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    environmental data management savingsIf there's one thing this blog really strives to communicate to all of our readers, it's this - Solid environmental data management improves your entire business. Read on for the proof...

    Environmental data management is about more than just compliance reporting and emission tracking. It's about recording a comprehensive picture of everything that goes into and comes out of your facility, along with what happens in between.

    EH&S data gives you the best view about what actually goes on in your business beyond what financial figures can tell you.

    Want proof? Here's a real-world case study from one of our clients, in which REAL environmental data management (and a sharp environmental specialist) saved that company thousands of dollars of waste each month.

    (It should be noted this waste was going completely unnoticed by the company's accounting department at the time.)

    The identities of those involved have been kept confidential, to protect the innocent.

    The company in question is involved in the manufacturing sector. It frequently uses boilers in their manufacturing processes. As usual, the boilers were used to provide energy and were kept cool with a recycled-water cooling system.

    This way water usage could be minimized without reducing the operating capacity of the boilers.

    As you may know, although recycled-water cooling systems do reuse the same water for plenty of cycles, there is a a certain amount of liquid lost during each cycle, which needs to be replenished.

    Having an environmental data management software system in place, the company's environmental specialist was able to keep track of his facility's water and fuel usage, along with the facility's production schedule.

    Over time, the environmental specialist was able to correlate the data between production output, fuel usage and water usage for the recycling system. Interestingly, he noticed a trend in the facility's water usage: it had doubled, while both fuel usage and production had remained constant..

    A follow-up inspection of the facility revealed a concealed water pipe had burst. This mean the facility was no longer reusing its water to cool the boilers, and was now flushing huge amounts of heated water down the drain. To add insult to this waste, they were continuously purchasing more water to make up for the difference.

    The accounting department hadn't noticed a thing & had been paying the bills for the facility's utility usage, unquestioned.

    To them, the increased utility bills were disconnected from the actual operating costs of the facility.

    Unfortunately, this sort of oversight is a common result of not connecting a process' resource usage with the dollars and cents bottom line.

    Thanks to the environmental specialist, the facility was able to repair the pipe and drastically reduce its overall water consumption - and its costs.

    The takeaways:

    1. Communicating your EH&S data is essential to the success of the entire company. Resource usage is directly related to the cost of doing business, but the connection is not always clear when several different departments are involved.
    2. Having a reliable environmental data management system in place is much like having a finance software installed for your accountants.
    3. A dedicated EH&S specialist is your business' best friend. Having someone there to make sure your processes are running smoothly, your resource usage is under control, your finished product adheres to government regulations, and that your shop floor is safe is - well - priceless.  

    If you're looking for ways to improve environmental data management, resource management & sustainable practices at your company, download our guide 'The How's & Why's of Sustainability'

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    Alex Chamberlain
    Post by Alex Chamberlain
    February 6, 2012
    Alex Chamberlain is a writer for ERA Environmental Management Solutions.