Earth Day 2019: Protecting the Planet One Best Practice at a Time

An indicator species is one whose condition tells us about the state of the environment and the ecosystems in which it lives. Lichens, bees, frogs and butterflies are just a few examples. These indicator species can tell us whether not only their existence is in danger because of environmental damage, but perhaps ours as well.

The theme of Earth Day 2019 is protecting our planet’s species. As we take time to reflect today (and hopefully more so in the future) it’s important to understand the small yet incredibly vital elements of a healthy ecosystem. When one part of that ecosystem stops functioning correctly, when an external actor is introduced into this delicate balance of organisms, the effects can be far-reaching.

At Intelex one of our core tenets has been to do business in a way that minimizes potentially damaging impacts on the environment. While we may not have a direct … Read more...

On Environment: 2018’s Most Impactful Environmental Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions

The close of every year elicits reflection on the months past and anticipation of new adventures ahead. As we conclude 2018, we reflect on the environmental regulatory and deregulatory actions that have taken place in the United States and we anticipate new challenges, new adventures, and new opportunities to evolve in the future.

I started thinking about the most impactful environmental regulatory and deregulatory actions from this past year. It was a tough year for environmentalists and regulated industry alike. Environmental groups were busy fighting regulatory rollbacks and regulated industry had to contend with unstable regulatory targets. With this in mind, here are my top three most impactful actions and why I chose them.

NUMBER 1

The Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Proposed Rule (August 21, 2018)

The ACE Rule is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) replacement. After repealing the CPP, reasoning that EPA (under Obama) … Read more...

Who Should Lead the Charge to a Sustainable Future?

Sustainable development is that in which the resources we use to meet today’s business goals do not come at the expense of the ability of future generations to meet their own environmental, social and cultural needs. In other words, the slash-and-burn approach to fuelling business progress and profit will give way to replacing what we use and looking out for the environmental realities that will support our future development as a species.

The evidence for the requirement for sustainable practices is, by now, beyond reproach. Yet many questions remain about how to create sustainable practices that ensure our future environmental stability without damaging our immediate economic growth. Such questions include: should governments legislate these requirements? Should business govern its own sustainable efforts according to its own perspective? Or should the market dictate its allegiance to the idea of sustainability by supporting or opposing businesses that embrace sustainable principles?

While today’s … Read more...

Finding the Best EHS Solution for Your Business: 10 Questions for Buying EHS Compliance Software

Many organizations are discovering that EHS regulations are becoming increasingly complex. Businesses that operate in a global environment must contend with regulations that are unique to every jurisdiction. The regulations for each jurisdiction can be extremely complex, and when those requirements are added to the requirements for all the other jurisdictions in which the business operates, EHS compliance can become overwhelming and almost impossible to manage.

Environmental compliance solutions can be the solution to navigating this overwhelming complexity. They can help organizations keep track of the regulations in different jurisdictions, organize their data, and make fact-based decisions that fulfill their compliance obligations without burning through both human and financial resources.

But once an organization has decided to implement an environmental compliance solution, where should they start? What are some of the questions they should ask? In a new webinar, Intelex Global Compliance Content Lead Jessica Sarnowski identifies 10 questions every 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 … Read more...

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
Read more...

Compliance Strategies – Like an Uncharted Race to a Finish Line

Even during relatively calm times, U.S. environmental policy is constantly evolving as new regulations are continually proposed, possibly held up in litigation, and eventually finalized, revised, or withdrawn.

These days, especially, a state of flux exists within environmental regulations as the current presidential administration charts a new course from that of previous leadership. Although this type of political shift is not novel, we are in a time where proposed changes appear more drastic and stakeholders are faced with moving regulatory targets and unsettled compliance obligations. For some, this is leading to ambiguity and, dare I say, a bit of angst.

We might be well served to pause, step back, and try to put things into perspective. I’d like to suggest that the shifting path of environmental regulations might be analogous to a marathon race that trails along an ever-changing route. It’s a long journey that requires preparation and determination to … Read more...

EHSQ Community | Global Safety

Are We Taking Safety Too Personally? join member Jim Loud‘s online discussion to share your opinion. In this members monthly open discussion Industry Expert Kirk Lowery will share recent amendments to the Montreal Protocol and U.S. EPA refrigerant management regulations. We invite you to join our Environmental, Health and Safety, and Quality professional community, and share your knowledge with other members.

  • 6 Easy Workplace Awareness Programs by Tamara Parris
  • Chernobyl Lesson and Global Safety Awareness by member Kamran Akhavan Attari
  • Are We Taking Safety Too Personally? by member Jim Loud
  • Refrigerant Rule Revisions: Is Your Facility Prepared? – Kirk Lowery

Read more...