Independent research firm Verdantix has released its annual global survey of 302 EHS decision-makers with direct responsibility for corporate-wide EHS management strategies and initiatives. The interviewees – EHS directors, senior managers, and managers from firms with revenues of at least $250 million – predict an increase in spend across all EHS services. High priorities for 2021 are EHS performance management (46% of respondents), sustainability management (23%), and EHS training (21%).
“Despite challenges posed by the global pandemic over the past 18 months, COVID-19 led to increased spend on EHS services projects in 2020,” commented Verdantix Analyst, Tom Brown. “With the pandemic directly affecting EHS functions, priorities and strategies, Verdantix sought to understand how EHS services budgets changed in accordance with new EHS function demand.”
Key findings of the Verdantix ‘Global Corporate Survey: EHS Services Budgets, Preferences And Priorities’ report:
- Environmental projects saw the largest upturn in spend, with 50% of EHS decision-makers stating that COVID-19 increased their service budgets for this category.
- Firms will continue to invest heavily in services for EHS performance management, to cut through the noise, ensuring they can track key metrics and provide critical data to maintain compliance.
- The shift in investor interest in ESG metrics has put many firms under pressure to meet climate initiatives. Consequently, firms have turned to EHS consultants to reduce their carbon footprint, with 43% of survey respondents stating that they intend to use service firms for climate change planning over the next 12 months.
- The number of use cases for EHS technology implementation services is expected to fall in the next 12 months, after a large digitization push by firms during the pandemic
- EHS mobile applications and industrial wearables are seen as two of the most popular technologies for EHS service led implementations, with 43% and 38% of respondents, respectively, planning to use them in the next year.
- Very important factors affecting EHS service provider selection are subject matter expertise (53%), previous experience with EHS service provider (40%), greater visibility into insights through digitization (35%) and local presence (33%).
“Investor ESG focus has without doubt increased demand for environmental and sustainability led projects,” continued Brown. “This coupled with increasing corporate interest in sophisticated technology solutions will see continued innovation within the sector, with service firms investing heavily to diversify their capabilities.”