Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Role of EHS in Good Corporate Citizenship

“Citizenship provides a framework that allows internal EHS activities to be leveraged outside of facilities,” says Dow Corning Corp. Site Manager Jim Cross at this year's International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago.  In order to give back both locally and globally, a corporation should start by addressing community needs by forming community advisory panels, partnerships with local civic groups and non-profits, and by supporting education, Cross says. A company and its employees must show integrity and trust as well, he adds. In fact, there are four necessary components for proving a company is dependable and honest.
  • Informing. Proactively educate stakeholders (legislators, neighbors, local officials) and let them know what happens in this plant.
  • Investing. Give both time and money.
  • Infusing. Use talents to develop stronger communities. Train with external agencies (local fire departments, law enforcement, trade associations, media) and allow these efforts to become personal and professional development opportunities.
  • Influencing.  Get involved with local leadership and decision-makers. Present your organization in a unified manner and emphasize issues critical to your business.
According to Cross, the most important factor in successful citizenship is committed employees. Management must value employees just as much as it values profit, sustainability and the quality of products, he adds. Read more in the November issue of Professional Safety.