the cause of EHSQ
No doubt most EHS professionals would rightly declare the work they’ve been doing has aligned with many ESG principles all along.

Ever-growing interest by financial investors and consumers in companies that do the right things for people and the planet by adhering to the guiding principles of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria is great news for Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) concerns.

What does one have to do with the other?

EHS has long been positioned as a cost avoidance function to protect company profits through protection programming. But with growing interest by businesses and their efforts to align with ESG, the one will most definitely help the other. 

“With ESG, there’s a triple bottom line: profit, people, and the planet that will be demanded not only by the internal stakeholder, but the consumer and those looking to invest as shareholders,” says Intelex Vice-President of Health and Safety, Scott Read more...

All’s Well That Ends with Worker Wellness

Health, or more specifically, wellness, is the more often overlooked part of the health and safety equation.

It’s worthwhile for organizations to bring wellness to the fore of health and safety efforts since the chronic health conditions of employees are significant cost drivers for companies of all sizes. Employers who implement an effective, integrated, comprehensive workplace wellness program can have a substantial positive impact on health-related factors that drag down worker productivity: absenteeism, presenteeism, poor morale and employee turnover that result from poorly-managed chronic health conditions and risk factors like smoking, stress, poor sleep habits, inactivity and obesity. So, here’s the bottom line on workplace wellness: it can be an important component of your efforts to improve worker productivity.

It’s important to know, whether you are putting a wellness program in place or improving your existing program, what issues could affect your program’s effectiveness. To maximize the return on your … Read more...

Oil and Gas Explorer Encana Gains Compliance and Efficiency with EMS

Environmental management effectiveness means achieving the obvious result of regulatory compliance, but for Encana Corp., it is essential to gain a good measure of organizational efficiency, too.

Efficiency is particularly important for a company like Encana, a Calgary-based oil and gas exploration and production company, that has a multitude of regulatory objectives to meet, many interdependent departments that exist across the company, and an operation that spans two countries.

Casey Rubin, manager of the environmental information team, says that, in his job of EMS management, he works with a variety of internal groups, including air compliance, field environmental groups, operations, plus regulatory and production coordinators.

In most large corporations it’s often typical to find many redundant efforts such as the collection of the same types of data and performing the same types tasks or processes, yet not having the necessary coordination to streamline across different operating areas or even in … Read more...

NAEM Report Highlights Challenges and Opportunities of Sustainability Practices of Supply Chain

Environmental sustainability, or the efforts made by everyone everywhere to safeguard the planet as well as responsibly use and replenish the finite resource we have in this world, has achieved the rightful status of being a strong business value and a boon to any company’s brand.

Many organizations now realize how a company operates as an environmentally and socially responsible provider of goods and services is – simply put – a good-for-business practice. Specific regulations in Canada, the United States and around the world guide corporations in terms of what they “must” do to achieve compliance. Business ethics, employees, customers and partners compel companies to go above and beyond these prescriptive rules.

Consumer demand for environmentally responsible products is continuing to push the sustainability agenda in terms of importance, transforming how companies relate to their supply chain partners. It’s not enough for a business to do everything it can to … Read more...

A Strong Business Case Can Drive Your Successful EHS Software Implementation

The Purchase of new environmental, health and safety (EHS) software is like a journey along a path of time and effort, in search of the right solution. But, it’s just the beginning.

The end of one road branches off and continues down another path, where you need to discover organizational support for implementation and adoption. It is during software implementation that you may, among other challenges, encounter unexpected resistance from the very people you’d most hoped would benefit from a new set of solutions.

Educating executives and employees alike to the value of EHS software acquisition and ensuring buy-in and support needs to begin before software is purchased then must thread throughout acquisition and implementation stages. It’s worthwhile to consider strategies to help ensure once you have made a software purchase and during implementation, you ultimately gain a system that makes everyone’s life easier and productive.

In weighing the …

Is It Time to Upgrade your EHS Software?

There’s a shelf life for everything.

Even software has an expected existence. For most well-designed systems, a useful lifetime can be six to eight years. For systems that are less well designed or for applications that evolve quickly, the useful life of business software can be as short as three years.

According to a 2017 survey conducted by the National Association for Environmental Management (NAEM), most companies that are looking at replacing their environment, health & safety (EHS) software have a system in place that is less than five years old   – so, if your system is approaching five years old, it probably is or soon will be outdated.

How do you know your current software is due for a major refresh? You may need new EHS software if:

  • Your EHS software needs to integrate with your other IT systems. Many companies have other business software systems for non-EHS applications

The Murky World of EHS Non-Compliance Costs

Administrative fines and enforced remediation costs are among the obvious and often highly publicized consequences of failures to comply with environment, health and safety (EHS) laws. But what about the things that are much more difficult to assess, predict or calculate?

Consider expenses such as those associated with workplace incidents and accidents. These can be unpredictable financial obligations, including payments for insurance premiums or workers’ compensation plans that cover resulting harm, necessary medical expenses and compensatory benefits for those who are injured. What about litigation?

The only way to lower the cost of workers’ compensation in the long run is to lower the frequency and severity of the claims that are driving those costs. It can be a tall order, particularly because premiums have been steadily rising. In the United States, the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) estimates employer costs associated with workers’ compensation totaled US$94.8 billion in 2015 … Read more...