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Navigating the Future: The Transformative Journey of EHS in Business

Updated: Dec 16, 2023

We attended the EHS Services: Buyer Trends And Budgeting Strategies In 2024 And Beyond webinar presented by Tom Brown of Verdantix, it was insightful and here are our takeaways for those of you that missed it on the the transformative journey of EHS in business.

The dynamic landscape of 2024 and beyond, businesses are increasingly recognising the pivotal role of Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS/HSE) functions as fundamental to sustainable success and risk mitigation. As we navigate a complex terrain of evolving workforces, regulations, technologies, and priorities, the EHS function is emerging as a strategic cornerstone for organisational resilience and growth. Here's a closer look at the key trends and takeaways shaping the future of EHS in the business realm:

Defining HSE: A Holistic Approach to Corporate Well-being

Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS/HSE) represents a comprehensive and integrated framework encompassing health, safety, and environmental considerations within an organisation. It is not merely about compliance; rather, it is a strategic imperative that addresses the well-being of the workforce, ensures operational safety, and contributes to environmental sustainability.

Addressing Talent Deficits and Global Challenges

Industry surveys highlight a concerning trend of severe talent deficits globally, with projections indicating that the hardest-to-fill vacancies could reach a staggering 77% by 2023. This widening gap in internal EHS capabilities necessitates a strategic approach to source specialists with legal, operational, and regional risk expertise. However, in the face of decentralised operations and global talent shortages, businesses are turning to external support for crucial insights and guidance.

The Rise of HSE Outsourcing

As businesses grapple with the challenge of maintaining in-house expertise, there is a visible shift towards outsourcing EHS services. External specialists bring credentials in areas such as emissions calculations, regulatory nuances, and asset integrity, helping organisations bridge capability gaps and meet compliance obligations. The outsourcing trajectory is expected to accelerate through 2025, especially in domains like compliance and risk assessments, health technology evaluations, incident response, and reporting assistance.

Technology as a Catalyst for Change

In tandem with outsourcing, technology is playing a pivotal role in reshaping the EHS landscape. Technology consulting and implementation partnerships are empowering businesses to align systems into integrated data ecosystems, leverage analytics for deeper environmental and safety insights, and capitalise on digital tools to enhance field safety. This synergy between technology and outsourcing is creating a sophisticated framework for risk management.

Unified Approach: Health and Safety, Operations, and Sustainability

The strategic realignment of EHS functions into centralised risk hubs is breaking down silos within organisations. Collaborations between EHS, operations, and sustainability teams have become inevitable, given the increasing investments in operational technology and the alignment of corporate sustainability with EHS objectives. This unified approach is crucial for achieving emission targets, optimising supply chains, and reducing environmental footprints.

Strategic Elevation of Health and Safety

Executives are now viewing EHS more critically, recognising its bottom-line impacts. The function is not merely a compliance checkbox; it's a strategic stakeholder driving whole-of-business transformation through 2025. Companies that offer comprehensive support across environmental, EHS, and enterprise technology, are gaining prominence for their insights into the intersection of these crucial aspects.

The Road Ahead: Balancing Productivity with Responsibility

As HSE challenges compound, the contributions of the EHS function are gaining recognition across industries. While outsourcing addresses immediate needs, technology, analytics, and digitisation are reshaping the long-term outlook of EHS. By 2024, the function is poised to permeate overall business strategy, driving competitive advantages and ensuring a balance between productivity and responsibility.

The years ahead will see the EHS function not only as a guardian of workforce and community health but as a strategic partner enabling businesses to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape. Embracing external support, leveraging technology, and fostering a unified approach will be the key to navigating the transformative journey of Health Safety Environment in the business world.



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