The 25th anniversary of the NAEM Forum has now come and gone, and we had a great time learning about all of the latest and greatest industry trends, problem areas, and innovations. If you’re like our team, you feel this year’s conference surpassed your expectations for being a great event. Being able to connect and reconnect with a myriad of all global EHS&S leaders was just incredible. After attending numerous technical sessions and talking with people in the exhibit area, having to narrow down our top five take-away items from the conference proved to be no simple task.
1. Industry alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
This was definitely a hot topic and we’re seeing it broached more and more. Firms can review the 17 goals the UN is trying to attain, and by completing a materiality assessment, they can see what their business can do to support these goals and select the specific objectives they want to work on. They can then pair their chosen targets with their stakeholders to see what’s important to them, determine the best synergies, and then narrow down and prioritize their goals. We’ve been fortunate to help clients identify these targeted goals and develop a road map to help them attain these goals. During the Forum we learned even more insights we can bring to the table to assist our clients along this journey.
2. Validation on Management Systems
Many firms are not looking to go through the complete ISO certification process. Instead, they are looking to have management systems in place instead, to ensure standard operating practices and consistency.
3. Human Factor Changes
Companies are moving towards more human-centric ways of doing business and being less operations driven. They’re pushing more partnership, whether with their vendors, their consultants, or their employees.
4. Increasing Diversity
The audience attending the NAEM Forum is growing in its diversity. NAEM has done a good job at attracting the younger EHS&S professionals to their events, and they continue to work on ways to keep them engaged at the conference. The Forum is a great pathway to add the ‘up and comers’ to your team and the event lends itself to being able to incorporate coaching and role-playing for your junior staff.
5. M&A EHS culture struggles
Firms are struggling with integrating newly acquired businesses into their EHS&S culture and are in need of help to speed up the transition. It’s beyond working past just the standard due diligence phase and broadening the work stream to include cultural integration. Getting mergers and acquisitions support is crucial for companies who want to have a smooth transition and fully integrate their new acquisitions into their existing structure.
We have been fortunate to be a part of NAEM since 2004 and recognize how beneficial this event is to the entire EHS&S community. We’re already looking forward to Louisville in 2018.
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