Managing environment, health, and safety (EHS) compliance across continents, countries, regions, and even states is a consistent challenge for EHS leaders. From limited local resources to region-specific regulations, the nuances of global EHS compliance are wide-ranging — and gaps in visibility and management are an inevitability.
However, with the right insight, expertise, and resources, you can mitigate blind spots and bridge compliance management gaps. And there may be no better way to do so than to look to other organizations that’ve been there and done that.
After decades of EHS auditing and compliance work, we’ve seen it all. Below we highlight five of the most common visibility and management gaps that can hinder global EHS compliance, featuring examples from a range of organizations.
Bridging the Divides of Global EHS Compliance Management
The Gap: Confidence
Implementing an internal EHS auditing and assessment program is essential for effectively managing compliance and identifying gaps at facilities that span the globe. But without third-party validation, confidence in the program you’ve put together can waver.
To tackle this challenge, a global auto parts, oil and gas pump, and technology manufacturer sought external expertise and insight to bolster their internal assessment program, as well as find efficiencies to improve operations.
Solution: To manage global EHS compliance with confidence, our experts put together an internal technical manual to encompass global operations. To create this new resource, in-country audit experts ensured that each finding had a clear description of the country-specific legal requirement, a detailed description of the findings, and a corrective action that addressed the immediate need and a long-term solution to prevent repeat findings.
Result: With a complete and accurate internal technical manual, the manufacturer was able to confidently bring their internal audit data and country-specific EHS requirements together. Internal audits were also completed faster and with a stronger focus on operations as a result of having a tailored internal manual to follow.
The Gap: Brain Space
We know you’re a skilled, talented, and intelligent EHS leader. But when it comes to keeping pace with the sheer volume of ever-changing regulations, no one person can do it all. You need the right partnerships and tools — something a global industrial materials manufacturer recognized.
Lacking the time and resources necessary to sift through thousands of country-specific regulations to determine their relevance and applicability to numerous facilities around the world, this manufacturer looked to our team for guidance.
Solution: Knowing the manufacturer already subscribed to a mass provider of regulatory information, our team proposed an integration with their EHS data management tool. This would allow the manufacturer to automatically identify relevant regulations and apply them to the correct facilities, regardless of geography.
Result: The manual process of sorting through thousands of global EHS regulations and determining their applicability to each facility was eliminated. The solution of combining regulatory information with EHS data management functionality produced a state-of-the-art information management system that requires fewer resources to manage and ensures global EHS compliance.
The Gap: “In-the-Field” Expertise
For global organizations that operate field service crews, managing EHS compliance is an especially arduous task. Field service crews are always on the move across multiple regulatory environments.
Having near-real-time visibility into the region-specific regulations is key, but no easy feat, as a U.S.-based global infrastructure rehabilitation and protection corporation came to realize. The company needed a way to get location-specific insight and get fast answers to their queries.
Solution: We recommended that the company leverage our Global RegSupport HelpDesk — our global network of EHS professionals. By subscribing to the help desk on a pay-as-you-go basis, the company could access local expertise as-needed and in real-time.
Result: The company expanded their global EHS compliance knowledge, receiving detailed answers to location-specific compliance questions, such as waste product disposal requirements, across 31 countries.
The Gap: Bench Strength
Global EHS compliance is impossible without a team of experts who are dedicated to monitoring health and safety, staying up to date on regulations, developing a culture of safety, and more. But oftentimes, those internal teams are small and lack the expertise or bandwidth to do it all.
Concerned about the implications of operating several lower-risk facilities across the globe, an international technology company looked to add to their headcount by partnering with an experienced EHS consulting firm.
Solution: Antea Group effectively became the company’s EHS department, deploying a global team of EHS professionals to manage compliance and so much more. From ergonomic assessments to accident investigation, experienced EHS professionals with local insight and relevant expertise performed a range of management tasks. In addition, a web-based EHS data management tool was implemented to provide transparency, manage risk, and unearth opportunities.
Result: The company no longer lacked the resources to assess, monitor, and manage compliance across facilities large, small, and remote. In addition, they had greater visibility into EHS’s impact on the business, with an accurate report on workers’ compensation and the performance of the overall program.
The Gap: Expansion Support
As companies add facilities to their portfolios, new EHS compliance challenges and opportunities arise. As a result, proactively identifying and managing the EHS implications of global business expansion is critical to stay on track and bolster the business’s bottom line.
With expansion plans for Latin America and Asia, a U.S.-based retail company knew it needed support. With store openings planned in several countries, regions, and states, the company needed to manage and comply with hundreds of different EHS regulations at each location.
Solution: With openings planned across diverse regulatory landscapes, it was clear that our EHS Passport service offering was the right fit. This offering would allow the retailer to tap into the Inogen Environmental Alliance, a network of local experts who are well-versed in each host country’s rules and regulations, EHS best practices, and cultural nuances that could have an impact.
Result: Leveraging their new knowledge of country-specific regulations and in-country experts, the retailer successfully expanded into their target markets while maintaining compliance globally. The added insight into potential EHS issues and cultural roadblocks also enabled the retailer to proactively mitigate risks such as potential revenue loss and negative brand sentiment.
Say Goodbye to Gaps
When operations span the world, navigating EHS requirements and effectively managing compliance can be a struggle. However, with the right partners, tools, and insight, gaps in visibility, expertise, knowledge, and management can be bridged.
Learn how companies across a range of industries are tackling a variety of EHS challenges with the help of our experienced team by pursuing our hefty collection of case studies.
EHS and Compliance