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ERA's Environmental Compliance Management Blog

Can You Really Trust Regulatory Compliance Services?

Posted by Alex Chamberlain

Alex Chamberlain is a writer for ERA Environmental Management Solutions.

regulatory compliance services fishingIf you’re planning ahead and preparing for your upcoming environmental reporting, you might be considering environmental regulatory compliance services. After all, it does seem easier to hire a consultant or environmental service provider to take care of things, rather than go through the hassle of reporting and demonstrating your business’ compliance yourself. 

For the same reasons people hire accountants to balance their books at the end of the year, most people use regulatory compliance services for two reasons

  1. They feel things are too complicated and beyond their understanding.
  2. They don't have the time.

But these days there are number of accounting softwares, designed by financial professionals, which allow anyone to complete their taxes in a snap.

Plenty of people think this is bad news to most accountants, but the vast majority of these accountants are using the software themselves to complete their work.

This trend is continuing with environmental services.

If you could complete the work yourself, you and your company would be in a much stronger position.

Here’s why:

  • You now have a permanent solution, not just a temporary band-aid.
  • When looking at your own data, you will see the bigger picture and be in a position to make the right choices for your company.
  • YOU will be in control of your compliance reporting, and not at the mercy of an external consultant.
  • You will build a level of environmental expertise you are comfortable with, which will allow you to make better management decisions.
  • It’s a better investment of your time and money.
  • You will be proactive, rather than reactive.

Have you thought about the possibility of completing the work yourself with the help from a software tool?

A Permanent Solution

As the old Chinese proverb says,

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

Using regulatory compliance services to help you during one year’s reporting season solves your problem, for one year.

Using environmental management software allows you to complete the work in a simple, straight forward fashion. It removes the massive burden in time resources that you're willing to pay to avoid. And not only does it help you out during reporting season, but each year it has a better return on investment.

The Bigger Picture

It’s time to stop thinking about environmental compliance as a one-year cycle. Even though the reporting period for most environmental regulations lasts from January 1 to December 31, comprehensive environmental management thinks long-term.

Using an environmental management system gives you the ability to manage all of your data and relate it to the rest of your operations.

This will help you to see how your environmental impact, sustainability, profit, and marketability are all interconnected.

Do More Than Just Compliance Reporting

Outsourcing your regulatory compliance means that you're essentially handing the keys to the car to someone else. People do this out of the need to find a total solution to their problem.

"Someone else can take care of it"

But if you're letting someone else do the driving, you'll also be at the mercy of the pace of their work and their skill level.

What if you want to want to take your environmental data and start using it for sustainability or corporate social responsibility initiatives? Will you need another consultant or service provider? Will they have work with your previous compliance services consultant to make sense of the data?

This is something to consider, especially if you're thinking of delving into reporting Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, chemical inventory management, or emissions forecasting.

Combine Expertise & Technology

Many business owners don’t feel confident doing their own environmental compliance because they aren’t environmental experts. But software doesn’t just have to be a repository for environmental data management.

Software can be regularly updated and maintained to include all of the latest environmental regulations, so you don’t have to be an expert to have the best information available to you.

You just have to know how to use a computer, enter a few numbers and keep a watchful eye to verify the results. An experienced provider will show you what to look for, so you can be confident your reports are accurate..

A Better Investment

Unlike hiring a consultant, implementing an environmental management system for your business has the potential for short and long-term return on investment. In many cases the pays for itself in just a year, and by reducing reporting time and wasted labor hours, it can begin to save you money overall.

Proactive

One of the most important values of taking control of your environmental managment is you are more likely to avoid future noncompliance fines: customized threshold alerts, compliance notifications, and reliable audit trails can all be used to keep your business running efficiently and in compliance with all your permits and regional regulations. This is far better than finding out during reporting season that you exceeded an emission threshold and need to pay a fine.

If you're interested in becoming proactive about your environmental regulatory compliance, get a free compliance evaluation with our environmental regulatory specialists.

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