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 - March 2017 - Companies are Purchasing Sophisticated Software Tools to Improve EHS&S Tr
Companies are Purchasing Sophisticated Software Tools to Improve EHS&S Transparency 

Washington, DC, March 7, 2017 - NAEM's 2017 EHS&S Software Buyers Guide report reveals that 'Working to provide Greater External Transparency' is among the top reasons why companies are shopping for commercial software to track environment, health and safety and sustainability performance.

The expectation for external transparency about environment, health and safety, and sustainability (EHS&S) performance is driving more companies to the commercial software market, according to a research report released today by the National Association for Environmental Management (NAEM).

The survey of 172 'in-house' EHS&S leaders revealed that one-third (33%) of those who are currently shopping for a new system are doing so to provide greater external transparency. The top two purchase drivers— 'Outdated software' (46%) and 'Poor integration with other IT systems (40%)—related directly to technology challenges.

NAEM Executive Director Carol Singer Neuvelt said the results underscore the importance of software tools to EHS&S management as the scope and visibility of the profession continues to grow.

"From the integration of EHS&S metrics into product development to the emergence of supply chain reporting, to meeting stakeholders demand for transparency, the EHS&S function today is a source of value creation across a business," she said. "Given the challenges of this new role, the use of commercial software tools is increasingly indispensible to managing global EHS programs."

The findings were included in the 2017 EHS&S Buyers Guide report, NAEM's bi-annual benchmark of the business objectives, budgeted spending, desired capabilities and purchase drivers for those shopping for a commercial EHS&S software system. The analysis also includes budget data from past purchasers.

Additional insights from the report included:

  • EHS&S data management programs are most often composed of a suite of solutions, which include commonly-available tools, internally developed systems and commercial solutions.
  • The EHS function serves as the lead for software selection, budgeting, implementation and system maintenance.
  • Integration with other IT systems is an Achilles heel for commercial EHS&S software tools: Among those returning to the market for a new commercial system, 49 percent sought a system that would better integrate with other IT systems.
  • Comprehensive EHS&S systems are valued by first-time buyers and those at smaller companies: 95 percent of companies with revenues of between $250 million and $10 billion are seeking a comprehensive system for EHS&S data management.
  • EHS&S Software budgets are more robust among current shoppers than among those who purchased in the past.

As the leading source for peer-based benchmarking on EHS&S management, NAEM has been tracking the use of software systems since 2001. Its research portfolio includes reports on software satisfaction, how to structure a selection process and case studies on how companies are structuring their programs.

The complimentary EHS&S Buyers Guide report is available on NAEM's website,, thanks to financial support from Dakota Software, Enablon, Sphera and VelocityEHS.

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