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Three-quarters of safety executives expect budgets to increase in 2016: Survey


A new global survey of environment, health and safety executives has found 10 per cent of firms will increase spending in 2016 by double digits.

The survey of 312 professionals from all over the world, including Canada, found 21 per cent will spend between five per cent and nine per cent more next year.

Overall, three-quarters of respondents expect budgets to increase in 2016 which is an increase from 62 per cent who increased spend in 2015, found the survey by research firm Verdantix.

“The survey findings point to robust spending increases on EHS initiatives in 2016,” said Trevor Bronson, Verdantix analyst and author of the report. “In the next budgetary cycle only three per cent of EHS decision-makers in our survey will decrease spending. This is very positive news for the sector. The highest priorities for environmental budgets are hazardous waste management, product stewardship, water and waste water initiatives. Occupational safety and employee health top the list of health and safety priorities for 2016.”

Sixty per cent of respondents see incident management as a high priority, 59 per cent put risk analysis as a high priority and 45 per cent said the same for EHS auditing.

Training and hiring will see the biggest increases in spending in 2016 while voluntary certifications will see the lowest increases in investment.

The primary drivers of increased EHS budgets are operational excellence programs, CEO focus on sustainability and improved financial performance.

“EHS has traditionally been viewed as a function which should deliver compliance at minimum cost,” said Verdantix CEO, David Metcalfe. “Our survey data show that this negative perception of EHS is changing. Thirty-six per cent of the EHS managers we interviewed state that their CEO believes EHS impacts short-term or medium-term financial performance.”

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