The National Association for Environmental Management (NAEM) is the largest professional association for corporate environment, health and safety (EHS) and sustainability decision-makers. We are dedicated to empowering our members to advance environmental stewardship, create safe and healthy workplaces, and promote global sustainability.
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Latest News - January 2015 - NAEM Releases Comprehensive Portrait of the EHS & Sustainability Profes
NAEM Releases Comprehensive Portrait of the EHS & Sustainability Professional

New Report Details Key Responsibilities, Skills and Knowledge Areas

Washington, DC, Jan. 21, 2015 - Today NAEM released its latest benchmarking study on the skills, knowledge areas and attributes of environment, health and safety (EHS) and sustainability professionals.

NAEM Executive Director Carol Singer Neuvelt said the report sheds new light on the unique attributes of a function that leads through collaboration and influence.

“Never before have we had such a comprehensive portrait of the professionals who are leading environmental stewardship and advancing sustainability inside companies today,” she said. “This report is an important resource for those who are responsible for staffing departments and preparing the next generation of leaders.”

With data on both technical and ‘soft' skills, as well as knowledge areas and responsibilities, the report provides a detailed portrait of the diverse capabilities of the professionals who are leading a broad range of regulatory compliance and sustainability activities for their companies.

The report reflects the survey responses from 345 “in-house” corporate EHS and sustainability professionals. Among the key insights from the research, NAEM identified that:

  • While EHS leaders are accountable for a set of core compliance and pollution prevention programs, they are involved with, collaborate on, or influence the management of a broad range of activities with their organizations.
  • As EHS professionals advance through the organizational chart, their role becomes more strategic.
  • The EHS and sustainability skill set combines focused technical knowledge with business management acumen.
  • Communication skills are a critical competency at all levels of an EHS organization.
  • As integrators, EHS and sustainability professionals need to manage people as well as processes.
  • EHS and sustainability leaders are a highly educated group.
  • The most common educational background is in engineering or the sciences. Those in a managerial position are more likely to hold an MBA than those who are subject matter experts.

Ms. Neuvelt said this latest report is the latest phase of the association's ongoing research into the organizational design, skills and staffing of the EHS & sustainability function. In 2012, NAEM documented the organizational design for the corporate EHS & sustainability function. The next report will add dimension around the personal attributes and behaviors of professionals at different levels of leadership, and map the career path for professionals on both technical as well as managerial tracks.

To learn more about NAEM's research or to request an interview with an analyst, please call 202-986-6616. To purchase a copy of this report, please visit: http://www.naem.org/?survey_2015_competen

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