By integrating ourselves into the CSR movement and by contributing to the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit in all areas, we can demonstrate our value to employers.

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Sustainability & Safety
elcome to the start of a new year! I'm sure you have all spent some time reflecting on the past year and planning for the year ahead. New Year's resolutions are an opportunity to commit to improving our lives, behaviors or priorities. Do your resolutions focus on you, your family, your work? Helen Keller said, "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." One of ASSE's goals is to promote the SH&E profession. Achieving this requires that we all are engaged in identifying opportunities where we, as professionals, can demonstrate value to employers and show our positive impact on the bottom line. Most of us think about profits when we mention the bottom line. Howe\'er, a new definition has emerged thanks to the corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability movements. If you are not fanriliar with CSR, it is the vision tíiat companies can self-regulate to conduct business in an ethical manner, balancing profits with the expectations of customers and communities. Measuring success means focusing on the "triple bottom line": people, planet and profit. This "You cannot depend redefines success to include doing the right thing for our employees anci our neighbors, protecting on your eyes when the planet and maintaining profitability. Closely tied to CSR is the concept of sustainability. While your imagination is this typically elicits an environmental focus, it also includes the targets of the triple bottom line. out of focus." SH&E professionals have two distinct roles in CSR. One involves an understanding of envi—Mark Twain ronmental sustainabilit}' issues. Learn the key environmental issues for your organization, competitors and industry in general. Be familiar with your company's initiatives to address environmental concerns. Look for opportunities to use the company's environmental performance to competitive advantage. In this context, sustainability means sustaining the planet's natural resources and protecting people from environmental harm. Our second role is to understand the safety function from a sustainability standpoint. After all, the triple bottom line includes people and that is what we do. Safety should be viewed as the cornerstone of the people component. In this context, sustainability means implementing and maintaining programs that keep people safe, facilities intact, communities protected, supply chains secure and the organization's mission uninterrupted. Sustainable organizations are, by definition, safe organizations, and we play a key role in ensuring that safety. We must show business leaders that the base of the sustainability triangle is the social component which incorporates workplace safety. Why is this so important? By increasing our involvement in the sustainability movement, we could create new safety-related jobs and idenfify opportunities to integrate occupational safety and health into green and sustainability. Fur example, in construction, a safety component could be added to the green building certification process. Many groups are seeking ways to attach themselves to the sustainability movement. To ensure that SH&E professionals have a leading role, we must commimicate our value in this area. To ensure that the SH&E profession has a voice in CSR policy setting, ASSE is working to educate the business community about the importance of safety as part of good corporate governance and CSR. In addition, our new Sustainability Task Force is assessing how we can advance our role in CSR and sustainability. This includes integrating safety into the measurements companies use to rate CSR performance. It also includes providijig education and information that will help you function in this new arena and demonstrate your value to your employer. By integrating ourselves into the CSR movement and by contributing to the triple bottom line in all areas, we can demonstrate our value to employers. This will help secure a seat at the table for our profession and that benefits us all. Take another look at your New Year's resolutions and see how you can help ^Join the conversation. Be sure to contribute to advancing our great profession. check out Chris's blog, follow him on Twitter or join him on Linkedin or Facebook.


Chri5 Patton. CSP 6 PROFESSIONAL SAFETY JANUARY 2010 www.asse,org

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