Request a Demo
Request A Demo


Dakota Software's Blog for EHS and Sustainability Professionals

ESG & EHS Software: Comparing Two Vital Sustainability Tools

April 5th, 2023 by Dakota Software Staff

ESG & EHS Software: Comparing Two Vital Sustainability Tools

Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) software are essential tools for organizations seeking to manage their compliance, safety, and sustainability practices. While there is some overlap between the two types of software, they address different business problems. This article will delve into the key differences between EHS and ESG software, their respective features, areas of overlap, and how to choose the right software for your organization.

What is EHS Software?

EHS software is designed to help organizations manage and maintain their environmental, health, and safety compliance obligations and improve workplace safety performance. The primary purpose of EHS software is to support day-to-day tactical activities related to compliance management, incident management, employee training, hazard recognition, and risk analysis. By implementing EHS software, organizations can reduce workplace accidents, improve safety culture, and ensure compliance with applicable regulations.

Key Features of EHS Software

Compliance Management: EHS software assists organizations in managing and tracking their compliance with various environmental, health, and safety regulations. Having a centralized location to store permits, schedule compliance tasks, and manage audits and inspections, helps ensure that businesses are staying up-to-date with their legal obligations and creates a foundation for EHS success.

Incident Management: EHS software helps organizations record, track, and analyze workplace incidents, such as injuries, environmental releases, and motor vehicle accidents. Better data collection enables businesses to identify trends, investigate root causes, and implement corrective actions to prevent similar incidents in the future. Tracking of near misses, observations, and other leading indicators empowers EHS leaders to take a more proactive approach to hazard identification.

Employee Training: EHS software often includes training management features that allow organizations to schedule, track, and manage employee safety training. These features help employees receive necessary training and refresher courses to maintain their safety certifications and stay informed about best practices.

Hazard Recognition and Mitigation: EHS software supports identifying, assessing, and controlling workplace hazards. Tools like risk assessments, job task analysis, and implementing preventive measures help minimize the likelihood and severity of potential incidents.

Risk Analysis: EHS software allows organizations to analyze their risk exposure by evaluating the potential impacts of various hazards and identifying areas that require improvement. This process helps businesses prioritize resources and develop targeted strategies to reduce risks.

What is ESG Software?

ESG software tracks, reports, and manages an organization's environmental, social, and governance performance. The main objective of ESG software is to provide businesses with the tools necessary to measure their sustainability efforts and communicate these results to stakeholders, such as investors, customers, and regulators. In addition, ESG software allows organizations to collect, analyze, and benchmark their ESG data, enabling them to make informed decisions and improve their overall ESG performance.

Key Features of ESG Software

Tracking Organizational Impacts: ESG software helps organizations monitor their performance across various ESG indicators, such as carbon emissions, water consumption, and employee diversity. By monitoring these metrics, businesses can identify areas for improvement and set targets for reducing their environmental and social impacts.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Tracking and Calculations: ESG software should provide accurate and reliable data on GHG emissions, allowing organizations to measure their carbon footprint and identify opportunities for emissions reductions. It should also enable flexible and efficient data collection and analysis, automated emissions reporting, and compliance with relevant regulations and reporting standards.

Reporting Improvement Efforts: ESG software enables organizations to create customized reports that showcase their sustainability initiatives and progress towards ESG goals. Sharing these reports with stakeholders helps demonstrate the company's commitment to responsible business practices and attract investment.

Data Analysis and Comparisons: ESG software allows organizations to analyze their ESG data, identify trends, and compare their performance to industry benchmarks or competitors. Robust analytics help businesses understand their market position and identify improvement opportunities.

Customizability Based on Organization and Stakeholders: Organizations can customize ESG software to the specific needs and requirements of their business and stakeholders. Customization enables enterprises to collect and report on the ESG metrics most relevant to their industry, operations, and stakeholder expectations.

Areas of Overlap

Although EHS and ESG software serves different purposes, they share some common areas of focus:

Environmental Impacts: Both EHS and ESG software address environmental concerns, such as water usage, energy consumption, and waste. Organizations can use these tools to monitor and reduce their environmental footprint, thereby contributing to global sustainability efforts.

Social Impacts: Worker safety and well-being are essential components of both EHS and ESG software. While EHS software primarily focuses on workplace safety, hazard mitigation, and employee training, ESG software extends its scope to include broader social issues such as diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) programs, and employee wellness initiatives.

Governance Aspects: Governance encompasses the management of a company and how decisions are made, including adherence to company policies and regulatory obligations. Both EHS and ESG software can help organizations comply with applicable regulations as well as organizational policies, helping to maintain a transparent and ethical governance structure.

Choosing the Right Software for Your Organization

Selecting the appropriate software for your organization requires careful consideration of your business needs, goals, and industry requirements.

  • Begin by evaluating your organization's objectives regarding EHS and ESG performance. Leaders need to understand ESG materiality, which aspects are most critical for your operations and stakeholder expectations, and prioritize software features accordingly.

  • Investigate the features, functionality, and customizability of different EHS and ESG software solutions. Ensure that the chosen software aligns with your organization's requirements and can adapt as your needs evolve.

  • Organizations with substantial operational footprints may need both EHS and ESG software to manage their sustainability and safety practices effectively. In such cases, choosing comprehensive software solutions that integrate seamlessly is essential. Easy integration allows companies to streamline data management, reduce redundancies, and improve overall efficiency.

How Dakota Software Can Help

Understanding the key differences and areas of overlap between EHS and ESG software is crucial for organizations seeking to optimize their compliance, safety, and corporate sustainability practices. While EHS software focuses on tactical activities related to compliance, risk management, and workplace safety, ESG software concentrates on tracking, reporting, and improving an organization's broader environmental, social, and governance performance.

As noted, with all of the various products available, choosing the right software can be challenging. Rather than trying to sew together a patchwork of systems, Dakota Software’s ProActivity Suite can help to ensure all of your bases are covered. With an integrated regulatory database, ProActivity’s compliance management products help to establish a baseline of compliance and outline your regulatory risks. Scout streamlines capture of issues and incidents by frontline workers and supports analysis by regional and corporate leaders. Metrics tracks emissions, energy, and other ESG data for accurate and credible sustainability reporting.

Combined, ProActivity allows companies to set goals, measure progress, and identify opportunities for improvements across your enterprise so they can share a complete and credible sustainability story. To learn more about Dakota's EHS and ESG applications, visit the demo library.

Be Part of the Solution

Sign up for the Dakota EHS e-Newsletter for monthly updates from our regulatory and industry experts.