Enhesa Forecast 2010 – What are the top five EHS issues for the new decade?

Emerging issue 1: Chemicals

REACH in the EU. The EPA Chemical Management Program in the US. The Globally Harmonised System. The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management. With these major developments underway, chemicals regulation is one of the major issues occupying EHS professionals. With the impacts of chemicals reforms likely to be felt throughout almost all industries worldwide, Enhesa identified chemicals regulation as the top emerging issue for the coming decade.

Emerging issue 2: Climate change

It is no surprise to anyone that Enhesa has identified climate change as one of the major emerging EHS issues of 2010. While the Copenhagen meeting failed to come to any agreement on a new international climate change agreement, there is no doubt that national governments will continue to adopt regulations to meet their climate change goals. And, with more public attention focused on climate change than ever, international negotiations on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol will continue.

Emerging issue 3: Products

Enhesa has tracked a rapid growth in the number of product regulations made each year – from around 200 in 2004 to almost 700 in 2009. From hazardous substances restrictions to energy efficiency standards to end-of-life requirements, regulations on a growing range of issues will impact product manufacturers and suppliers.

Emerging issue 4: Water

With climate change, pollution and population growth, water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource.  Many businesses are now required to meet the twin challenges of complying with new water regulations and preparing for water scarcity.

Emerging issue 5: Corporate responsibility

As a result of regulations and NGO scrutiny, information about companies’ environmental performance is more public than ever. Increasingly, sustainability reporting is becoming a legal requirement and business must be proactive in protecting their reputation.

Sarah O’Brien

EHS Consultant

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