Abiding by environmental regulations is not optional. Any industry with applicable environmental regulations must comply with them or face heavy penalties that can severely impact the business and even lead to closure.
Improving environmental compliance prevents your business from incurring fines that would otherwise occur. Complying with these regulations is equally or more important than any other regulations that pertain to your business. On top of the fines from the regulatory agency, the business may even face public backlash for environmental issues.
Complying with environmental regulations is similar to complying with other regulations – you must have accurate tracking and reporting systems in place and clear processes that reflect the applicable regulations. For example, if the regulations for a regular emissions report from your manufacturing facilities, you likely need dedicated processes to ascertain reliable information.
Below, you’ll learn how you can improve environmental compliance by using the right technical solutions and providing ongoing training.
1. Embrace an Environmental Management System
Not every business will need an Environmental Management System (EMS), but those that do will save countless hours by having one. These systems are designed specifically for tracking and managing anything related to the environmental impact of the business. An EMS will help your team have dedicated software for tracking and analyzing any relevant data and make reporting compliance data incredibly streamlined.
2. Set Up a Comprehensive Software Stack
Whether or not you need an EMS, you will absolutely need other software solutions to manage the various tasks related to environmental compliance. A common software stack for staying on top of environmental compliance includes:
- Calendar for deadlines (more in the next section)
- A mobile app for completing and monitoring compliance tasks
- Any automation tools related to time-consuming tasks
- A dashboard that monitors any relevant environmental data so that your company can continually stay in compliance
- A dedicated instant messaging option for everyone involved in environmental compliance to asynchronously communicate
You may discover unique software needs to add to your stack that is specific to your industry. For instance, a transportation company may require a specialized tool for tracking fuel costs and consumption. Explore and integrate these solutions with your existing stack to see how they can improve productivity and reporting.
3. Employ a Central Calendar for Compliance Deadlines
You don’t need anything advanced, but employees need a centralized calendar that details all compliance deadlines and other important dates. You likely already use a platform that has a calendar feature, such as GSuite or Microsoft Teams, which can be put to use for this purpose.
Make it someone’s responsibility to regularly check regulatory websites and news sources to find new or updated deadlines. Your company needs to know about every change that’s made in order to stay in full compliance. Additionally, anyone working in a department that’s related to environmental compliance should have access to the deadline calendar to ensure they stay informed.
4. Provide Ongoing Employee Training
Employees are largely responsible for your environmental compliance and they need to know their exact responsibilities. Hold regular training sessions that are specific to certain roles and focus on the data or tasks that must be tracked or documented. Additionally, train employees on how to competently use any software that’s involved in their jobs – you don’t want confusion to result in missing data.
5. Equip Every Worker with a Mobile App
Workers with roles that are related to environmental compliance need a mobile app that allows them to easily track tasks and document information. Employees will always be aware of upcoming compliance tasks and have a clear area to report any necessary information or concerns.
Choose a mobile app with widespread device compatibility so that employees can easily use their own devices to carry out compliance tasks. It should also fully encrypt all transmitted data to protect sensitive information.
You Can Take Steps Towards Improving Environmental Compliance
Enacting new policies and embracing new software will greatly improve your environmental compliance. Employees must know their responsibilities in relation to compliance and know how to report any related data that is generated. Additionally, a comprehensive software stack should provide employees with everything else they need to stay on top of compliance deadlines, track and analyze environmental data, and centralize information for streamlined reporting. Explore monitorQA’s solutions to see how mobile reporting tools and insightful dashboards can work for your company.