Environment / Technology Enabled Business Solutions
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Understanding your waste requirements and then getting your facility in compliance with those requirements are important steps in your waste management efforts. However, effective waste management is not a one-time effort. It takes ongoing resources and tools to sustain ongoing compliance. Consider the following:
- How do you track your waste inventory?
- Do you have ongoing permitting requirements to manage?
- Does your staff need periodic training?
- Are there regular (e.g., annual, semi-annual) plans and/or reports you need to submit?
- Do you have routine inspections and monitoring?
- How do you maintain your records? Where do you house your documentation?
Managing all these things and effectively resourcing ongoing regulatory compliance needs can quickly become overwhelming—especially for those companies without a dedicated team of full-time environmental, health and safety (EHS) staff.
Documenting waste management procedures and processes, along with management oversight and continual review and improvement, is key to ensuring ongoing compliance. Technology (i.e., a compliance information management system (IMS), apps, tools) can help create process standardization, operational efficiencies, and, subsequently, consistent and reliable compliance/waste management performance.
However, it must be noted that applying technology to operations isn’t about just finding and buying a software tool. It is about:
- Understanding the business need;
- Customizing and integrating the appropriate tool into existing operations; and
- Deploying it so it is effectively applied.
Virtually every regulatory program, including those related to waste management, has compliance requirements that call for companies to fulfill a number of common compliance activities. While they do not necessarily need to be addressed all at once or from the start, considering the eight functions of compliance when designing compliance efficiency tools helps define the starting point and build a vision for the end result.
Compliance efficiency tools built on an Office 365 platform offer an adaptable/scalable solution that can allow you to more efficiently manage compliance tasks, corrective and preventive actions (CAPAs), and other project activities to ensure you are meeting your compliance requirements. Translating these common compliance functions into modules that can be instrumental in establishing or improving a company’s capability to comply, including:
- Facility profiles
- Waste inventories
- Compliance calendars
- Assessments & inspections
- Mobile forms & checklists
- Audit tracking
- Permit management/tracking
- Document and records management
Adding Business Value
In the end, implementing compliance efficiency tools such as this can provide the resources needed to effectively manage your waste management program—plus a number of other lasting benefits to the overall business:
- Helps improve the company’s capability to comply on an ongoing basis
- Establishes compliance practices
- Creates a strong foundation for internal and 3rd-party compliance audits and for answering outside auditors’ questions (agencies, customers, certifying bodies)
- Helps companies know where to look for continuous improvement
- Reduces surprises and unnecessary spending on reactive compliance-related activities
- Informs management’s need to know
- Enhances confidence of others (e.g. regulators, shareholders/investors, insurers, customers), providing evidence of commitment, capability, reliability and consistency in the company’s waste management program