The discipline of environmental management has evolved rapidly, especially in the last 30 years. Today, you are required to keep up with the fast-changing regulations while ensuring that your enterprise is operating optimally.
For example, most governments, organizations such as leading stock exchanges and International Standards Organization (ISO), and other stakeholders, are now demanding ESG sustainability reporting. All of these requirements, plus other logistics of running a company, can be challenging, but there is a way out: using a sustainability management platform.
With a good environmental management system, it becomes easy to understand the concept of sustainability and coordinate various activities efficiently and conveniently. However, selecting the right program can be challenging because of the growing number of providers. To help you out, here is a comprehensive guide.
What is a sustainability management platform?
Before digging deeper into the mechanics of a sustainability management platform, it is important to learn what it is.
Environment management software, also known by other names such as EMS, environmental management information system, or regulatory compliance system, is a framework comprising of procedures, processes, and resources that allow an organization to attain its environmental performance objectives.
Often, environment management systems are governed by specific standards, the most common being the ISO 14001, which includes ISO 14064-1and ISO 14020, among others.
Depending on the goal of an organization, the selected EMS might be focused on a specific department, issue, or used to track systems of the entire organization.
If the target is sustainability reporting, which targets to demonstrate an organization's social, environmental, and governance impacts, the selected EMS should be comprehensive, allowing for progressive data gathering, report generation, and compliance. Know more about what are ESG factors here (All about SASB Standards).
Do You Require an Environmental Management System?
The primary goal of a sustainability management platform is to provide a well-defined approach for controlling the impacts that an organization has on the environment. This includes water, air, greenhouse gases, waste management, and climate risk management.
In the same manner that a safety management system helps companies to manage risks, EMS helps to address environmental opportunities and related risks. So do you need an EMS? The chances are that you do. Here are some questions that you should ask to determine if an EMS is necessary for your enterprise (click here to know more about ESG report)..
· Are you required by your local, state, federal, or contractual environmental regulations to have an EMS to manage risk?
· Are you experiencing problems like missed deadlines, safety challenges and expired permits?
· Have you been thinking of how to track systems or issues that have been pulling down the performance of the company with the view of enhancing its success?
· Are you targeting to improve the environmental performance of your company?
· Is reporting the environmental performance of your firm challenging? Do you know the science based targets initiative?
· Are you finding it challenging to get resources and time to keep up with the company’s safety and environmental responsibilities?
If you answered “yes” in one or all of the above questions, you need to get and use an environmental management software.
The Main Benefits of Using Environment Management Software
The importance of a good environment management system cannot be overstated, and we are going to list a few of them here:
· A Good Environment Management Software can Help to Improve Environmental Performance
With a good EMS, it becomes easy to identify and understand the primary cause of the poor performance of your enterprise. For example, if one of your company's goals is cutting down electricity consumption by 30%, but you end up using more, the environment management software can help identify the cause of the problem. Indeed, a good EMS will raise the red flag early enough, allowing you to correct the problem as immediately as it arises. . All about a TCFD report software.
· An Excellent Way to Cut Costs of Operations
Let us put it this way: the cost of not having and using an EMS is very high. For example, most governments across the globe have stringent requirements for emissions, waste treatment, safety and labor requirements. If you try to run a company without an EMS to manage risk, there is a danger of getting your permit cancelled or being slapped with severe penalties. So, the best way to operate smoothly is getting an EMS for compliance, cutting down costs, and simplifying environmental-related management.
· It is a Good Way to Engage Employees
When running an organization, employees form one of the most important stakeholders. With a good environmental management system, you are able to engage the staff more, which has a number of benefits. First, employees get a better attachment to the company, meaning they are likely to work harder to help your firm become successful.
Two, additional training and involvement is crucial in reducing staff attrition. This means that you are able to build a highly competent team with members who are ready to help the company achieve its goals.
· Using an EMS Boosts the Image of Your Company
Today, more people have become aware of the dangers that face the planet, and they are putting more pressure to companies to ensure they track systems used in their organizations, are compliant with all policies in respective industries and operate sustainably.
For example, investors and consumers are demanding to see comprehensive ESG sustainability reports that outline what a company is doing to mitigate its social, environmental, and governance impacts.
With an EMS, you can easily use most sustainability framework, be it the GRI framework or SASB framework, and generate reports that will win stakeholders’ trust. This will be an excellent way to stand out from competitors for both compliance and better performance.
· Makes it Easy to Handle Large Volumes of Data
Handling environmental management-related issues often involve dealing with a lot of data. For example, if you are working on sustainability reporting, you need to progressively gather data on waste generation, emissions, materials, staff, and required standards. How do you even start handling all this data manually?
With an environmental management software, it becomes easy to process large volumes of data in real-time and manage risk in your company.
For example, you can run daily diagnostics, generate quarterly reports, and set notifications when certain levels, say for emissions, are exceeded. Why try to handle data manually when it is pretty easy to do the same job with an EMS?
These are only a few of the main benefits to anticipate from using environment management software. You are sure of enjoying more, including greater operating efficiency, a better understanding of business opportunities and challenges, and high profits.
How to Identify a Good Environmental Management Software
There are many types of environment management software, but you can only enjoy the benefits outlined in this post by picking and using the best one. To select a good EMS program, here are the main questions that you should ask:
· Is this the Right Environment Software for Your Company?
The EMS software platforms available today provide a wide range of features and functionalities. Therefore, you need to look for a technology that matches the company's reporting requirements.
Critical considerations to factor in at this point include sustainability goals, industry type, and business size. Top in point the suitable EMS, it is prudent to start by carefully reviewing how the software works. It should also be easy for your team to learn different features and how they work.
· What Type of Information Does the Environmental Management Software Track?
Most EMS programs operate by gathering data from different sources in your company and processing it to create the expected reports. Therefore, what data do you deal with in your organization? Once you establish the type of data, look for the program that can easily process it.
If you are planning to scale operations in the future, go for the software that can be updated to handle new categories of data. The good thing about EMS is that most apps have a baseline set of features, which allows inclusion of more categories based on client’s needs.
· Does the Software Support Automation?
As we have indicated earlier, environmental management involves dealing with a lot of data. Therefore, its generation is crucial, and the software you select should have features that allow automation.
Good examples to consider are the software's ability to integrate with the company's management system and collect important information for environmental management. The software should also make it easy for authorized team leaders to add data, notify managers when specific parameters exceed the set limits, and generate reports.
· What Type of Training is Needed for the Staff Onboarding
The best environment management software should be the one that is easily compatible with how your staff works. To increase the efficiency of operations and reach full potential, you might require additional training for employees or the team that will be involved. So, check for the model that makes it easy for your team to learn.
Still, on training, you should think ahead and pick the model whose provider has good structures for supporting training. For example, does the EMS provider offer onsite or online training? On top of training, the software developer should also provide two things:
i) Good customer support: This is very important to ensure that issues that might arise when using the program are addressed quickly and professionally.
ii) Data safety guarantee: Because the software will integrate with your company’s management system, the program should come with guarantees for data safety. This will help to reduce the risk of cyber-attacks.
Having the right environmental management software is paramount for running a successful company today. It is not only useful for legal compliance, but can help your company to move ahead faster because of better support from stakeholders and brand image. Remember to ensure that only the best program is acquired and used in your company for better results. One excellent option to consider is DiginexESG.