Evotix Shares Five Hot EHS&S Trends for 2024
From changing regulations and merging EHS and sustainability roles to preventing severe injury and fatality events in the workplace, Evotix identifies emerging trends in environment, health, safety and sustainability (EHS&S)
Combining Evotix’s expert insights, here are the five trends to make the workplace healthier, safer and more sustainable.
Blurring the Lines Between EHS, Management and Operations
The 2024 trend toward integrating EHS&S into a business’s management and operational strategies represents a shift toward a more resilient and responsible operational model. By weaving EHS&S into the fabric of daily business activities, organizations recognize that the health and safety of their workforce and stewardship of environmental resources are not just ethical imperatives but critical factors for long-term profitability and risk management. This convergence signifies a maturation of corporate governance where EHS&S becomes a lens to evaluate business decisions.
To capitalize on this trend in 2024, organizations will integrate EHS&S management systems supported by technology platforms. Such systems ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and provide data-driven insights that enable continuous improvement and help foster safety and growth. Leadership training and employee engagement programs underscore the value of EHS&S principles in every role and help ensure EHS considerations become second nature in all business decisions and processes. This strategic alignment can help companies navigate the complexities and demands of external audiences and regulations while safeguarding their most valuable assets: their people and the environment.
Preventing Serious Injuries and Fatalities (SIFs)
Preventing serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs) will become even more critical in 2024, as organizations increasingly recognize that traditional safety measures may not sufficiently address the precursors of severe workplace incidents. According to the National Safety Council, despite a decline in overall workplace injuries, the rate of fatal workplace injuries per 100,000 workers has increased in recent years. This highlights the need for more proactive and predictive safety management strategies to identify high-risk scenarios before they result in SIFs. Additionally, this ties into the previous trend of making health and safety a business-wide priority. When safety becomes a core value and an integral part of the organizational culture, it leads to a proactive approach that prioritizes the well-being of employees.
As 2024 unfolds, more companies will invest in advanced data analytics to address specific high-risk behaviors and technology-driven systems to mitigate these risks more effectively. In addition, innovative training methods, such as in the flow courses via QR code scans and a stronger focus on operational learning, will help organizations improve safety performance.
Intensifying Regulations Demand Strategic Action
2024 EHS&S regulations will intensify due to heightened global demands for sustainability and environmental accountability. Organizations are facing broadening reporting demands, with the European Union's Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) mandating detailed disclosures on environmental and financial impacts. Similarly, the North American Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan targets a 30% methane cut by 2030 and California's Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act requires large U.S. companies to report greenhouse gas emissions.
EHS&S professionals must navigate these complexities with advanced training and strategic tools. Beyond analytics dashboards, comprehensive data management systems are essential, providing a full spectrum of regulatory insights. The focus is on actionable intelligence, setting standards for compliance and equipping teams with current knowledge to meet these rigorous regulations.
Sharing Mental Health and Well-Being Information Across Departments
Moving into 2024, organizations will better recognize the correlation between home life and workplace performance such as stress, financial stability and family responsibilities significantly impacting job performance and safety, prompting them to implement a holistic approach to employee wellness. For example, when an EHS&S manager identifies an employee exhibiting signs of fatigue during work hours—a condition that could escalate into a safety hazard for them and other employees—it is now their responsibility to initiate a coordinated response with the human resources department to ensure that employee is provided with the necessary care and support to address their well-being, mitigating potential safety risks and promoting a proactive culture in the workplace.
An EHS&S platform will serve as a pivotal tool in 2024 by facilitating seamless communication and program integration between EHS&S and human resources departments. Such a platform can also offer resources for mental health support, stress management and wellness programs. The platform can also identify patterns in workplace performance issues and provide insights into the efficacy of wellness initiatives, enabling continuous improvement and a healthier, more engaged workforce.
A Shifting Demographic That Embraces Environmental and Social Values
With a demographic shift toward a more environmentally and socially conscious workforce, companies must adapt by embracing technology and its benefits. This includes implementing EHS&S systems to meet the evolving needs of the workplace and leveraging technology to enhance health and safety initiatives.
The demographic shift in 2024 to a workforce prioritizing environmental and social values requires recalibrating company operations and principles. Younger employees are not only looking for a paycheck but also for purpose and alignment with their values, particularly sustainability and corporate responsibility. This shift places a premium on companies to adopt greener practices and be more proactive in communicating EHS&S best practices.
In response, companies will go beyond using EHS&S software to monitor compliance, manage risks and drive continuous improvement in workplace health, safety and sustainability. They will also leverage the software to align with their workforce's values and operational needs. The same technology can help streamline processes and reduce environmental impact, further resonating with the values of a socially conscious generation. These platforms can enhance decision-making and engagement by leveraging data analytics, mobile reporting tools and real-time monitoring capabilities.
“With a new year comes new challenges, but also opportunities as business leaders and EHS&S teams set their sights on embracing trends and solutions that better create a cohesive and efficient approach to EHS&S,” said Langdon Dement, Evotix’s global EHS advisor. “By fostering a culture of continuous learning, prioritizing mental health, monitoring and responding to new regulations and adapting to today’s workforce, organizations can build a safer, healthier and more sustainable future.”