It’s that crucial time of the year, when most companies around the globe make their best efforts in planning for 2013. Goals are set, projects are outlined, deadlines are established and perhaps most importantly, next year’s budgets are made. In order to improve or maintain your current program, you often have to justify its importance with some concrete figures. Enhesa Inc., a global EHS compliance assurance firm, is tracking some global EHS trends that may help you make determine the budget you’ll need in 2013 to achieve your EHS goals.
What is the current global regulatory climate? Has there been an increase in regulations worldwide? What does the future hold? What’s the growth by world region or by subject?
These are the questions you’ll need answers to as you plan for the upcoming year’s EHS program and corresponding budgets.
Let’s start by looking at the overall number of new laws and regulations worldwide as of Oct. 1, 2012, and compare them to what has been tracked in the past. Figure 1 demonstrates the new laws and regulations adopted by world region within the calendar year. You can begin to see how the global numbers of 2012 (currently 1,397) are reaching levels that will surpass the figures in 2011, as projected by Enhesa in the “2012 expected” column.
Pay special attention to the regulatory totals in the Africa and the Middle East region and the totals for Asia Pacific. Africa and the Middle East already have met what was tracked in 2011 and we still have a quarter to track before the end of 2012. Asia Pacific has surpassed 2011 totals by 31 percent in 2012.
Coincidentally, in a past 2012 Enhesa survey, EHS managers around the world indicated that these were the most difficult global regions to identify regulations. This may be due to cross-cultural communication issues or the inability to access regulatory content easily in a given country. The growth in these regions stresses the need to have a team of experts that understands the EHS regulatory culture and has access to country-specific resources for regulatory information.
In Figure 1, you also may note that Europe has been on a consistently high-growth trend, which suggests that the resources for managing compliance in the region should continue to be strongly supported. While finding the right resources to identify and understand regulations is a major challenge to Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East regions, the challenge in Europe is to effectively monitor the rapid growth, and feasibly digest the regulation.