“Without this management system, IBM revenues are at risk.” —Kenneth Edwards, Director of Integrated Supply Chain Strategy, IBM
Environmental Reporting Tool
Web-based system eases compliance with global rules
Sustainability is one of the manufacturing industry’s greatest challenges—whether driven by demanding consumers, government regulations, or the bottom line. Any tool that can help a manufacturer track, measure, and improve its sustainability strategies deserves recognition.
Managing compliance to a host of international environmental regulations is an essential part of global business today. And the task is becoming increasingly complex. Since November 2009, more than 20 U.S. states have enacted new regulations with registration, reporting, or other programs covering sustainability. In Latin America, five Brazilian states plus a national Omnibus Waste Law have been enacted. Similar laws have been approved in Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Chile.
Over the last few years, computer giant IBM realized it urgently needed a tool that would allow it to keep up with, and react to, the exponential growth in global regulations, with minimal impact on cost and resources. A dedicated management application and process would be a big help to quickly acquiring and submitting accurate proof of compliance in different countries and in different ways.
Built on IBM systems and Cognos Business Intelligence software, the company’s Environmental Reporting Tool (ERT) is a Web-based application now used internally to collect, integrate, and organize the information needed to meet global environmental regulations and submit the right certifications to prove compliance.
The tool individually monitors all required activities for each regulation, automatically alerts the right people, and pulls together all the required data in support of creating actual submission forms. In addition, the tool integrates worldwide import/export shipping data, product and packaging environmental data, and hazardous materials info by specific product. It is also able to navigate continental, country, state, provincial, and even city-level requirements and mandates.
“Most importantly, without this management system,” adds Kenneth Edwards , IBM’s director of integrated supply chain strategy and innovation, “IBM revenues are at risk. Any miss in compliance to regulations can result in fines, penalties, or stop-ship of product. This highlights the importance of the tool and the need for immediate response to governmental regulations.”