Over the past several years, the health, safety and environment (HSE) management paradigm has been shifting from a command-and-control, compliance-oriented model to a stakeholder management, market-based model. This new model is enabling organizations to differentiate themselves in the market through reduced operational risk, enhanced corporate brand and increased shareholder value. Organizations are finding it necessary to align HSE management processes with their overall business strategies and adopting a shared vision that represents the collective aspirations of the organization and its key stakeholders. This shift requires companies to dismantle what have previously been considered impervious internal organizational silos and open up conduits of communication between all stakeholders. Because this shift significantly impacts the culture of an organization, they can use social business tools, techniques and practices to ensure a more successful transformation and adoption to this new HSE paradigm.
Social business can help organizations better engage relevant resources and expertise, improve real-time communication and decision making, and enhance transparency and situational awareness. In this paper, the authors discuss how social business can be applied to the business of health, safety and environment management to support this paradigm shift from a liability managed program to an asset managed program. Such a shift will help companies evolve from a compliance reporting focus to a collaborative management process that encompasses their workers, partners, customers, shareholders and even the communities in which they operate.