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Should Tech Companies Strive For 100% Global EHS Compliance?

July 19th, 2017

What’s the one thing that every environment, health and safety (EHS) professional in the tech sector agrees on? Managing global compliance is hard work—and achieving 100% compliance is next to impossible.

“From increasing responsibilities to tightening resources, EHS leaders at tech companies are often managing compliance from a distance,” Peylina Chu, Antea Group Vice President and Technology Segment Leader, says. “They simply don’t have the time or the resources to visit every facility around the world on a regular basis, or employ a full-time, on-the-ground expert.”

However, EHS leaders are still expected to be regulatory compliance experts—regardless of facility location. As a result, many feel they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, wondering: Do I strive for 100% compliance? Or just prioritize my efforts?

The struggle to choose a compliance path was a big topic of conversation at April’s EHSxTech® event—an event that brought tech company EHS leaders together for a day of discussion, collaboration and networking.

Our advice on how to proceed? Go for both.

Striving for Compliance

Simply put, 100% compliance should always be the core objective of your EHS strategy. While actually achieving that goal may elude you, striving to reach it provides the focus your strategy needs, and guides every decision and tactic that comes next.

And as the classic saying goes, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” With 100% compliance as your moon, you just may reach new compliance heights.

Prioritizing for Compliance

When it comes to prioritizing your compliance efforts, the first question you need to ask yourself is: What truly drives compliance within my organization? Is it risk of employee injury? Fear of costly fines? Stakeholder expectations? Maintaining a solid brand reputation? More than likely, it’s a combination of several factors.

Once you’ve identified your key compliance drivers, it’s time to ask yourself another question: What’s my risk tolerance? Essentially, your risk tolerance is the level of risk your organization can bear if compliance isn’t met. Often, fines for a noncompliant office are minimal to non-existent; however, your company may end up in the newspaper headline if a contractor has a fatal accident or causes a diesel spill on your property.

Finally, once you understand what drives compliance and your risk tolerance—and with 100% compliance fixed as your ultimate goal—you can begin to prioritize which programs and policies need the most attention and resources.

Read: The Importance of EHS Compliance

The Bottom Line? Compliance is a Journey

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits all solution for managing compliance—especially in lower-risk tech facilities. As a result, every organization should look at compliance as a journey—where they shoot for the moon and determine their own path to navigate the stars.

Learn tips for managing compliance across your tech company’s global operations and see how global tech companies have leveraged Antea Group to overcome challenging EHS obstacles.

 

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