SESHA 2009 Symposium - Abstract

Sustainability: Opportunities and Challenges for the EHS Professional

Mohin, Tim
(EORM, San Jose, CA)

Abstract Title: Sustainability: Opportunities and Challenges for the EHS Professional Author: Tim Mohin, Principal Consultant Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility EORM Perhaps the most overused “buzz” word in recent times is sustainability. While the definition may be elusive, the implication of the sustainability movement offers tremendous promise and growth opportunities. At the heart of the concept are challenging and extremely important technical considerations for the EHS professional. As engineers and technically oriented people, EHS professionals prefer precise definitions and certifications for each element of our practice. The practice of sustainability is still evolving and the expertise required for competence in this area is, as yet, undefined. The key to success in managing a successful sustainability program is to develop a sound strategy that adds value to your business, is operationally achievable, and defines how EHS professionals and key business partners can contribute to the program. This paper will discuss the development of a sustainability strategy, how the practice of EHS aligns with core sustainability principles, how EHS professionals can champion the effort, and how sustainability can expand the scope and stretch the capabilities of a typical EHS department. The paper will focus on EHS management of the supply chain as an example of these issues. Finally, the paper will provide first-hand perspectives on the opportunities and challenges ahead for the EHS professionals who decide to accept the journey.