Even more so than other types of organizations, industrial companies are facing pressure to adopt sustainable business practices. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues are now an important factor that impacts your business' overall financial performance and competitive advantage.
But without a way to track relevant metrics and KPIs, it’s nearly impossible for these companies to get their arms around the environmental impacts of their operations — much less take actions that will result in meaningful improvements.
A centralized EHS software platform will dramatically improve the way your company manages sustainability performance. But there’s more to EHS software than just the obvious benefits of higher productivity and lower operational costs. There are also specific, tangible advantages that relate to sustainability decision-making, risk management, and disclosure.
If you are unsure of whether an EHS software system is going to be beneficial for your business, here are a few key benefits to consider:
Focus on your highest-impact opportunities first
Most industrial companies will be familiar with the Pareto principle, or "80/20 rule", which states that 80% of outcomes result from 20% of all inputs. This might mean, for example, that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your products or services. The same principle holds true for sustainability issues. Often, a small number of sources are responsible for the majority of environmental impacts.
EHS software allows you to track which aspects of your operations have the greatest impact on the environment. With it, you can see how individual facilities, processes, and pieces of equipment contribute to your overall resource usage and carbon emissions. From this information, it’s easy to identify the “20%” that most impacts your environmental performance so you can focus your efforts on the right priority issues.
Measure progress toward your goals
As the saying goes, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Historically, a lot of sustainability projects are unsuccessful because there’s no way to measure whether or not they are working.
With EHS software, you can establish ESG goals and set metrics to measure against — whether that’s reducing energy usage from your corporate offices or controlling emissions from manufacturing processes.
From there, individual sites can track energy usage, peak and non-peak use, type of fuel used, and emissions at the asset level. This allows you to keep track of your progress on a day-to-day basis rather than at the end of the reporting period. You can easily see if you’re on track to meet your goals and adjust your plan of action accordingly.
See the most important information at a glance
When it comes to effectively managing resource usage or carbon emissions, full visibility into your organization’s performance is crucial.
Dashboards in EHS software give you a 360-degree view of the whole business so that you know where you stand at all times. For example, you can quickly visualize electricity usage, cost, and CO2 emissions related to energy consumption company-wide.
From there, filtering options allow you to work within various segments of the business and break down the bigger picture. Which locations are using the most energy? Within those locations, how much CO2 has been emitted this month? EHS software can provide answers to these questions at a glance.
Improve management visibility
ESG performance is now an established issue for the boardroom. This is especially true now that many companies are linking executive pay to ESG performance.
Boards and C-suite executives need to have access to meaningful information about your company’s environmental performance in order to assess resource needs and allocate budget effectively.
With EHS software, all the information managers and executives need is available at their fingertips. Dashboards display the most important metrics in an easily digestible format. This is much faster than having to build charts and Powerpoint presentations from data in spreadsheets.
Even better, a configurable EHS software system will allow you to set up different dashboards for different types of users, such as facility managers and executives. Each user has access to the metrics that matter most to them without having to sift through irrelevant information. What’s more, everyone can feel confident that this information is complete, accurate, and up-to-date.
Generate timely reports
Reporting is one of the most daunting aspects of sustainability management. This is particularly true for industrial companies because of the sheer size of the data involved.
The time and energy associated with compiling, analyzing, and developing reports pulls staff away from their primary job. On the other hand, hiring consultants to compile reports is expensive and can quickly drain your resources. In both cases, reporting takes so long that by the time you complete the report, the information is already out of date.
EHS software makes this process much faster and easier. Instead of having to struggle with formulas in Excel, you can quickly perform complex calculations based on operational data. For example, you can set up a formula that will track mileage and fuel usage from company vehicles and automatically convert the values to equivalent tons of CO2 to calculate your carbon footprint. This can be useful in many ways, but especially when it comes time to create your next sustainability report.
The bottom line
The pressure is on for industrial companies to reduce their environmental impact, but EHS software is a game-changer that can do so much more than just provide a platform to store your data. It can help you identify opportunities for improvement, keep on top of performance, streamline reporting and disclosure, and so much more. Every industrial company can benefit from using EHS software to track their progress, and in turn, become more sustainable. To learn more, request a demo of Perillon’s flexible and affordable EHS management software.