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Al Gore’s book, An Inconvenient Truth, awakened us to how our life styles and business practices are impacting our world; accelerating pace of melting polar ice caps, rising seas, toxic chemicals in our water and food supplies, climate changes, and limited access to resources. Concern over a toxic environment is not new. Rachel Carson exposed the dangers of pesticides in her book, Silent Spring. Now we understand the impact industry and life styles have on our environment, and we are requiring a personal and professional environmental accountability for our actions.
Businesses are looking for green solutions. Corporate social responsibility is becoming the new yard stick that individuals, society, and companies are using to determine who they will work for, invest in, and do business with. It is no longer acceptable to do no harm; you now must do some good for your employees, the environment, and your community. Companies are seeking out these new business solutions that address profits, the environment, and society which is referred to as the “Triple Bottom-Line.”
Companies have a sense of urgency to implement green solutions. The safety, health and environmental professional is taking on a risk management role, looking at a 360° view of possible solutions, beyond the task and solution and evaluating how these changes can introduce new loss exposures to the workplace and community. These professionals will evaluate new technology and chemical/mechanical/biological exposures for which little information may be available. Many of these potential hazards are not regulated, evaluated, or adequately addressed by existing OSHA standards. Hazardous chemical exposures in particular present challenges because substitution is not always a workable solution. These chemicals may not have complete safety analysis, be too costly, or they may not fit the task’s technical requirements. Socially responsible companies demand the highest level of job safety, creating a culture of protection as opposed to a culture of compliance or, as Ray Anderson of Interface calls the practice, “being as bad as the law will allow.”
Corporate sustainability is a business management strategy in which organizations measure their business success on economic, environmental, and social performance indicators. Today this triple bottom line has been embraced by many world-class companies. US based and international organizations are finding that the path to world-class status involves sustainability. Environmental, health and safety (EHS) professionals should recognize the principles that our corporate leaders expect. In some organizations, the leadership of sustainability efforts has been placed with EHS management.
Abstract The release of greenhouse gases from the generation and use of energy has been implicated in causing the negative effects of climate change on the planet. As a large, global corporation that uses substantial energy for its operations in the form of electricity, natural gas, propane, off-road diesel and fuel for transportation, Baker Hughes has committed to reduce our energy usage. This paper details the efforts made by the enterprise to reduce the use of these resources, and to measure the success of our initiatives using a globally-accessible database called "GreenLink". Energy reduction initiatives include the enterprise-wide communication of our reduction goal, the use of energy audits to identify reduction opportunities, and the development and implementation of green building standards applied to new and existing facilities. Our Information Technology (IT) group has also made significant reductions in energy use throughout our facilities and in our data centers by the introduction of energy efficient equipment and energy-saving management practices. In addition to the environmental benefits, energy conservation has an economic benefit, contributing to a healthy bottom line by reducing operating costs. In 2010, the overall energy cost savings for Baker Hughes, when normalized to revenue, was about $3 million for the facilities reporting in GreenLink. In addition to this cost saving, Baker Hughes has achieved a number of accolades for our energy reduction programs. In 2010, Baker Hughes led in the Energy sector of the Maplecroft Climate Innovation Index investor rankings. Also, in 2011, Baker Hughes was the highest-ranked oilfield service company in the Energy sector of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) which evaluates U.S. companies listed on the S&P 500 on their actions taken to reduce global emissions.