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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Key Practice Area - Leadership Development - 2016 EHS Management Forum Leading as an EHS&S Professio
Key Practice Area: Leadership Development

2016 Forum Keynote Transcript - Leading as an EHS&S Professional Now and Into the Future

Oct. 26-28, 2016

Explore the skills and competencies leaders need to steward their EHS&S programs and teams for the coming years, and discuss the opportunities he sees for each of us to make substantive contributions at our organizations, ultimately resulting in collective impact and progress forward in our field.

If you're looking for new ideas to improve efficiency, manage risk or advance sustainability, you'll find inspiration through the interactive discussions and peer case studies the Forum delivers.


Download the “2016 Forum Keynote Transcript - Leading as an EHS&S Professional Now and Into the Future” keynote presentation transcript from NAEM's 2016 EHS Management Forum. This content is available to NAEM members only; you must be logged in as a member to view it. If you are not an NAEM member and wish to join the Association, please contact NAEM at


The scope of the corporate environment, health, safety and sustainability (EHS&S) profession continues to evolve as corporate leaders identify new ways to integrate their programs and drive business value. To do so, corporate managers need to have a strong technical base in science or engineering, as well as the ability to understand systems challenges, make an effective business case and inspire support for their ideas.

During his recent keynote at the annual NAEM EHS&S management Forum, Wayne Balta, Vice President of Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety at IBM was asked to reflect on the diverse skills that today's emerging EHS and sustainability leaders will need to meet the changing needs of this dynamic profession.

Drawing on his career of more than 25 years in the EHS&S field, Mr. Balta provided one of the best and most concise analyses of:

  • the evolution of the EHS&S profession,
  • the major drivers for this evolution,
  • opportunities for professionals in the EHS&S field,
  • and 16 specific skills and behaviors that leaders in our field must cultivate in order to seize those opportunities

Speaker Bio

Wayne Balta, Vice President, Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety; IBM Corp.
Wayne S. Balta is the Vice President of Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety at IBM Corporation. He has global responsibility for environmental affairs, energy efficiency, and toxicology and chemical management as well as product safety and related hardware compliance functions. He joined IBM in 1984.

In addition to his role as IBM's chief environmental executive he is a member of IBM's Growth & Transformation Team, a group of IBM executives that drives growth pursuant to innovation and shifts in business and technology. He has also served on IBM's Global Enablement Team for Kenya and East Africa. He is IBM's Partnership Executive for Yale University. He also serves as IBM's Senior Location Executive in Pittsburgh, PA.

Mr. Balta also plays a leadership role with a variety of additional organizations including the Environmental Law Institute (member of the Board and prior Vice Chairman) and the World Environment Center (member of the Board and prior Chairman). He is a member and past Chairman of The Conference Board's Chief Environment, Health & Safety Officers Council. He was named a White House Champion of Change in 2012 for his efforts to advance corporate environmental sustainability.

Mr. Balta is a member of the President's Advisory Board for Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He also serves on the Dean's Advisory Council for the College of Engineering at Carnegie-Mellon. He was the recipient of Carnegie Mellon's Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 2009. Mr. Balta is a member of the Sustainability Advisory Board for the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University. He is also a member of the Strategic Advisory Council for the University of Michigan's Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise.

Mr. Balta received a Bachelor of Science Degree in civil engineering with University Honors from Carnegie Mellon University in 1982. He earned a Master of Science Degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a Tau Beta Pi Fellow, in 1984.

Mr. Balta is married. He and his wife Maritza have two children.

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The 2016 EHS Management Forum was presented with special support from our sponsors.

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