A business cannot run on the shoulders of a single person. Though it may start with a single idea, it needs many shoulders to carry it to scalable heights. A business’ success depends on the coexistence of all departments and employees. Similar is the co-existence of ESG and EHS. We will look at how they go hand in hand.
Now a business is not only responsible for developing products/services for its customers but also society, the environment, the planet, and its employees. This is where ESG and EHS step in.
EHS, or Environment, Health, and Safety, and ESG, or Environmental, Social, and Governance, are two related but distinct concepts that are becoming increasingly important for companies to consider.
Let us understand these terms in detail.
EHS VS ESG: Understanding the Differences and synergies
ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance. This implies the social responsibility of the organization towards the planet and the resources it provides. It plays a vital role in investments through a conscious approach.
EHS stands for Environment, Health, and Safety. It plays a very crucial role in protecting the employees and their safety. EHS is also an essential part of corporate responsibility toward the safety of the employees and the environment.
EHS focuses on managing environmental and occupational health and safety risks in a company’s operations, while ESG evaluates a company’s environmental impact, social responsibility, and governance practices
The environment term is common in both terms, and the metrics are also intertwined. From carbon emissions to significant environmental data reporting, both aspects are crucial in ESG and EHS.
The social aspect plays a crucial role in both. For example, social responsibility is how the business impacts employees, customers, the community, and their safety. This includes training methods, safety policies, risk management, and compliances.
Governance implies the factors that contribute to control in the business. The aspects include bribery, corruption, working conditions, and measurement of standards and performances.
The above factors simplify how EHS and ESG are intertwined. However, they are considered different aspects of metrics they need to co-exist for the organization’s success. The combined metrics of ESG and EHS make it easier to identify the areas for improvement, make sustainable decisions and provide a fool-proof road map to the solutions.
The Co-Existence of ESG and EHS
If ESG is affected or paid less attention to, EHS gets affected and vice versa. We will further explain it with a simple example.
An organization has to display its CSR metrics. The corporate social metrics are not only about the social work or donations that the organization makes. It is also about the way it treats its employees. Now, this treatment is measured by the ESG and a part of the EHS. How is that done?
The ESG metrics survey the employees about their well-being and happiness at the workplace. Similarly, the EHS compliances ensure that the workplace is safe for the employees and provides them with proper training and PPE whenever required.
The company’s CSR and retention rate is positive if both the ESG and EHS surveys give positive results!
This simple example shows the common aspects of ESG and EHS from the employee’s point of view. It can be done similarly with the community and environmental management aspects.
ESG Supports EHS and Vice Versa
The majority of the organizations know EHS and its importance. Moreover, the strict compliances and standards force workplaces to be EHS compliant. This EHS compliance plays an essential role in overcoming the challenges of ESG. A perfect example of this would be a safety officer taking part and assisting in defining the organization’s goals for success and better sustainability.
We have listed a few crucial points to define how ESG supports EHS and vice versa.
- EHS and ESG professionals work in cross-functional ways. EHS leaders must communicate the necessary organizational changes to amplify safety and increase training program participation. The ESG then merges to define how important this is for corporate growth.
- Proper safety monitoring is essential for EHS and ESG to co-exist. The metrics of this safety monitoring are crucial for the stakeholders to determine the community impact.
- EHS leaders ensure the proper safety and health of workers. And with this assurance, employees can enhance their productivity and strategize ways to pave roads for success. Thus, EHS helps improve ESG and vice versa.
- Safety professionals can set goals for ESG with proper communication and strategies. EHS helps identify the challenges of the system, and the ways to address them can be brainstormed by EHS and ESG departments.
- The emergence and implementation of EHS software have played a prominent role in shaping an organization’s future. These digital tools bring qualitative and quantitative data to recognize and work towards the company’s goals. They help in managing EHS and ESG compliances seamlessly.
The above overview literally explains how EHS and ESG co-exist. Thus, the organization should merge the efforts of both departments for a promising future.
While EHS and ESG have different objectives, they are not mutually exclusive, and companies can benefit from addressing both aspects. A company that prioritizes EHS may also reduce its environmental impact, enhance the health and safety of its employees, and improve its ESG rating. Similarly, a company that focuses on ESG may improve its EHS performance by adopting more sustainable and efficient practices that reduce waste, emissions, and resource consumption.
By understanding the differences and synergies between EHS vs ESG, companies can create a sustainable business strategy that prioritizes both aspects and contributes to long-term success.
A proactive EHS approach will precisely handle ESG aspects. This will ensure a happy, sustainable, prosperous, and healthy present & future!