The Changing Scope of EHSQ in 2022
The last two years have highlighted just how important environmental, health and safety issues are for every organisation, not just those who deal with high levels of risk. The emergence of COVID-19 has changed priorities and become a catalyst for change within this area.
The Verdantix Global Corporate Survey 2021: EHS Budgets, Priorities And Tech Preferences examines emerging global trends over the next few years, here we focus on 5 key areas:
1. Global pandemic drives innovation
The challenge of protecting businesses, workplaces and employees from the threat of COVID-19 has forced organisations to re-evaluate their approach to environment, health, safety and quality (EHSQ) management. It has elevated the importance of this area, so much so, that 98% of respondents to the Verdantix survey said it will become a key area of concern for senior leaders.
The need to have access to real-time, accurate data to manage risks posed by the pandemic has fuelled the need for new technology and accelerated the move towards digitisation within the sector. One third of respondents believe paper-based systems will be eliminated within the next two years.
It has also led to the crossover of EHSQ into other business divisions, such security, sustainability and quality. This has driven closer collaboration between teams and departments to ensure a coordinated approach to tackle the challenges presented by COVID-19.
2. Broad range of initiatives
While COVID-19 has presented a substantial challenge, it is not the only EHSQ priority. The research revealed there are a wide range of goals that organisations are juggling. These include environmental compliance, increasing frontline worker engagement and improving wellbeing management. The range and variety of initiatives that need to be addressed is further driving increased digitalisation and collaboration.
3. Emerging trends become a high priority
Another aspect highlighted in the research is the changing nature of priorities, with emerging trends identified, which will remain high priorities over the next few years. One of these is the concern with ESG (environmental, social and governance). Organisation stakeholders increasingly expect businesses to be as sustainable as possible and failure to do so can have a catastrophic impact on their reputation.
Almost all respondents (97%) believe EHSQ will be driving ESG in the next two years. 96% said they would also provide additional data for ESG. This area is clearly a very high priority for organisations as 87% said they would increase their funding, and this will trickle down across the EHSQ function.
4. Mental health a serious concern
One of the most significant consequences of the pandemic has been the rise in mental ill health. New figures released by the HSE reveal the scale of the problem, with half of all work-related illness in 2020/21 due to mental health problems.
Alongside these reported figures, there remains a significant number of employees who do not disclose they are suffering mentally and continue to work while unfit to do so. This can affect many aspects of a business, particularly health and safety.
The Verdantix report shows that EHSQ executives will take on greater responsibility for workplace wellbeing going forward. They will work collaboratively with other departments across organisations, contribute to budgets and help to establish an effective strategy to support improved levels of wellbeing.
5. Increasing budgets
The broadening scope of EHSQ will lead to a rise in spending. The report identified that only 3% of organisations were planning to decrease their EHSQ budget over the next 12 months compared to pre-COVID-19 levels. The categories earmarked for increased spending are occupational health, training and PPE.
Alongside this, there is a clear intention to invest in more software as organisations seek to accelerate their digitalisation. The areas identified in the report for more online solutions are ESG and wellbeing, both areas of high priority.
Manage your EHSQ priorities effectively
Alcumus understands the need for organisations to take a proactive, data-driven and predictive approach with EHSQ. Our integrated technology connects people, job functions, departments and sites in a comprehensive suite to manage risks, ensure compliance and follow best practice effectively.
To find out how Alcumus could help your business enhance your EHSQ capabilities download our brochure:
You will learn:
- Why paper-based systems should be a thing of the past
- How digital transformation improves business intelligence
- How EHSQ platforms have a leading role to play in ESG
- How to benchmark technology for your organisation