Global Corporate Survey 2021: EHS Budgets, Priorities And Tech Preferences

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Executive Summary

This report helps EHS executives benchmark their firms’ budgets, investment priorities, technology preferences and COVID-19 responses relative to their global peer group. The data collected through the Verdantix survey also support strategic decision-making and business planning by executives at EHS consulting and technology providers. The 2021 version of the annual global Verdantix EHS survey spanned 31 countries and 25 industries. Of these respondents, 74% represented firms with revenues greater than $1 billion and 66% held role titles of director or above. Respondent data reveal volatile EHS spend in the past 12 months; however, broader EHS responsibilities resulting from COVID-19, ESG and employee wellbeing looks set to increase budgets for many. EHS technology investment will grow across the digital landscape with a particular focus on mobile apps, EHS analytics and environmental sensors. 

Table of contents

Global EHS Survey Reveals The Changing Scope Of EHS 
Annual Global Survey Features Over 300 EHS Executives Across Industries

EHS Initiatives Have Risen Up The Corporate Agenda 
EHS Functions Are Tasked With Meeting A New Suite Of Goals 
Corporate ESG Initiatives Are Influencing EHS Reporting And Software Usage 
Mental Health Is An Emergent Trend Set To Broaden The Scope Of EHS Duties 

The Broadening Scope Of EHS Is Contributing To Elevated Budgets 
Substantial Budget Increases In The Past Year Are Set To Continue During The Next 12 Months 

EHS Software Is Adapting To Cater To An Expanding Breadth Of Customer Needs 
EHS Processes Are Managed Across A Diverse Range Of Systems, Stalling Digitization 
Emerging EHS Use Cases Will Present Continued Growth Prospects For Software Providers 

Firms Are Expanding Their Use Of Digital Technologies Beyond Mobile Applications, Analytics And Sensors 
Two Technologies Emerge As Front Runners For Budget Increases In 2022 

Table of figures

Figure 1. Industry Categorization Of Firms 
Figure 2. Geographic Location Of Respondents 
Figure 3. EHS Function Priorities Over The Next Two Years 
Figure 4. Divisions Grouped Within EHS Functions 
Figure 5. Impact Of COVID-19 On Long-Term Strategies 
Figure 6. The Role Of EHS In Supporting ESG Initiatives 
Figure 7. Increasing Responsibility Over Mental Health And Wellbeing Initiatives 
Figure 8. Mental Health And Wellbeing Management Responsibility 
Figure 9. Challenges To Improving Mental Health And Wellbeing Management 
Figure 10. Change In EHS Spend Over The Past 12 Months 
Figure 11. Change In EHS Spend In The Next 12 Months 
Figure 12. Change In Spend Across EHS Categories In 2022 
Figure 13. Solution Type Utilization Rates 
Figure 14. Digitization Of EHS Processes 
Figure 15. Adoption Of Software By EHS Processes In 2022 
Figure 16-1. EHS Software Market: 2022 Investment Plans (Respondents Currently Using Software) 
Figure 16-2. EHS Software Market: 2022 Investment Plans (Respondents Currently Not Using Software) 
Figure 17. Adoption Of Digital Technologies In 2022 
Figure 18. Investment In Digital Technologies In 2022 

About the authors

Christopher Sayers

Industry Analyst

Chris is an Industry Analyst in the Verdantix EHS practice. His current research agenda focuses on digital mental health and wellbeing solutions. Chris joined Verdantix in 2020 and has previous experience at EY, where he specialised in robotic process automation (RPA). He holds an M.Eng. in Engineering Science from Oxford University with a concentration in machine learning and machine vision.

Bill Pennington

VP Research, EHS & Risk Management.

Bill leads the Verdantix Environment, Health & Safety and Risk Management practice. His current agenda focuses on EHS and sustainability services, product stewardship as well as benchmarking EHS technology buyer’s budgets, priorities and preferences globally. Bill comes from a background of corporate EHS roles in the manufacturing and logistics industries. He holds an MBS degree in sustainability from the Rutgers University.

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