EHS Strategy: What you need to know


A product, service, or program has strategic value when it is designed or managed to drive an organization toward its core values and long-term goals. The strategic value of environmental, health and safety (EHS) programs lies in the contribution of such programs to have competitive advantage, profitability, innovation, productivity, and other goals that are viewed as essential to the long-term health and well-being of the organization. For government organizations, long-term goals are typically fulfillment of directives or mandates. For nonprofits, health and well-being may be determined by a commitment to provide products or services to members or the general public.

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This section identifies and links key EHS functions and associated business values, outlines existing methods for enhancing the business value of EHS, and offers practical tools and techniques for selling EHS initiatives to management.


The strategic management team of most organizations consists of senior executives from key business areas such as finance, operations, and sales. These are the senior executives generally considered to be most familiar with the inner workings of an organization and its customers and, as such, have the ear of the president and/or chief executive officer. However, the senior managers in charge of an organization's EHS programs are often overlooked on the strategic management team. When EHS managers think strategically and demonstrate how focusing on environmental or safety issues is critical to the organization's ability to achieve its strategic objectives, they demonstrate their value and may then be welcomed onto the strategic management team.


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