Sustainability as a way of living, conducting business and especially within the EHS domain can not only create conscientious citizenry but also develop an efficient workforce, for nations. Rapid growth, increasing demands, depleting resources and rising population across the world presents a contrasting picture that points to only one scenario: growth in its current form is unsustainable.
Amidst such methodical chaos, technology-driven solutions can act as great support tools, saving valuable time and resources for organizations. Let’s take a look at how one can achieve such an objective.
From an organizational standpoint, developing sustainable practices can not only reflect on the efficiency with which they deliver their products but also ensure long-term financial gains through better resource mobilization.
Here are 5 sustainability metrics for organizations to consider, in pursuit of making their processes future-ready:
1) Water usage and pollution are the indicators of a dwindling resource that has been bearing the brunt of over-exploitation and pollution.
2) Greenhouse gas emissions are the focus of core sector-based industry as their activities are mostly associated with emissions. In general sense, even the number of vehicles and their state of functioning can add to the carbon footprint of an organization.
3) Waste generation of all different types and sorts becomes a humongous problem for organizations simply because sometimes they can end up spending more resources on it due to lack of sustainable waste management programs and partnerships.
4) Health and safety of employees is the aspect of turning your organization into a safer working environment. Productive identification of hazards, monitoring employees on whether they are adhering to safety procedures and measuring safety metrics are indicators of safety performance.
5) Workforce training and development is the enabling factor which can help in unlocking the human potential. Untrained human resources would slowly become irrelevant and might turn into a liability.
If we observe closely, these metrics or parameters are crucial, even in their implied sense (as water is a finite source) which given its recent history of use or rather an exploitation is running out, fast. Greenhouse gas emissions and waste generation are the byproducts of a developed and industrial society, in terms of its sheer scale of generation. Health and safety measures through proactive means and training the workforce for skill development as well as on the latest safety measures and equipment, adds a protection layer to an organization’s compliance while ensuring productivity and occupational health receive a shot in the arm.
Automation introduced by software can therefore provide the desired level of vigilance. Systems based data gathering, interpretation and reporting means that software can be aligned to suit the industry or domain specific needs.
For example, in order to support environmental compliances and regulations, certain metrics are to be maintained for air, water, waste, energy and several other aspects, thereby, aiding in occupational health and wellbeing monitoring. Identification of corrective and preventive actions (CAPAs) based on reporting of incident and accident events through incident management solution and their evaluation from EHS team also helps. To tie it all nicely, EHS software-driven automation has little or no disruption on the day to day operations. As a matter of fact, the software has the ability to reduce effort and time by as much as 40% to 50%.
Software solutions can assimilate new data and integrate legacy data thereby providing an organization with the sustainability picture from over the years. It has been a growing trend to publish sustainability reports which compile such data and present it to readers and stakeholders alike. Based on the cost savings derived from implementing such software driven sustainable initiatives, corporate social responsibility projects can further be fueled.
As a vision guide map, UN has suggested 17 sustainable development goals for the year 2030, providing businesses an idea as to how they can promulgate sustainability within their domain. In all this, technology (obviously) has a big role to play. So what are the digital enablement goals that you have considered for your organization? How do you intend to support these goals?
Time to ponder…