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...

Biomimicry Looks to Natural History for Innovation

Innovation is usually discussed with only the future in mind, but a keynote speaker at the National Association of Environmental Managers (NAEM) Forum in Louisville, Ky. believes the key to meaningful environmental progress lies in our natural past.

Janine Benyus, co-founder of the Biomimicry Institute, presented an audience of 700 professionals from over 300 companies with the concept of Biomimicry: an approach to innovation that seeks to emulate nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies to find sustainable solutions to human challenges. The goal is to create products, processes and policies — new ways of living — that are well-adapted to life on Earth over the long haul.

Benyus – a biologist, author of numerous books, innovation consultant and self-proclaimed “nature nerd” –  said Biomimicry is a way of looking back at 3.8 billion years of good ideas in nature to allow us to leapfrog ahead without having to go through … Read more...

The Value of an Integrated Approach to EHSQ Management

We need to take a different approach to managing Environmental, Health and Safety, and Quality (EHSQ) efforts. It involves doing away with the E – HS – Q siloed, fragmented approach where departments have little or no communication or collaboration amongst each other. Instead, take an approach that is based on all departments sharing data and working with each other in a highly cohesive and efficient way that saves time, money and effort.

The concept is known as an Integrated Environmental, Health and Safety, and Quality (EHSQ) management system.

In many companies, department leaders share many of the same concerns: fragmented technology, poor metrics, cultural challenges, inconsistent support of upper management, and siloed processes. Wouldn’t it make sense to manage these similar challenges – and look for shared opportunities – under one framework?

According to a recent report from LNS Research, organizations that adopt an integrated EHSQ management system achieve … Read more...

Webinar – Managing Compliance With Evolving EHS Regulations

Staying in compliance is critical. But it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Companies need to comply with a host of environmental health and safety regulations, and these can vary drastically between geographical locations, industries and business activities. When you factor in an ever-changing regulatory landscape, things can get a bit overwhelming!

This webinar is hosted by Teck Lee, Intelex Product Manager and Ned Ertel, RegScan President and CEO. RegScan helps companies worldwide comply with regulations from over 140 global jurisdictions. They provide you with a unique set of insights into the evolving regulatory landscape and how EHS professionals tasked with compliance can stay one step ahead of the game.

Topics covered include:

  • Addressing the challenges of a turbulent regulatory landscape
  • Banishing compliance confusion by identifying the requirements that matter
  • Reducing time and money spent on compliance activities
  • Simplifying compliance with the latest technology

Watch a preview below or click here Read more...

Report says OSHA is understaffed, Safety Stand Down on heat illness, UN panel calls for environmental impacts reporting, and more on EHS This Week

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • New report says OSHA is underfunded and understaffed.
  • Safety Stand Down targets heat-related illness.
  • UN panel recommendations call for reporting of environmental impacts, and more.

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you.

Until next week, enjoy the program!

[audio: 2013/05/EHSTW-053113.mp3]… Read more...

U.S. EPA coal regulations, an alarming OSHA whistleblower case and more on EHS This Week

We’ve got a slew of great environmental, health and safety news content on this episode of EHS This Week. Some of our highlights include:

  • Significant news on an EPA coal regulation making it through the U.S. senate.
  • An alarming and possibly historic whistleblower case.
  • News on AIHA’s recommendations for OSHA and a whole lot more.

Remember that you can always write us with your suggestions, questions and comments at paul@ehsthisweek.com. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you. 

Until next week, enjoy the program!

[audio: old/mp3/EHS This Week June 22.mp3]… Read more...

Corporate recycling, sunny side-up

Food manufacturing and packaging go hand in hand.  What may not be so obvious, however, is that the links between the two are about to become a lot more, er, ineggstricable. That’s right, thanks to some pioneering work out of England, we’ve learned that eggs themselves may contain the answers to some of the world’s environmental woes. 

Scientists out of the University of Leicester in England are currently investigating the use of disposed eggshells, which currently either end up in landfill or are used in pharmaceuticals to help with cartilage and connective tissue problems. The biodegradable proteins found in the egg shell can be potentially formed into a starch-based plastic very similar to numerous forms of existing materials used in packaging warehouses. Sounds simple, but the outcome could bring great change to the packaging world. Find out more here

As the article explains: The aim of the current project … Read more...

Intelex makes a strong presence at NAEM EHS forum

I’m currently at the EHS NAEM Management Forum in Tucson, Arizona, and I wanted to update you all on what a fantastic experience everyone is having so far.

The main trade show floor is electric, with top industry personnel networking on best practices in environmental, health and safety management. I’m a big advocate of all the information sessions that have been held throughout this show as well, a powerful incentive for folks attending this conference from around the world.

In addition to the show, I’ve been asked to be a part of the NAEM Council on behalf of Intelex Technologies, and I couldn’t be more proud.

The Intelex family has grown significantly from NAEM events over the years, with valuable relationships established.  As seen in this photo, here are a few of our friends. Dawn Krueger from 3M (middle), Marty Moran from General Mills (left). That’s me on the right.… Read more...

Weighing in on the 14001 debate

ISO 14001 certified? Perhaps you plan on being certified, or maybe you’re just wondering what certification actually means.

Well, if ISO 14001, the world’s foremost standard specification for environmental management systems, is on your mind at all, you might want to take a look at a little article I wrote over at Greenbiz.

Is ISO 14001 Certification Still Relevant?” begins to discuss what certification actually means in a world where polluters and emitters are able to achieve and retain certification – not to mention the connotation of the ‘green’ or environmentally responsible image that comes with it – even when they might not actually be doing that much good for the environment at all.

After reading, be sure to check out the comments section below the article for the spirited conversation the article inspired among industry experts.… 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...