National Association for EHS Management (NAEM)

50 Years After the First Earth Day, What Challenges Are Next for Environmental and Sustainability Professionals?

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2020 is a milestone year for environmental and sustainability management. It's a benchmark year for many companies’ environmental and sustainability goals; it has brought unprecedented management challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic; and it marks 50 years since the first Earth Day, which brought about the creation of the EPA and the environmental profession. So much has been accomplished. So much has been learned.

So what's next?

  1. The ability to perform environmental compliance checks remotely has become essential, and companies must determine how to best implement it.
  2. Supply chain management may undergo a tremendous shift as the world adjusts to the realities of COVID-19.
  3. Many environmental and sustainability goals, set years or decades ago, used 2020 as a benchmark year — and 2020 data will no longer reflect “business as usual”. There will be a lot of adjustments to these goals, as well as to how new ones are set.
  4. EHS & Sustainability professionals not only must set those new sustainability goals, but execute them as well. It is no simple task to operationalize sustainability into a business.
  5. External ESG reporting remains unstandardized, with sustainability professionals under pressure to keep their companies’ ESG ratings positive.

In these especially challenging times, NAEM is here to help your 2020 be as productive and effective as possible. Check out our latest environmental and sustainability management resources here.

Just like everyone else, we are adapting to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic and look forward to continuing to provide you with resources on this evolving situation — such as what readily available technology to leverage for remote EHS oversight, and how EHS leaders are sustaining EHS excellence in extraordinary times.

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