EHS Leads Companies' COVID-19 Response: "An EHS Leader Knows How to Implement"

Sean Mason
Sean Mason
May 29, 2020
The EHS function is at the center of their company’s response to COVID-19, and EHS leaders are uniquely prepared to take on the management challenges created by this pandemic. Rick Taylor, Vice President of EHS & Sustainability for Parker Hannifin, said it best while keynoting last week’s virtual EHS OpEx conference: “An EHS leader knows how to implement…They can execute on the factory level, on the shop floor.” As co-leader of Parker’s enterprise-wide COVID-19 response team, Rick believes EHS should have a seat at the table.

This perspective is widely shared by other EHS leaders. One EHS leader described how “EHS is a key member of the crisis management team. We own the tactical execution of the plan and ensuring that the elements are right. We're the front line, making sure that the systems and processes that are developed are properly executed globally.” Additionally, the ability to collaborate is core to achieving corporate EHS objectives and is needed even more so in today’s business climate. This is underscored by another EHS Vice President describing his role as the “the chief dot connector” among business functions.

The importance of executing and connecting dots, from the factory level to the senior levels of management, was evident in recent NAEM benchmarking survey findings. Among respondents, 41% said they were leading their companies’ responses to COVID-19 and 49% said they were collaborating.

The EHS Function's Response to COVID-19

Next month, NAEM will be publishing this benchmark research tracking how COVID-19 is reshaping the staffing, structure and budgets of EHS functions within companies. Our goal is to track the impact over the next 18-24 months to gain insight into the long-term changes in EHS management.

We invite you to join us on July 1 to discuss the key takeaways from the research. Register here for first-hand analytical insights into how these tactical executors and chief dot connectors are getting the job done.

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About the Author

Sean Mason
Sean Mason
NAEM
As Research Manager, Sean is responsible for designing and executing NAEM's research agenda. If you have any questions about NAEM's research, please contact him at sean@naem.org.

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