How do you keep up with new environmental regulations? It's a question we hear EHS professionals asking all the time.
According to research by Deloitte, regulatory uncertainty is one of the top challenges faced by companies in the energy, banking, insurance, life sciences, investment management, and securities industries.
Among energy companies, "understanding new requirements and how they apply to their specific businesses" was cited as the top challenge. Other obstacles — like how quickly new regulations emerge, and a lack of clarity around new requirements — make it even harder to keep up. But you already knew that.
While you can't predict new environmental regulations, you can be prepared for the unexpected. A good place to start? Centralizing your environmental data.
What is data centralization?
Centralization refers to the practice of storing and maintaining all your data in a single location. This location is most often a database system like commercial EHS/ESG management software.
To understand why centralization is so powerful, think about preparing for tax season: You can spend hours rifling through your drawers, wading through a flood of receipts, and printing out bank statements in order to file your taxes. Or you can track everything in a single location, clearly labeled so you can find what you need in a flash.
Similarly, by storing all your environmental data in a single place, you'll have instant access to the information you need to show compliance with new regulations or to adapt your current environmental management system processes and practices.
The benefits of centralizing your environmental data
1. Streamline environmental reporting
2. Keep up with changing regulations
3. Never miss another deadline
4. Make training new employees easier
So what should you do? If you've got multiple databases or spreadsheets for your environmental data, now is the time to start merging them into a single location. There's a wide variety of environmental management software available that can help you manage your air, GHG, water, and waste data.
If you already have a centralized system in place but you're still struggling to keep up with new requirements, it may be a sign that you've outgrown your current software. Legacy homegrown systems can be rife with data errors and security issues that can undermine your best efforts to organize your environmental data.