One of the ways EHS leaders stay on top of changes in their industry and leapfrog their competition is by monitoring industry trends — what’s working, what’s new, and what’s next. With that in mind, we look at 10 of the biggest EHS trends and movements to watch in 2019:
1. Organizations will increase spending on EHS technology
EHS technology budgets have been on the rise for several years, and 2019 will be no different. Worldwide spending on EHS is expected to increase by 4% in the coming year, with double-digit budget increases for digital technologies, according to a Verdantix survey of 400 EHS managers.
2. More mid-size companies will adopt cloud-based EHS software solutions
While EHS software has changed the way large enterprises manage their data and activities, its transformative power has not fully reached mid-size companies — until now.
Today’s flexible, cloud-based solutions can be implemented quickly for a fraction of the cost of older custom systems, enabling mid-sized companies to adopt this next generation of EHS solutions.
3. Mobile apps will be a top technology of interest
Among the considerations for software buyers, mobile apps top the list of technologies of interest. Mobile EHS apps offer many benefits, from reducing administrative and travel time to standardizing compliance across your work sites.
Plus (and this is a big plus), mobile EHS software can engage more front-line employees in reporting incidents and risks. That's like multiplying your EHS team without adding resources or overhead.
4. Risk management will be a top priority for EHS
Speaking of risks, risk management will be a top priority for EHS teams in 2019. In fact, 78% of EHS leaders name it as a major factor in ensuring EHS success.
In 2019, organizations that make risk management a priority will be in a better position to survive and thrive in an increasingly uncertain world.
5. More employees will be involved in capturing EHS & risk information
One way employers will collect richer data and lower risks is by by engaging more employees in capturing EHS and risk information.
According to Verdantix, over half of companies are planning for wide usage of EHS software in 2019. As more employees get involved with feeding EHS and risk information, easy-to-use software systems will be more critical.
6. Organizations will 'do the right thing' despite less regulation
Fewer, looser environmental regulations under this administration means that companies have to police themselves in order to reduce risk and meet stakeholder demands. In 2019 and beyond, expect to see more companies adopting voluntary environmental programs and seeking independent certifications like ISO 14001 as a way to demonstrate their commitment to the environment.
7. Environmental data management will make a comeback
Today, regulatory uncertainty is driving organizations to keep closer tabs on their environmental data. To that end, many organizations are adopting environmental data management software in order to provide continuous visibility into their environmental performance.
8. More organizations will look to manage environmental & sustainability data at the asset level
It’s no longer enough for organizations to rely on broad monthly summaries — utility bills, gas used by company vehicles, waste generated, and so on — to monitor their performance. Companies require a more detailed, real-time picture in order to make better decisions and respond to issues and inefficiencies right away.
In 2019, we’ll see more organizations investing in technologies that enable them to capture and analyze large volumes of high frequency data from a wide range of sources, down to individual processes and pieces of equipment.
9. Software integrations will encourage holistic management
With so much data from so many sources, fragmented data poses a major obstacle for most companies. In 2019, EHS departments will adopt integrated software systems that are able to extract data from financial, production, ERP, and other systems and bring it together in a centralized platform.
10. Big data analysis will be key for EHS & risk management
One thing remains clear: big data isn’t going anywhere. But simply collecting more data won’t help much. Organizations that can analyze and act on their data efficiently will have a distinct advantage in 2019. For more, check out this article on how big data is changing EHS management.
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