Effective environmental, health and safety (EHS) programs traditionally are viewed as “backoffice” operations, existing only to prevent fines and reduce risk of accidents. But a proactive EHS program that also addresses sustainability issues also helps firms make and save money, according to an Ernst & Young report. http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/Make-money-save-money-and-manage-risk/$FILE/Make-money-save-money-and-manage-risk.pdf
BP paid $25.4 billion in EHS cases brought by federal regulatory agencies since 2010, according to a database called Violations Tracker. While this is the most in the US, several other major firms have paid over $1 billion because of federal EHS violations in the past few years that could have been reduced had they had robust EHS programs.
The report says that in addition to decreasing the number of enforcement actions, fines, and injury costs, a robust EHS and sustainability program also helps companies reduce raw materials used and cut waste and energy and water costs used in operations, which all lead to major cost savings. These cost savings include not only smaller outlays to utilities and suppliers, but reduced O&M and other labor expenses, too, and attendant reduced insurance costs and risks.
But well-organized EHS programs can also lead to:
• increased revenues by enhancing reputation with the public,
• improved employee morale (thus improving productivity and reducing inefficiencies of training so many replacement workers),
• improving relations with leaders and politicians which may allow the company to move forward on a project that some may oppose, and
• putting their products in a more favorable position in the marketplace.
Robust EHS programs also have a balloon effect, improving the technology and providers of such services. Greater programs incentivize better technologies and applications of existing technologies to environmental and safety applications. Robust EHS programs leads to increased spending on the right technology, EHS consulting, and software.
In an era where some Presidential candidates disparage EHS and its importance, these studies demonstrate the many-pronged value of a strong EHS program to companies, municipalities, and the public.
CCES has the experience and expertise to help you organize a robust EHS program for your firm to provide options to realize these advantages and to maximize financial benefits. Contact us today at 914-584-6720 or at karell@CCESworld.com