EHSxTech Conference Tackles Risks, Trends and the Value of EHS
Recently, Antea Group presented the fourth annual EHSxTech conference, hosted by Adobe in the United Kingdom on Thursday, April 14. This exclusive event offered a unique opportunity for tech industry EHS professionals to explore regulatory updates from around the globe, talk through specific environmental, health and safety needs and challenges, and discuss leading industry trends in a friendly, noncompetitive forum.
Drawing from some of the most pressing EHS and sustainability challenges facing the tech industry today, this full-day event focused on “EHS Leadership in a Changing World.”
EHS in a Complex World
The rate of change in technology is continually accelerating, and the tech companies who participated in EHSxTech are leaders in driving that change. As these tech companies grow and create new and innovative services, products, and business models, the EHS risks and hazards are becoming increasingly complex.
This complexity, of course, means EHS leads face both numerous challenges and opportunities to drive business value. For example, how can EHS managers be a supportive partner as their companies continue to evolve and change? How can they best manage EHS in a way that will proactively support their business objectives? How do they best address the challenges they face, including global expansion and restructuring, with limited resources?
With these questions in mind, twenty attendees representing twelve different companies (including both software and hardware), came together for thought provoking discussion and best practice sharing. Participants included EHS managers and real estate and facilities managers from the US and Europe, most of whom have regional or global responsibilities.
Ask the Experts
Participants heard from industry guest speakers including Dr. Kirstie McIntyre, Director Worldwide Environmental Operations of HP Inc, who led a great discussion around the Circular Economy. The CE movement is gaining ground, especially in Europe, as its concepts are being incorporated in upcoming legislation. Kirstie’s presentation demonstrated that leading companies, like HP, are using the circular economy to drive their business initiatives forward, beyond legislative and regulatory compliance.
Thomas Birnmeyer, Chief Expert for Social Sustainability of SAP SE, then walked through how SAP leads the way in managing psycho-social stress in the workplace, through their use of a Business Health Culture Index concept to measure the impact of changes in the company's health culture on its operating profit. They have developed systems to quantitatively measure organizational health, and, using those measurements, are able to demonstrate the value of having these EHS programs in place.
In addition, attendees engaged in active, hands-on working sessions, brainstorming best practices, along with new approaches to shared challenges, and identifying opportunities to collaborate together.
Regulatory compliance was the number one challenge noted among attendees, followed closely by the difficulties of communicating the value of EHS to executives, especially when operating in lower risk environments such as offices.
The bottom line is that technology organizations share common EHS struggles due to their global (and rapidly growing) natures. By coming together, sharing best practices, and exploring their common challenges, participating companies were able to open the door to finding solutions and plan to continue to do so in the future.
Want to Join the Conversation?
A number of companies who have participated in multiple EHSxTech events are coming together to create a formal, technical EHSxTech Consortium and collaborate on common EHS initiatives. An initial Steering Committee meeting is planned for Fall 2016 in Silicon Valley.
To learn more about the EHSxTech Consortium and how you can participate in ongoing best practice sharing and garner industry insights to your common EHS challenges in a non-competitive, engaged environment, contact Peylina Chu. Follow the Antea Group technology segment LinkedIn page for additional industry news and resources.