Emerging Issues, New Formats Keep the Forum Program Fresh

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Emerging Issues, New Formats Keep the Forum Program Fresh

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Keeping the Conversation Fresh: NAEM's #EHS & #Susty Mgmt Forum Introduces Emerging Issues, New Formats http://bit.ly/24zQa8m
Monday, May 9, 2016 - 9:00am

One of the hallmarks of NAEM’s annual Forum is the leadership by a committee of peers, who crafts the conference program to showcase real-world solutions to the professional challenges they face. Committee chairman Frank Marino, Sr. Manager of Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability at Raytheon Co. , is heading up this year’s committee. We spoke with him to hear about some of the issues he’s looking forward to discussing this fall.

NAEM: You’ve been a member of NAEM since the beginning. What changes have you seen in the profession over that time? How has the Forum reflected those changes?

FM: Traditionally, it was environmental management, and then it evolved into environmental health and safety, and then we added the second “S” for sustainability. There are subject matter experts who live in just one of these areas, but managers are bridging that gap. They’re responsible for all of it. If you’re in a leadership role at a site, and depending on the size of your site, you may be wearing all of these hats.
The other challenge with the sustainability is that it is much broader than EHS. The million-dollar question with sustainability is who is in charge? Now you’re bringing in supply chain, engineering, IT and operations. All of these disparate groups who don’t report to you organizationally present a unique challenge. It’s not unlike what we routinely do in EHSS, you’re reaching across organizational lines without reporting authority.

Despite the differences between individual companies, the beauty of it is that we all have common challenges, whether it’s environment, health, safety or sustainability, it doesn’t differ that much from company to company. It’s a winning formula. And it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s interesting. I could try that’. That’s the magic of NAEM. It’s the candid presentations where folks talk about what worked well and what didn’t work so well.

NAEM: As the Forum chairman this year, what were some of your key priorities for this year’s conference?

FM: When we started discussing all of the issues that were top-of-mind for the committee members, safety was one area of commonality. We drilled further and came up with some really good ideas for potential sessions. As a result, we decided to do an entire track on safety, which is useful because there’s a lot of commonality across industries. It’s all about risk management, identifying what your risks are and mitigating them. We’ll spend some time in this track talking about different safety strategies that you can use, including employee engagement, and how to make safety everyone’s business. We’ll also get a look at some next generation injury prevention tools, and we’ll discuss off-the-job safety.

NAEM: What are some of the sessions that you’re most excited about presenting this year?

FM: We’ve got so much great content planned this year, but I’m particularly looking forward to the plenary sessions that look at the evolution of sustainability goals to be more impact focused and ways companies are implementing the concept of circular economy. (where did this come from?)

Another one of the innovations this year is the incorporation of a session dedicated to IGNITE presentations. Similar to a TED talk, they are five-minute presentation, that are automatically timed in PowerPoint. It makes for a really fun, entertaining session. It’s amazing what you can cover in five minutes. People love it so lots of groups have been doing this over the past three years, including the people over at OSHA in their Voluntary Protection Plan (VPP). They call it “power hour” and they offer 10-12 in an hour.

We’re going to have a 90-minute window and we’re going to do 10 presentations. This session will both demonstrate the technique and encourage attendees to take it to next level by recording the sessions for wide distribution to employees. The subjects are limitless and I find once you debut these to an audience, the juices start flowing and folks think of all kinds of great applications for Ignite. I hope to demonstrate a couple recorded sessions as well to illustrate how they can be easily deployed across your company.

To review the agenda for this year’s EHS & Sustainability Management Forum, or to register, please visit http://ehsforum.naem.org/index.php.

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