Wednesday, March 20, 2013

NAEM Survey: Common Approaches to Managing EHS and Sustainability Data

NAEM recently published a free, useful report about how large companies are managing EHS and sustainability data.   Here are some highlights of the report from 116 large and mostly US companies (69% of respondents had revenue from $1-25B). This summary and the full report will help EHS and sustainability professionals benchmark their approaches and investments.

Key findings from NAEM Survey on Managing EHS and Sustainability Data
  • Large companies continue to use a variety of software approaches (in-house, off-the-shelf software and a combination) to solving the data management problem
  • Companies with a high level of EHS risk are more likely to use supported, off-the-shelf software products
  • The average age of off-the-shelf products is 4 years
  • Top two features for internally developed solutions are accident/incident management and incident reporting, where the top two features for off-the-shelf products are chemical/MSDS management and accident/incident management
  • Supply chain monitoring, managing product regulations, and product footprinting are the largest unmet needs, but there are very few unmet related to health and safety 
  • Maintenance cost average $75,000 for companies with 80,000 employees but could go as high as $175,000 (the license revenue cost were not asked in this version of the survey)
  • Integration is uncommon, with around 50% of companies have EHS/Sustainability software that is not electronically integrated with the business system (such as ERP)
  • On average, 20% of employees access EHS and sustainability data systems
  • Top 3 reasons for investing in data management system are
    1. Improve EHS and sustainability performance
    2. Improve communications about EHS and sustainability activities
    3. Improve corporate-level visibility of EHS and sustainability performance
  • Greenhouse gas emissions reporting is tracked by internally developed systems at 40% of the companies
I found this report very useful and it comes from a highly qualified list of respondants. The high percentage of internally developed software is surprising and I fully expect that over the next 3 years the majority of companies move to SaaS or hosted version of software.  The full report is available for free here.

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