Dealing with Environmental Data - Why do you need specialist tools? - Sponsored Whitepaper

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The title of our paper asks the question of ‘why do you need a specialist tool to deal with your environmental data?’ This question immediately leads to another asking ‘What is it that you want to achieve in environmental performance?’ Many companies capture this in outline form in their policy that usually states, as a minimum, compliance with legislation. This means there is a requirement to collect and report on environmental data.

An increasing number of companies worldwide however, see further than this into a broader Environmental Management System (EMS) which seeks to improve environmental performance concomitant with cost reduction (e.g. I produce less waste through initiatives I have within my EMS and therefore reduce my disposal charges). An EMS may also dovetail into a larger process of sustainability management where companies aim to improve their overall impact on future generations through focussing on their ecological, social and economic performance today. Implicit in this is the ‘triple bottom line’ approach to reporting where companies broaden their reporting requirement to cover all of these three areas as opposed to more traditional reporting of economic performance in isolation.

What all of this means of course is that the volume of environmental data which needs to be managed and reported is increasing. The environmental management plan of one of our overseas clients for example, details the data collection needed at single site which stretches to 23 pages of tables in the plan and specifies various items of data and locations which need to be collected at differing frequencies ranging from continuously, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and six monthly. By default companies may use generic products such as MS Excel for this task but quickly the volume of data needed makes this process unwieldy, error-prone and time-consuming.

This paper is meant for environmental managers, those wrestling with the issue of data management and those considering the purchase of such systems. It deals with The drivers of Environmental data management How people commonly manage environmental data and the pitfalls Some of the types of environmental data management systems Costs and benefits of purpose-built systems
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