Can you spot greenwashing? Technology gives environmental claims a power wash.

Ok, I know that I’m biased when it comes to how organizations can leverage technology to provide visibility into their CSR initiatives; after all, I work for a software company that actually provides this type of technology. But my bias is for good reason. It works.

The practice of claiming environmental responsibility without having metrics or processes to back it up certainly leaves a sour taste in the mouth of the eco-conscious consumer. Even if an organization is truly engaged and mindful of their environmental stewardship, the public is now wary and weary of corporate claims that don’t hold…um, water.

And the general appetite for responsible companies and governments when it comes to environmental protection is growing. Look at the recent survey of American attitudes created for Yale and George Mason University. It indicated that 3 out of 4 voters favor regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant and a majority … Read more...

Playing it safe with the Partners and Prevention Conference Series

Intelex will be joining the Health and Safety Conference and Trade Show (part of the Partners in Prevention Conference Series) in Mississauga, Ontario, early this week.  This fantastic show currently holds the title as Canada’s largest health and safety event and will take place on May 1st and May 2ndat the International Centre.

Excited to connect with key health and safety professionals in the industry and compare best-practices in the field, Intelex’ own solutions experts  Steve Buffett and Ethan Cushing will be exhibiting first-hand how Intelex’s environmental, health and safety software  can help companies overcome critical workplace obstacles.

Be sure to join Steve and Ethan at booth #455!… Read more...

Is a software-based EMS the only way to effectively improve sustainability performance?

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 … Read more...

To integrate, or not to integrate… Part 4

We’ll conclude our discussion on Integrated Management Systems by looking at the supposed ‘Holy Grail’ of business management: a management system that goes many steps further than simply EHS and quality concerns, and is applied across all business lines, even those outside EHS and Quality realms. This would be a truly integrated management system that could cover areas such as corporate governance, sustainability…basically any business processes and activities.

For example, document control, Corporate Social Responsibility, auditing, and training could be governed along the same integrated management standards. According to Robert Pojasek’s 2006 article in Environment Quality Management, one synergistic or ‘umbrella’ system could enable an organization to ensure the quality of its products…and demonstrate that those products are consistent with the organization’s vision, mission, core values and objectives.”

This idea is based on the premise that, by some means or other, all business activities overlap with some other (if not all other) … Read more...

To integrate, or not to integrate… Part 3

For a company over-anxious to reconcile EHS and Quality processes and data, some complications may emerge.

For example, some integrated management opponents argue that strict adherence to one specific set of standards can be sacrificed in the name of integration. That is, in defining a broad-base of widely applicable standards to enforce across all EHS and Quality domains, some details are institutionally enabled to slip through the cracks.

Really, it all depends on what specifically a company is attempting to integrate. For example, getting managers across all departments to employ the same audit checklists and reports can be like mixing apples and oranges. However, leveraging the same auditing software that allows the importing of individual EHS and quality checklists can reduce costs.

The standards governing quality can be far removed from those governing environment, health and safety. However, this notion can be a very particular function of a particular corporate … Read more...

To integrate, or not to integrate… Part 2

A consideration of the relative advantages and disadvantages of an IMS is a sound starting point to evaluate whether the time has come to integrate management platforms, or whether integration would generate no immediate or long-term payoff.

  • Cost efficiency: The aforementioned standards share several common requirements, including document control, auditing and training. An obvious cost-reduction arises when a business addresses each of these areas with shared software and processes. Also, registrars tend to provide discounts when they are able to audit two or more management systems together, as opposed to one at a time.
  • Time efficiency: While the logistics of implementing an IMS may be complicated at the onset, the relative simplicity of managing EHSQ systems together on an ongoing basis will ultimately save time and frustration.
  • Corporate Brand: Most Businesses understand that a negative EHSQ ‘event’ (for example, a spill, a product recall or an employee
Read more...

To integrate, or not to integrate…

Though environment, health, safety (EHS) and quality management issues are often handled by individual management systems, the guiding principles behind each of these areas share a common link — W. Edwards Deming. The American quality guru is most commonly associated with the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, an iterative problem-solving process used to resolve quality issues and improve business performance. But it is important to remember the foremost EHS and quality management standards — including ISO14001 (environment), OSHAS 18000 (health and safety) and ISO 9001 (quality) — are all rooted in the PDCA or Deming Cycle.

Businesses that encounter regular overlap between these areas ought to consider the potential benefits of an Integrated Management System (IMS). An IMS coordinates all of an organization’s procedures, systems and processes within one complete framework and, in an ideal scenario, allows the organization to operate as a seamless whole, with unified objectives across all departments.

But a … Read more...

Intelex’s essential ROI guide featured in Pollution Engineering

Ever have a tough time selling a software solution to your boss you know will make a huge difference to your organization?

Well, this isn’t an uncommon thing. It’s always difficult to convince those that hold the purse strings in any organization to loose themselves of the funds you so dearly need to streamline your processes; to escape the Notes, the spreadsheets, and the disparate documents and systems of the world to reconcile all information in one system.

If these concerns echo with you at all, check out a recent article in Pollution Engineering, penned by Intelex’s Paul Leavoy.

It describes the opportunities and challenges that face any EHS manager as he or her pursues the approval of senior management’s approval of a software solution that will help streamline processes and generate ROI.

Let us know what you think!… Read more...

Successful Sustainability Strategy Series: Tip #5 — Communicate your performance

We’ve covered the importance of developing a proactive plan, quantifying financial gains, understanding the role of metrics, and using software to manage your sustainability program for the most effective results.

Today let’s talk about the often overlooked element of a winning sustainability program: communicating your progress.

5. Communicate Commitment/Performance to Stakeholders: While the primary function of sustainability initiatives will be the returns they deliver through conservation efforts and a number of other cost-savings effects, don’t miss the boat on the wealth of opportunities that accompany clearly communicating sustainability efforts and accomplishments to stakeholders. When developing a sustainability strategy, consider incorporating an ongoing sustainability reporting plan that conforms to existing frameworks (such as the IIRC, GRI and others).

While some critics have complained that comprehensive sustainability reporting can dominate resources and distract from essential business operations, proper planning, resource allocation and the use of software solutions … Read more...

Successful Sustainability Strategy Series: Tip #4 — Forecast and track with software

So far in our week-long discussion on building a successful sustainability strategy, we’ve reviewed the importance of developing a proactive plan, quantifying financial gains, and understanding the role of metrics.

Now let’s turn our attention to another critical aspect and something that’s dear to our hearts at Intelex: the role of software. Yes, it could be argued we’re more than marginally invested in the role software plays in sustainability, but we still deeply believe it is an essential part of building an effective program.

4. Use Software to Track Metrics and Forecast: Certainly, though conventional paper- and spreadsheet-based platforms can be and are used to track environmental, social and economic performance, the advantage of integrated software solutions over such archaic means is undisputable.

In particular, some configurable software products already geared towards streamlining the management of EHS systems can be extended to cover most if not … Read more...