Two Tech-Enabled Solutions to Support Due Diligence Work in a No Travel World
The COVID-19 pandemic is currently the top concern for environment, health, and safety (EHS) professionals worldwide. If this is you, then your immediate remit has been to halt the spread of the virus to your employees, clients, and communities. But what about all the other day-to-day responsibilities that you have? They likely didn’t just disappear. Despite the current health crisis and responsibility for keeping people safe, EHS managers are still accountable for EHS business-related functions, including environmental due diligence. However, carrying out due diligence activities, like site reviews, during COVID-19 can be tricky given resourcing constraints, travel restrictions, and limited facility access. To keep your EHS function from delaying important due diligence activities, we offer some technology-enabled options to help you support your M&A teams and maintain your seat at the table. More specifically, these solutions focus on remote site inspection, providing real-time interaction, data, and visuals without the need for travel or onsite access.
Drones seem to be everywhere these days. From your local neighborhood enthusiast to Amazon Prime Air drone delivery service, more people and industries are beginning to embrace this remote technology. The practical uses of drones in the workplace are continuing to expand as companies find they can eliminate health and safety hazards by using technology to complete potentially dangerous tasks instead of employees.
Drones can be used for environmental site assessments to gain a general view of the property, help identify features of concern and provide real-time documentation through maps, figures, and 3D models. Drones can be especially helpful when dealing with sites that have particular safety concerns that prevent access by foot or vehicle. And while drones cannot provide a physical inspection of infrastructure (like opening a manhole or looking inside a shed), they can identify surface expressions of infrastructure (buildings, tanks, rail lines, power lines) and important topography changes (pits, lagoons, stained areas, stressed vegetation).
How We Can Help:
Antea Group offers customizable and economical drone deployments available on a moment’s notice. We can quickly schedule next-day drone flights for any size property in the United States. We currently deploy drone services as a standard part of our Phase I environmental site assessments, as well as on large site investigations requiring area-wide reconnaissance for chemical release incidents, sensitive receptor surveys or neighboring property reviews. Drone deliverables include high-resolution imagery, video, and 3D models along with accurate data and measurements (area, volume, distances) allowing for detailed site reviews and record-keeping to support your due diligence activities.
Smart glasses comprise wearable, augmented reality technologies that are seeing a resurgence in popularity after years of beta-testing and iterating. An optical head-mounted display, typically designed in the shape of eyeglasses with viewable and interactive screens, these technologies allow remote participants to collaboratively view 2D and 3D content and imagery.
Smart glasses can be used to visually audit and inspect a property and its operations – both inside or outside -- and stream or record data for interpretation, interactive Q&A and photo documentation. Via computer and secure interface, multiple people can engage remotely in real-time review of facility operations and site features. While cell phones and tablets can offer similar access, smart glasses work with and without internet access and allow for secure storage of facility images and data.
How We Can Help:
Using smart glasses, Antea Group can complete EHS due diligence projects where in-person site reconnaissance is not possible due to travel, safety, or confidentiality restrictions.
Scenario One: Restricted Access or Confidential Site Review
Antea Group sends the smart glass technology to a designated on-site facility employee, provides training on its use, and conducts a live stream of the site inspection. The interactive capabilities of the smart glass technology allow for questions, picture taking, texting, and recording of the site walk for documentation purposes and sharing with third-party stakeholders. Side note: Understanding that data security is paramount, we only use smart glasses that are equipped with standard data security protocols and encryption.
Scenario Two: Restricted Travel Site Review
An Antea Group assessor wears the smart glasses and live streams the site inspection to remote client management, avoiding the logistics and costs associated with a large group of stakeholders being on-site. Further, due diligence reviews often involve multiple assessors with specific subject matter expertise, and having the ability to bring in these professionals for a portion of the site review allows for multiple disciplines to be efficiently covered in a single site inspection without having more than one assessor physically on-site.
In closing, while the current state of COVID-19 response is consuming much of your time, there are technology-enabled solutions that can help you efficiently manage other EHS business functions. Specifically, the use of drones and smart glasses can cost-effectively support remote site inspection needs associated with due diligence activity with very little lead-time and real-time results.
Contact us today to learn more about our drone and smart glass solutions or discover more about our due diligence support services.
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