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China’s Efforts Against Pollution And Workplace Incidents Are Represented In 2019 EHS Software Investment Plans

China continues to make the headlines for air pollution levels spiking to record highs. On the positive side, concentrations of PM2.5 (particulate matter) decreased by 54% between 2016 and 2017. In January 2018, the Chinese government introduced tax laws to reduce air pollution, water pollution and solid waste. As a result, approximately 80,000 factories have been shut down, putting firms operating in Chinese territory on alert. Similarly, China issued new workplace safety rules in 2015, including requiring facilities to conduct occupational hazard audits and detail their safety procedures. Firms in China are now required to use digital solutions to manage the monitoring and prevention of occupational hazards.

Verdantix conducted a deep dive into our annual global survey to learn more about regional differences within the evolving EHS market. We asked 81 EHS decision-makers based in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region about their 2019 software investment plans. Mimicking the regulatory changes, EHS decision-makers in APAC are increasingly focusing on environmental compliance, with11% of respondents planning to invest in environmental compliance software for the first time. The survey results also showed that 37% of APAC decision-makers plan 2019 investment in safety and operational risk software. Among these, 7% expect to replace existing commercial software with software from a new vendor, 20% expect to upgrade their existing commercial software, and 10% expect to invest in commercial software for the first time.

China’s complex regulatory landscape is helping drive demand for digital applications to maintain individual firm’s productivity and legality during this shift. EHS software vendors are starting to penetrate the Chinese market, although it currently lacks strong local competition. In December 2016, Vault Intelligence announced a strategic partnership with Shanghai-based Beckwell EHS Consulting to boost Vault’s expansion into the Chinese market. Specifically, the health, safety and risk software has been trialling its workplace safety mobile app, Check. In February 2018, Enhesa opened an office in Shanghai to support businesses with EHS legal compliance management. Nuclear power utilities in China, such as China General Nuclear (CGN) and China National Nuclear Power Corporation (CNNC) are using Lloyd’s Register’s Risk Spectrum software to continuously monitor safety and risk with applied subject matter expertise for this industry. EHS software providers that have offices in China include Cority, Gensuite, ProcessMAP, SAI Global and UL EHS Sustainability.

Verdantix recommends that every EHS software vendor include geographical expansion into China within its 2020 strategic plans. This is especially important for vendors who have strong environmental compliance management capabilities, given the step-change in environmental law being imposed on firms operating in Chinese territory. Correspondingly, firms that currently use fragmented in-house solutions to manage EHS compliance certainly should consider investing in commercial solutions that best align with their business requirements.

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