It has been more than 50 years since the development and establishment of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) which were formed to protect our environment and workplaces across the United States. Significant laws, policies and regulations followed to establish the “regulatory programs” that all applicable businesses and entities must address and meet to ensure these compliance-driven legislative programs would create a foundation to protect our society. Soon, states moved forward to further environmental and workplace protections beyond those of the federal government. These progressive programs have significantly improved the quality of our air and water, as well as improved workplace conditions for the health of employees.
Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS), and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) effectiveness and performance are at the forefront of our economic policies, business competitiveness and social priorities. Today, compliance-based legislative solutions have established the basis of most EHS/ESG Programs, but that only represents part of the challenges and solutions. There is a strong need to help progressive businesses and their leaders evaluate and act on how they can continue to minimize or eliminate their impact on the environment and improve the workplace environment for their workers beyond regulatory drivers.
Our Approach to EHS & ESG Risk Management
At TRC, we’ve spent more than 30 years helping businesses navigate various EHS and ESG risks. Our experience spans numerous industries, giving us the insight to provide helpful solutions to a wide range of problems. We outline our approach to EHS and ESG compliance management in a comprehensive 2021 document. Read the Managing EHS & ESG Risks Through Integrated Systems in 2021 and Beyond white paper to learn:
- How to recognize, identify, prioritize and address EHS/ESG risks
- How to effectively manage EHS/ESG risks using an integrated approach
- Elements of an effective EHS/ESG management system
- How to leverage information management systems and digital tools
- How to evaluate to ensure performance and effectiveness
Recognizing, Identifying, Prioritizing and Addressing EHS/ESG Risks
Our approach begins by understanding potential EHS and ESG concerns. A risk assessment process can benefit any business from brand-new companies to those with decades of experience in their field. The steps to recognizing, identifying, prioritizing and addressing EHS and ESG issues include:
- Determining the scope of the assessment for what it will and will not include.
- Pinpointing the worst-case scenarios the risks present without enacting policies and procedures to control them.
- Developing a prioritized list of ESG and EHS risks within the assessment’s scope.
- Score each existing risk control system for how it addresses the items in the prioritized list.
- Consider new control systems to implement and determine if implementing them will be necessary.
- If further control systems are necessary, implement ones that address high-priority risks first.
Using an Integrated Systems Approach
An integrated systems approach is the best way to manage the EHS and ESG risks found in the assessment process. Integrated management systems provide the most comprehensive analysis and understanding of risks and how to manage them. There are a few things that we keep in mind when developing an integrated system.
First, the integrated system must feature robust programs that track risk management performance. Tracking performance empowers management to assess safety performance and implement changes when necessary. Next, we ensure that companies with multiple facilities maintain a consistent system across each building. All resources responsible for enacting the integrated system should have the support and training they need to effectively manage risks. Outsourcing resources is ideal for organizations with periodic or short-term needs.
Routinely Evaluating the Integrated System’s Health and Effectiveness
An integrated system must undergo an initial assessment to check that it successfully manages EHS risks. Establishing a routine assessment plan is just as important, as periodic assessments monitor performance and can uncover the need for change. An evaluation of an integrated system’s health and effectiveness includes the following procedures:
- A comparison between the system’s performance with the risks it attempts to mitigate.
- Implementation of new elements that remedy any performance failures.
- Confirmation of the information system’s ability to record and manage necessary data.
- For initial evaluations, scheduling of the frequency of future evaluations and assembly of an independent evaluation team to meet the schedule.
- Collaboration with the private organization to assess their report and enact any necessary corrective or preventative measures.
Discuss Your Situation With TRC
Risk management is crucial, so choose an evaluation team with the experience to provide comprehensive analyses of your integrated system. TRC offers integrated EHS services that help organizations better manage EHS and ESG associated risks and improve performance at the corporate and plant levels. With our integrated approach we can help lower the cost of services, provide a standardized approach that is unique to your business and apply our EHS management system uniformly across all your locations.
Our experts are available to discuss your business and create an effective management solution that meets your needs, so contact TRC online to get started. You can also learn more about TRC’s Environmental, Health and Safety Management Solutions on our website.