Corporate Governance

EHSxTech Takes San Francisco: Charting the Future of EHS


EHSxTech Takes San Francisco

We were thrilled to be able to bring together more than 50 EHS experts from 25 of the largest brands in the IT sector this month for a one-day event in San Francisco, which was kindly hosted by Salesforce. Our networking group was reunited for the first time since the epidemic, and it was wonderful to welcome new members and to see old ones. Industry professionals have a one-of-a-kind chance to interact and network with their peers at EHSxTech® while learning about the latest worldwide regulations, health and safety (H&S) standards, and environmental, social, and economic (EHS) trends in this quickly evolving sector.

This workshop concentrated on the future of EHS rather than when many businesses were returning to “regular” operations.


Safety and health as a competitive advantage

In his keynote address, our host, Karl Huntzicker, VP of Global Health and Safety at Salesforce, discussed how the company’s health and safety programme adds value by giving it a competitive edge. They get this competitive edge by making the following five contributions with their programme: facilitating sales, boosting production, safeguarding the business, developing toughness, and luring and keeping top employees. They put employee care at the heart of all of their activities to increase the impact of their initiative. Since this is in line with their corporate principles, it encourages more employee engagement and fosters a climate in which people are concerned about both their own and others’ safety.

Jenn Taylor, a guest speaker from Roku, also discussed how she is starting to develop the EHS programmes in her current role there while bringing a wealth of experience from previous positions at other businesses in this field. Taylor wants to develop EHS programmes on the principles of whole worker health. Mental health, home community, workplace culture, and how to measure these new concepts to demonstrate value to executives have become key considerations in the area of total worker health. According to her, the “H” in EHS stands for “Human,” and she views it as the protector of people and holistic health. This entails approaching EHS programmes with a relationship- and caring-centered perspective, while also taking “Human Resources” into account with departmental and programmatic synergies.

Collaboration Across Functions With EHS

Participants in the panel discussion reminisced on the epidemic and highlighted how it drew officials from all functions together to address the most pressing health and safety issues. Teams in EHS had to be adaptable because whatever they were doing before to COVID had to stop and they just had one core goal. Being seated at the executive table added value, trust, and visibility because the EHS teams could not do it on their own. EHS executives have been wise in preserving this prestigious position for the future and in considering fresh synergies and cross-functional cooperation.

We assess which departments do not have EHS integration and inquire as to how we might integrate our staff. There is currently a complete firm risk model. According to Joe Clark, Head of Governance, Risk Management & Compliance at Google, “Compliance is everywhere, thus we created EHS not only as a function but as a Second Line of Defense, partnering with every key leader and leveraging scenarios in their areas to build out top risks together.

Director of Global Health & Safety Governance at VMware Banu Gajendran examines how to maintain synergies for comprehensive health and safety governance and evaluates the “So What?” value added by the programme offerings. collaborating with HR and other important business stakeholders to foster cross-functional synergies in managing overall employee health.

The problem of managing emergency response programmes becomes even more crucial and complex with today’s mixed workforce of in-office, hybrid, and fully remote workers across the diverse terrain of technology industry locations (manufacturing, data centres, offices, and transportation). The community and any potential members of the general public who may be present in these locations are also kept safe thanks to these programmes. It was acknowledged that adaptability is now crucial for enabling various teams working in various contexts to develop their own agreements and particular strategies for disaster preparation and safety measures. Using a variety of channels of communication, including Slack, emails, messages, and other frequently used tools inside the firm, should also be taken into account during emergencies.

In conclusion

The present EHS experts made the most of the chance to network. They found it encouraging to understand that no one company has it all figured out and to share with colleagues. They are all on a mission to make their workplaces healthy and productive for employees in order to assist their businesses succeed. How can we give others a seat at our table and promote engagement was a message that rang true at the conclusion of the conference. How can we improve the lives of the employees we work with using our EHS platform? These are the perplexing issues that will guide the next stage of EHS development in the technology sector.