Streamlining Tier II Reporting With Digitization and Automation
Using technology can also help businesses ensure proactive environmental compliance.
- By Megan Walters
- Dec 30, 2022
The environmental, health and safety (EHS) market is anticipated to grow to $9.4 billion by 2027. As the market expands, vendors are developing innovative software solutions that support environmental compliance. While some businesses continue to make progress in their digital transformation journeys, others remain committed to manual processes and risk non-compliance.
The ever-changing requirements of Tier II reporting create challenges for EHS leaders filing reports across hundreds of facilities in sometimes dozens of states. Combining portals from various states with a single reporting interface can make all the difference. By leveraging digitization and automation, businesses can streamline Tier II reporting and ensure continual, proactive environmental compliance.
Digitizing Compliance Data
Traditionally, businesses and their EHS operations have used siloed data systems, unvalidated spreadsheets and binders to collect and organize environmental compliance information. Reliance on manual processing and paper trails opens the door to reporting errors, missed deadlines and fines levied for non-compliance. In fact, poor data quality generates an average of $15 million per year in losses.
To move away from disjointed data sources and improve data quality, businesses must digitize records and establish a solid foundation for compliance data. Digitization streamlines Tier II reporting by converting paper records into a computer-readable format.
EHS teams also feel empowered to collaborate through knowledge sharing. With this technology, teams can quickly locate, access and share digitized data stored in a central database. This single source of truth increases visibility of compliance data and processes across different facilities and improves report accuracy. For example, EHS teams can monitor chemical statuses in distributed facilities, track all associated data and keep a comprehensive, auditable reporting record for every location.
Automating the Reporting Process
Once digitized, EHS teams should use automation to improve efficiency and make reporting repeatable for all stakeholders each year. Automation helps businesses and EHS teams:
- File final, accurate reports void of non-compliance red flags.
- Free additional reporting resources to focus on other compliance priorities, like sustainability and ESG.
- Navigate and stay updated on ever-evolving local and state regulations with automated alerts and notifications.
- Manage regulatory requirements and mailers more efficiently.
- Centralize audit-ready documentation, including past reports.
Automation’s benefits enhance the user experience for EHS teams and help stem employee turnover within environmental compliance operations. And should an employee decide to leave, retire or transition to other compliance priorities, automation keeps the reporting format consistent from year to year, guaranteeing continuity.
Staying Proactive about Compliance Issues
EHS teams must have a proactive mindset toward environmental compliance, which means sharing a commitment to mitigate the potential risks of non-compliance. If EHS teams spend more time putting out fires than proactively removing flammable materials, it’s time to reexamine their strategies.
How can EHS teams collect reporting information before there’s a fire drill? By using a single source of truth solution that creates cohesive workflows for reporting and cooperation. Collaboration establishes everything necessary for proactive environmental compliance:
- A faster way to work across departments and geographic locations
- A clear delegation of duties
- Improved tracking and reporting
- Better organization of workplace documents
When taking a proactive approach, EHS teams should prepare for and understand what their organization needs to successfully manage its environmental compliance.
When Tier II season arrives, technology solutions like digitization and automation empower EHS teams to feel confident and ready to submit their reports before the March 1 submission deadline knowing their submissions comply with all regulatory requirements.
Megan Walters is the VP of Compliance and Customer Success at Encamp.