Seeing or succeeding? 4 ways corporate reporting shows more

What’s your EHS data showing you? Corporate reporting gives more than just metrics with insights into maintaining compliance in the long run.

Taylor Murphy

by Taylor Murphy

The answer: EHS Corporate reporting. The question? Well, there are many. Are individual facilities staying on top of changes? Do sites understand how requirements apply to them? Are we assessing compliance as often as we should? Is one jurisdiction more difficult to manage than others? The core of ongoing compliance – and the way to address these issues – lies within your EHS data. That is, if you’re using it effectively. From minimizing risk to maximizing resources, we share 4 ways you can use corporate-level reporting to elevate your EHS management

1. Get a more precise picture: Corporate reporting zooms out for better insight

Heard that saying “Can’t see the forest for the trees?” The same can happen with your compliance management. Changes in regulations happen quickly, often, and differently in each jurisdiction. Monitoring that evolution and confirming that every facility is compliant is nothing less than overwhelming. If you don’t have a bird’s eye view of your business’s compliance, you risk missing some overarching red flags.

A quick win is to include another layer in your EHS management. This corporate reporting adds a more precise picture of how often – and how well – facilities adapt to regulatory changes across your business.

Specifically, your report can show whether facilities have assessed (or reassessed) an updated regulation. And, beyond the assessment status, you’ll see where they stand on compliance with any new, applicable requirements. So you can track not only what requirements facilities have determined are applicable but also what they’re doing to align with them. Consolidating your EHS data in this way opens the door to more insightful EHS compliance management.

Monitoring compliance at the corporate level shines the spotlight on the source of problems.

2. Leverage resources more wisely – worldwide

Budget is about comparing what’s needed versus what’s not. And a comprehensive view of compliance across your organization gives a better vantage point. In the end, you see more plainly where to focus company resources before you start down the wrong road.

For example, when facilities in a specific region are continually out of compliance, your data may suggest implementing more audits or better training in certain sites. Or, if your corporate reporting shows that one jurisdiction experiences more rapidly changing regulations (and the difficulty to keep up), it’s easier to make the case for a dedicated EHS expert in that area.

Plus, monitoring compliance at the corporate level shines the spotlight on the source of compliance problems. For instance, if some (or all) of your facilities in a certain region don’t meet the appropriate air emissions limits, the most efficient solution could be to address technology or process issues at a regional level. Knowing this before you start to solve the problem site by site can save you two key resources for every business: time and money.

On top of finding the right solution to a serious problem, corporate reporting also eliminates false red flags to begin with. For instance, a facility out of compliance with occupational limits and protection requirements might actually be due to a misunderstanding of applicability instead of missing protocols. Making sure that all facilities understand their obligations – and what measures aren’t necessary to implement – means saving the budget for where it can make a difference.

3. Avoid issues after the fact: Mitigating risks and vulnerabilities

While monitoring compliance at a corporate level keeps you from unnecessarily depleting your resources, it also gives you a key perspective on how to decrease risk. Corporate reporting underlines the issues your company faces across jurisdictions, and therefore gives you a leg up to address the universal issues that threaten your business most. This could be either in specific regions or regulatory areas, such as air emissions or waste management. Using this data effectively puts you ahead to prevent future issues, such as fixing problems before a facility incurs a fine or an accident happens.

Like with finding a solution for current non-compliance, these corporate reports make it easier to identify steps to stay compliant. This is especially the case when company-wide procedures need to be implemented or updated. For instance, when there’s a common gap in training requirements across facilities, a clear and effective internal program is essential to filling it. In this case, a corporate–level approach will be key for consistently reviewing and improving training programs. Not only will it ensure all facilities start from the same point of understanding, but it also facilitates a more compliance-minded culture to keep them moving forward with the same goal.

4. Show workers what matters: Enhance compliance culture with your metrics

The right metrics play a crucial role in establishing the right mind frame. If you have a robust corporate reporting program, you have a head start in promoting a strong and positive safety culture.

Certainly, it’s a case of what you do with what you’ve got, but corporate reports are the gateway to getting employees on board with compliance issues. Once the data helps identify areas in which to increase health and safety, you have the foundation for building awareness around them.

The clearer you can be in communicating with facilities about which requirements need to be met (and why), the more likely workers are to understand the importance of the initiative. Corporate reporting gives you solid data that backs up what you’re asking from your teams – and sets the stage for what they need to do.

Translate that information into precise training and your employees can better understand how to avoid hazards through following proper procedures. And the bonus is that your program demonstrates to them your company’s commitment to safety. A big win for buy in. But it all comes back with the learnings you have to leverage in the first place. That compliance culture can’t start without that comprehensive, corporate-level view.

Strengthen your compliance core with corporate reporting

Of course, evaluating how well facilities meet requirements at the site level is important. However, with corporate reporting you see more than just a picture of today’s issues. You get a more profound perspective on maintaining compliance in the future – across your entire business. This corporate-level look at data brings insights into improving operations, developing programs, and using resources more effectively. The result is a more compliant and safer work environment across the board.

Now the question is how do you achieve it? The first step is to assess where your reporting stands today. Then identify what steps you need to standardize it into one, synchronized view. But don’t stop there, make sure to optimize your view of compliance performance by looking outside the usual checklist. Accounting for “need-to-knows” beyond the “normal” outputs will bring benefits beyond baseline compliance.

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