Any EHS manager knows the problem. EHS regulations keep on changing. How do you keep track of them? How do you get your head around all that legal terminology? How can you tell which ones impact you and which ones don’t? How do you anticipate changes in laws and policies? One can always try to monitor changes to regulations, but the volume and complexity make it a daunting task. An increasing number of companies and EHS managers rely on the Enhesa Global EHS Regulatory Monitoring Service to help them achieve this task in the most efficient manner.
In August 2009, Enhesa issued its 31,000th Monitoring Report on an EHS regulatory development. Since we started our Monitoring Service 15 years ago, we have seen major changes in the service but three elements remain constant: professionalism, reliability and quality. A structured report with details in plain English, identifying changes, and taking you by the hand on what you need to do to respond to changes, are the basic elements of the service.
When we started this service in 1992, we first reported each quarter on European Union is-sues only, then on some EU Member States as well. We became really international in 1995 with the coverage of China and Brazil. In 2000, we reported about 120 issues each quarter, for about 60 countries. What makes the service stand out is its international coverage and the fact that the service is tailored to the needs of each individual customer, its operations or products. We now issue reports on over 450 regulatory and policy developments a month, covering 120 countries and jurisdictions, some 3000 industrial facilities and thousands of different products.
Enhesa’s clients receive detailed analysis of regulatory developments. Reports are usually limited to 2 pages, but some issues, such as REACH or transport of dangerous goods, can require longer developments. All Monitoring Reports are quality controlled by other expert consultants.
The systematic and in depth review of all these regulatory changes worldwide over the past decade has given Enhesa a unique position as the experts on global EHS regulations. As the nature and perception of EHS problems keeps on changing, so do the regulatory concepts and approaches. No country can pretend to have taken the lead on the issue; it is a constant struggle of trial and error by regulators to find the most efficient approaches. It is often also a copy, paste and adjust exercise, whereby the regulators look at what other countries have tried to find the best way forward. Although the Enhesa expertise is mainly used to assist business, Enhesa is sometimes also called upon by governments to assist in drafting new regulations or reviewing the efficiency of existing regulations.
The challenges we face with the service vary from country to country. Some countries make everything available online, which makes it hard to see the forest for the trees. Others still deal with regulatory drafting as a secret of national security. Some countries never repeal old regulations and just indicate that any previous regulatory provision that conflicts is null. Enhesa’s customers can be assured that we track all relevant EHS regulatory issues. All EHS regulatory developments that are on the public record are covered. In addition, we draw on a network of local contacts in government authorities to stay informed of the latest developments.
By constantly monitoring global regulatory developments, Enhesa is able to ensure that our Compliance Calendars, Lists of Legislation, Country Profiles, Audit Protocols and Scorecards are kept up-to-date.
Our Monitoring Service provides Enhesa with a unique tool to feel the trends world-wide and to do comparative law studies. Being able to access the EHS legislation of over 100 countries globally is a fantastic incentive for us to develop our knowledge and understanding of the regulations. No wonder we are often asked on to help gov-ernments in their understanding of EHS issues and provide assistance to legal draft-ing.
Delivered to you
How many people are involved each month in the monitoring process? It’s hard to say exactly but certainly around 100 persons work on our monitoring service each month. Consultants, managers, reviewers, IT engineers, etc. are all bringing a piece to a big puzzle. Monitoring is by essence fantastic international team work.
What started as paper reports, evolved to reports delivered by email, to email alerts and web-delivery, and now to seamless integration into customer’s operating systems. Helping EHS managers to know what they need to know at the right moment and with as few clicks as possible is an endless challenge. Email alerts and reminders, RSS feeds and web-services allow the relevant regulations to be referenced into a companys’ operating procedures and allow clients to get automatic warnings in case of pending changes.
Our Monitoring Reports are now issued in over a dozen different languages, with a multitude of characters and encoding, with reading left to right or right to left. At present, reports are translated in as many as 14 languages, including French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, Hungarian, etc.
Exchange with our customers
What would our Monitoring Service be without the exchange of information, knowledge of our customers’ needs, regular follow-up meetings? Certainly not what we want it to be. What makes Enhesa monitoring unique for our customers is the fact that it is tailored. First, we report only the issues of interest to each one of our customers. The idea is to provide a service, not to flood you with irrelevant legal developments that are released. Second, we want this service to be useful. Our reports contain a detailed analysis of each issue. Indeed, how frustrating it is to hear about an important issue and have only a 3-line summary on it! Our job is to make sure you receive all the elements that you need. Needless to say, we do not expect you to speak many languages and be able to check yourself in the original text. You can always send an email to the consultant who wrote the report if you need any further clarification – this is our Monitoring Hotline. Finally, we will guide you on the impact each issue will have on your business.
The future changes
We are proud of our Monitoring Service and its achievements, but we are always striving to improve. The possibilities offered by technology are appealing and we always want to be on the top of the wave. We will propose in the very next future reporting on a frequency that will be determined by the individual users. Reporting will be done internally on a daily basis, it will be the user’s choice to decide whether he wants to be updated on the changes every day/week/fortnight/month/quarter.
We will also complete the links between other services delivered online: monitoring and Audit Protocols for instance, ensuring an update on a continuous basis. Our Monitoring Service is driven by continuous improvement adapting to our clients’ needs, and providing links between services.
For more information on the service, please visit our website: http://www.enhesa.com/en/service/monitoring.aspx