An increasing number of companies are acting to reduce their impact in the face of climate change. In just the last year we have seen the number of net zero commitments from businesses and local governments double, proving that many companies across industries are taking this seriously. Most of these commitments collectively aim for a zero-carbon economy by 2050. On a global scale, we also saw the US rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement this year, taking a stance in prioritizing our impact in mitigating climate change. Environmental Health and Safety is being given a seat at the table in the face of climate change with a few trends already starting to stand out.
Some changes we can expect to see in the EHS space include risk management, investing in clean power, and the transition to electric vehicle (EV) fleets. Risk management follows the practice of making climate conscious decisions by promoting sustainable development while reducing the vulnerability of negative outcomes associated with climate risks. Strategies can include early-response systems, dynamic resource allocation, and strategic diversification. The move to utilizing clean energy solutions has also been an up-and-coming hot topic within the EHS industry. The coronavirus pandemic has had a notable impact on fossil fuel consumption where we saw a reduction in CO2 emissions over the last year. With a change as great as this, many companies have started to pursue the decision to incorporate cleaner energy options like solar and wind power. Following the decision to explore cleaner energy alternatives, companies are starting to consider the transition to electric fleets to reduce carbon emissions. While EVs are certainly a more climate conscientious option, they also bring the added benefit of cost saving opportunities in terms of maintenance and operation. We’ve seen significant changes in this space with the Biden administration’s plan to electrify government-owned vehicle fleets. Expect to see possible government incentives and tax benefits for companies making the switch to electric vehicles in order to motivate change.
The last few years have been unprecedented in terms of climate change impact and the ever-changing role that companies play in affecting the environment. As businesses move forward, it’s important to stay on top of the EHS trends that will be affecting the industry for years to come.