Using software to support effective compliance and sustainability programmes

8 March 2016

As the public becomes increasingly conscious of sustainability issues, it is important that your company’s capabilities to measure, manage and report its performance can withstand scrutiny. CS-VUE and ecoPortal can help!

CS-VUE specialises in ensuring that compliance records are well kept, up to date and always available, while ecoPortal is a sustainability management software system that helps organisations engage staff and improve performance. In both cases the software is designed to be a user friendly way of ensuring records are kept up to date and out of dusty old filing cabinets.

Wayne Fisher, General Manager CS-VUE, describes the system as an Environmental Management suite comprising a repository and work flow tools and says, “it provides one version of the truth. It keeps everything in a singular place and is easily accessible. It’s a system that manages thousands of legal documents through its workflow and project functions”.

CS-VUE manages environmental consents – those pertaining to industries such as mining, energy and the public sectors – under the Resource Management Act, helping its clients keep on top of the obligations that come with those consents by providing tools to reduce risk, while maintaining high levels of compliance.

ecoPortal helps organisations manage internal sustainability and risk programmes in real time. Dr Manuel Seidel, Sales and Implementation Director at ecoPortal, says that sustainability management can cover a range of complex and interconnected elements. For example a key area of growth for ecoPortal is in health & safety and ensuring organisations move beyond ‘ticking boxes’.

“ecoPortal is a sustainability and risk management collaboration platform for organisations that involves developing and managing a strategy, communicating and engaging everyone across the organisation and providing tools to measure, manage and report performance,” he says.

Both systems are developed alongside legislative requirements but often extend beyond it – pre-empting government changes in environmental and safety practices.

“Legislation is about setting minimum compliance requirements. We find that most organisations are looking to adopt best practice frameworks for management and reporting of their sustainability programmes,” Manuel says. “The challenge that most organisations face is in integrating sustainability, environmental and safety practices into their day to day business.”

Manuel says a key part of ecoPortal’s plan is to help organisations “move beyond compliance and create meaningful change.”

Wayne agrees that the software helps to create behaviour change.

“Typically consultancy firms are the ones managing the clients’ compliance and we came along in the middle and gave them a tool to do that, so rather than spending 20 hours a week on managing consents, it can be achieved in far less time with greater certainty. Acting almost like an ‘environmental balance sheet’, CS-VUE users can instantly understand their Compliance position.

This in turn reduces financial risk, environmental risk and importantly reputational risk,” Wayne says.

He says that the behaviour change experienced by CS-VUE is based around the continued focus on compliance by government bodies.

“There’s a lot more focus on compliance and the fines for non-compliance are getting bigger and bigger – 15-20 years ago fines were $40,000, whereas now they’re in the realms of $500,000+ with potential prison terms too. Behaviour is changing because it’s being forced to change. We see our role as aiding companies in that change, resulting in reduced risk and higher compliance”

No matter your approach, the importance of having effective systems in place is coming to the forefront of the legislative and sustainability contexts and these systems can help drive efficiencies across industry and for your business.