When it comes to environmental management, big businesses and small businesses appear to have very different requirements. But the simple truth is this: The core activities that make up both environmental department’s are similar, but they function on a different scale. We’ve already talked about the air emissions management lessons small businesses can learn from big business. So, what can big business learn from the "little guy"?
Here are three shockingly simple tactics that small businesses get right, where their larger counterparts fall short:
Small businesses try to avoid penalties with compliance
Small businesses truly know that a penny saved is a penny earned. That’s why you’ll never find a successful small business that just assumes it will be paying environmental fines. Instead, they invest in ways to avoid paying penalties, since they know it has a better long-term return.
Small businesses would be shocked to learn that, some large businesses simply budget for huge loses every year because they undervalue environmental compliance.
Unfortunately, environmental fines are not something you can (or should) just patch over with money. We view paying environmental fines as a tell-tale sign of inefficient, poorly managed processes, poor choice of materials, or even insufficient training. So if you’re seeing fines it’s a symptom of a larger problem- an opportunity to improve efficiency.
Seeing fines as a built-in cost of being in business is overlooking the non-monetary downsides that can cause serious harm to your business, such as:
- You could lose your position as a preferred supplier in your supply chain
- Noncompliance undoes your best marketing efforts and can cause PR issues
- The talent market for recruiting workers now preferences greener workplaces over those with known air emissions violations.
We’ve seen firsthand some profitable companies refusing to buy from suppliers that have a record of noncompliance. Some are even requiring their vendors to go green or go home.
COST-EFFICIENT ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
ERA’s Environmental Management Software is the leader in accurate air, water, and waste reporting and compliance management. This simple, unified platform gives you total insight into your environmental performance and reduces your EH&S overhead by over 80%. ERA Environmental provides trusted and expertly-designed EHS software, helping you achieve total regulatory compliance and implement sustainability strategies.
Reduce overhead from your air, water, and waste management tasks by over 80% for drastic cost reductions.
Automate your environmental management - reporting, KPI roll up, data analysis, imports, and supply chain data can all be handled by advanced automated logic.
Our centralized platform provides superior, secure data management, and the most accurate air emissions possible, speciated down to the smallest detail.
Small businesses empower their EH&S specialist with effective tools
In the world of environmental data management, it can be tempting to assume that bigger is better. More spreadsheets, more EH&S managers, more reports... but the reality is the success of an EH&S department isn’t measured by how large it is, but by how effectively things get done.
That’s why small businesses are 100% as capable of getting ISO 14001 certified and can have a perfect compliance record just like some big players.
The key is to be better, not bigger.
Having fewer resources forces small business to think leaner and smarter. They know that one highly skilled EH&S specialist equipped with the right tools is a better choice than a huge EH&S department that is vulnerable to communication and redundancy issues.
Added bonus: A leaner EH&S team costs less too.
Tools TRACK ANY PROCESS, ANY EMISSION
ERA’s Environmental Management Software is the most powerful environmental tracking tool available, giving you the functionality to track emissions from any process or equipment. Advanced facility modeling and customization lets you define your exact parameters for accurate reporting.
Built-in functionality for any type of source, including the most complex set ups with control devices and Continuous Monitoring Systems. VOCs, HAPs, VHAPS, GHGs, NOx, SOx, PM, and other criteria pollutants.
Accurate calculations adapted directly from verified industry sources and regulators. Master chemical list containing millions of records tracking regulatory requirements for all of your chemicals.
Small businesses know their regulatory obligations
For small businesses, being in environmental compliance can literally be a case of life or death.
This sink or swim attitude means that small businesses are less likely to get complacent about reporting deadlines or obeying permit conditions.
Too often, we see large businesses in really difficult compliance situations that just give up when faced with dozens of permits and reports.
Cross your fingers and hope the EPA doesn't notice or - worse - convince yourself you qualify for an exemption and plead ignorance to the regulatory reality.
Some even just stop trying to meet certain conditions and absorb the resulting fines, because the cost of the fines seem to be less burdensome than staying compliant.
This is a losing strategy.
Ignoring compliance requirements can send you spiraling downwards into a situation that just compounds your penalties when you eventually get audited.
It’s no surprise then, that one of the best things a big business can emulate from small businesses is their attitude about compliance.
Big business needs to tap into the same concerns that motivate the little guys.
SOFTWARE THAT ADAPTS TO AN EVER-CHANGING LANDSCAPE
ERA Environmental Management Solutions believes in providing the tools facilities need at any time to deal with a host of factors and regulations affecting your business. That’s exactly why ERA Environmental has never used Versioning in their software model. It is ERA’s stance that enterprise resource planning (ERP) software should never be versioned. ERP must be actively updated to keep up with your business needs.
Learn the secrets of how data automation can improve your environmental performance and eliminate redundant work.
March 27, 2012