How Integrated Management Strategy Could Hold the Keys to an Integrated Bottom Line
I have been fortunate to work with many companies at the forefront of EHS&S work, so I know better than to preach change based on theory. Based on evidence-based industry best practices, I believe integrated management offers a new way forward for companies who are ready to evaluate full range of impacts that their operations have on the economy, the environment, and society as a whole.
By accounting for environmental, social and governance performance in close coordination between business processes, functions, groups, organizations and systems, integrated management encourages cross-functional integration as well as integrated bottom line performance.
In its structure, integrated management is much the same as Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act model for process improvement and total quality management. It starts with an understanding of strategic sustainable development as a core framework to build on as you assess the system in which your enterprise operates, how you define success and how you make decisions. And since EHS&S challenges continue to evolve, integrated management involves a continuous process of improvement through revisiting trends in the industry, auditing systems and making changes accordingly.
Such an approach can deliver improved operational efficiency as well as systemic improvements that will also affect your business-to-business relationships. The following are just some of the examples of what leaders can expect from introducing an integrated management model:
- A new perspective on cross-functional performance metrics;
- A process for continuously identifying risks, value creation opportunities and drivers of change;
- A shared vision of sustainability success for your enterprise that contributes to a sustainable society;
- The integration of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals across business operations.
I am thrilled to work with NAEM members at the forefront of this evolving performance frontier, and I know that integrated management can make an impact on systems and process that for too long have been overlooked for their full potential to eliminate waste, reduce risks, and create value.
Dr. Sroufe is a speaker at NAEM's 2019 Operational Excellence Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa., and will co-present the session "How to Build a Compelling Business Case for Investing in EHS&S Programs." He is the author of "Integrated Management: How Sustainability Creates Value for Any Business," available on Amazon, Emerald Press and Google Books.