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Sustainability Executives Should Look To EHS Software In Their Efforts To Achieve Product Stewardship Excellence

The past decade has seen EHS software and product stewardship solutions converge to jointly offer comprehensive end-to-end solutions serving diverse operational functions. This evolution has happened gradually since the acquisitions of: The Wercs by UL in 2013 to strengthen the global safety science firm’s safety data sheets (SDS) capabilities; Actio by Enviance in 2016 to help the EHS software vendor break into chemical compliance markets; ifu Hamburg by iPoint-systems in 2017 to enable the IMDS-originating provider to meet life cycle assessment (LCA) requirements; and ChemTel by VelocityEHS in 2019 to bolster the EHS vendor’s chemical management offerings. Most recently, Cority—a prominent EHS software vendor serving over 800 customers globally—acquired Enviance in early-2020 for chemical compliance and environmental emissions tracking, while Sphera acquired both thinkstep and SiteHawk in late-2019 to make it the largest provider for product stewardship globally.

With over $3.3 billion in financial transactions taking place in the EHS software market between 2016 to 2019, EHS vendors have been able to expand significantly to subsume capabilities for sustainability reporting, chemical compliance, materials declarations and sustainable product development. Sustainability executives should look to EHS software for data, risk analytics and supply chain information tracking tools to further progress their product stewardship objectives. For example, iPoint-systems has invested in blockchain for conflict minerals traceability and serves on the UN German Global Compact Steering Committee and EU Circular Business Platform. Similarly, EcoOnline offers its Substitution Tool used by the likes of Bertel O. Steen to replace over one hundred environmentally damaging chemicals with safer alternatives. Alcumus Group and Gensuite enable executives to conduct supplier-level responsible sourcing evaluations, UL supports product stewardship customers with a tailored package of software and managed services, and Sphera’s thinkstep GaBi solution enables technical LCA analysis and integrations with product life cycle management (PLM) providers for eco-design purposes.

Current corporate practices on product stewardship information management leave considerable room for opportunistic long-term growth. When Verdantix interviewed 132 respondents responsible for product stewardship with their firms in 2019, over 75% cited using some combination of internally developed database(s) or standalone tools specifically utilized for product stewardship. Less than half of the respondents were using a comprehensive EHS product stewardship platform to ensure centralized visibility and collaboration among functions such as regulatory affairs lead, facility manager, EHS director, sustainability lead, procurement manager and product engineer. Despite this, in another Verdantix global survey of 403 EHS executives, respondents indicated that product stewardship activities rank third highest for planned spend increases during 2020, following closely behind incident management and environmental compliance as the top two investment priorities for 2020.

To learn more about the latest technology offerings and Verdantix views on product stewardship, view our recently published reports, titled Buyers Guide For Product Stewardship and Strategic Focus: Realizing New Product Stewardship Opportunities.

EHS Sustainability Executives Should Look To EHS Software In Their Efforts To Achieve Product Stewardship Excellence Verdantix Blog