Insight: How to best protect your business from environmental issues?

10th February 2020

We all have a responsibility to protect and conserve the environment, but it’s particularly important for businesses and organisations to acknowledge potential environmental incidents and adapt to changes to guarantee continuity. 

It’s no longer enough to plan for an environmental incident that may never occur. Companies large and small must focus on planning for the inevitable to minimise disruption, downtime and loss. Many environmental issues can affect your organisation, from climate-related risks to repercussions for environmental damage caused. 

That said there are environmental policies and regulations that your business must comply with; depending on your industry – but threats can also be opportunities. If you’re able to recognise the threats and prepare for environmental challenges in the right way, you can ensure your business is better placed with a positive and proactive approach to the environment. You can take action early to ensure your buildings and processes use energy in the most sustainable ways, whilst monitoring risks, analysing intelligence and enabling budget, resources and actions to be deployed in a streamlined and efficient manner.

How can your business be affected?

Climate change and severe weather

In 2019, a team of actuaries stated climate change had exceeded cybersecurity as the most impactful risk to insurers throughout North America. This is particularly alarming for risk managers and loss prevention specialists who are yet to cover climate risks in their risk management strategies. Climate change is predicted to worsen the frequency, intensity and impacts of extreme weather occurrences. According to Carbon Brief, a UK-based website covering the latest developments in climate science, 68% of all extreme weather events studied to date were made more likely (or more severe) with heatwaves accounting for 43%, droughts making up 17% and heavy rainfall (or floods) accounting for 16%. 

In recent months, extreme weather events have completely dominated the news, such as the Australian bushfires, which caused a great deal of damage to homes, businesses and wildlife, leaving the Australian economy reeling. With any fine-tuned risk management strategy, you must prepare for such events and put procedures in place to minimise impact, but you also need to understand the severe weather risks that can affect you, based on historical weather patterns, whilst not ignoring the ‘unconvincing’ major weather events like severe thunderstorms, dust, hailstorms, flooding, wildfires and blizzards.

Air and water pollution and quality

Air and water pollution can disrupt day-to-day operations, risking employee health, safety and wellbeing. This can prompt a rise in sick days, which has been estimated at 656,900 days a year in Central London (according to Parliament Hill Research), due to air pollution. 

Greenhouse gases

No matter the size of your business, it’s imperative to focus time, money and resources on lessening greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reducing your carbon footprint. Your company must of course comply within regulatory requirements, yet it’s going to be important to show your staff and customers that you’re by doing your bit to help slow down global warming, whilst lessening the physical impacts of climate change. 

Chemicals and toxics

Chemicals and toxics can be emitted directly into soil, air and water, whilst they are subject to increasing legal requirements, but non-compliance can cause severe disturbances, downtime and costly penalties. 

Land hazardous waste

It’s not just essential for businesses to know whether their waste is hazardous, it’s vital to understand the danger it presents, not just to human health but the environment at large. 

How can you best manage environmental risks?

Environmental risk management is of increasing importance, with more businesses under pressure to determine and protect their business from emerging environmental threats. With a proactive approach to incident reporting, you can improve risk management and loss prevention, whilst dealing with emergency situations quickly and efficiently, calculating exactly what is needed and where. 

Much like incidents that are related to security, health, property, transport and infrastructure; environmental incidents require a streamlined, efficient and severity-based incident response, with crystal clear communication. It’s best practice to ensure you have an agreed outline for your incident response process, from detection to containment, investigation, remediation and recovery. A key step is ensuring roles and responsibilities are clarified, with notifications created to ensure swift and painless communication when environmental incidents occur.

With the right technology you can quickly and easily manage communications and actions for every possible incident type. Our Synapse platform ensures relevant and accurate data is collected and automatic alerts and notifications can be easily generated, so you can send messages to specified contacts using your preferred communication channels. This platform can also operate as a central operational management system for day-to-day activities such as two-way messaging, issuing of tasks and viewing of reports. 

With our Synapse platform, you’re guaranteed intelligent, enterprise grade mapping, meaning it’s easy to view situational intelligence and incidents that may affect your sites, giving you the information need to make fast informed decisions, applying the available resources and actions to minimise physical, environmental and economic damage. Using the data that is stored in the system, associations and relationships are made between organisations, individuals, and events; helping to pre-empt potential security risks.

By adapting to emerging environmental threats, you’re able to improve workplace health and safety, minimise loss and boost disaster resilience. To speak to us about the environmental threats you face, or to learn more about our award winning technology platforms, please call +44 (0)1604 598999 or send us a message and we’ll be back in touch as soon as possible.

 

Editorial photo credit: PhilMacDPhoto / Shutterstock.com
YORK, UK - DECEMBER 27th 2015: Flood rescue by the British Army and the Mountain Rescue at Queens Staith Road near the Ouse Bridge in York City Centre after heavy rain, on 27th December 2015.

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Learn more: www.zinc.systems or contact us for a detailed demonstration
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