Integrating EH&S and Sustainability Efforts

24 May 2017

This UL white paper will discuss the importance of integrating corporate EH&S and sustainability efforts, as well as the potential benefits of an integrated EH&S/sustainability program. Beginning with a brief description of the evolution of corporate EH&S and sustainability efforts, the white paper will present the challenges and limitations of maintaining these initiatives in parallel, detail the benefits of an integrated program, and offer a step-by-step action plan to achieve that integration.

The white paper will conclude with recommendations on technology solutions that can help maximize the value of the integration. 

Overview

Often complementary and even potentially synergistic in achieving their mutual goals and objectives, corporate initiatives that address environment, health and safety (EH&S) and those that deal with environmental sustainability are frequently managed and operated separately from each other as well as from day-to-day business operations. This separation can lead to duplication of effort, operational inefficiencies and gaps in the intended scope and coverage of each initiative.

The separation also fails to maximize the potential benefit available from an integrated approach that could more strongly support key business objectives. Indeed, the successful integration of these and other initiatives can form the basis for a robust and effective corporate governance, risk and compliance (GRC) program that can help to reduce business risk, maximize business performance, and provide an important competitive advantage.

The history of corporate EH&S efforts can be traced back to the introduction in the 1970s of environmental and workplace safety regulations by governments around the world. In the U.S., for example, the passage of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970 led to the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the implementation of regulations to help ensure the safety of employees in federally-regulated workplaces.

Concurrently, increased awareness of hazards associated with environmental pollution and the importance of protecting the environment and natural resources resulted in the formation in December 1970 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which created standards and enforcement mechanisms to protect environmental resources.

UL EHS Sustainability
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Franklin, Tennessee
United States

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