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HSEQ Skills Needed in the Sustainable Economy of 2050
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HSEQ Skills Needed in the Sustainable Economy of 2050

  • Publish Date: Posted 3 months ago

Sustainable skills for HSEQ success in 2050: Insights from Beyond HSEQ

"Beyond HSEQ: Back to the Future," hosted by James Giffin and the Quintain Limited transported the attendees to the year 2050, asking them to imagine the future world of the Health, Safety, Environment, Sustainability, and Quality professions.

The attendees split into 7 focus groups. In this article, we share insights from one group of senior HSEQ professionals who discussed the skills needed for success in the sustainable economy of 2050. They share key points, such as the importance of adjusting regulations for new technologies, embracing language and cultural differences, and understanding the effects of new environmental laws.

Key topics are:

  • Growing Environment & Sustainability Skills

  • Automation

  • Big Data Analytics for Risk Prediction

  • Reliable Data and Leading Indicators

  • Adapting Regulations for Future Technologies and Sustainability

  • Language & Cultural Adaptation

HSEQ insights from Beyond HSEQ

HSEQ skills needed in the sustainable economy of 2050

"At the Beyond HSEQ event, we were tasked with contemplating how HSEQ would evolve in a sustainable economy by 2050—a challenge that sparked lively discussions. The open, honest, and agenda-free exchanges resulted in profound thinking, innovative outcomes, and diverse solutions." Jake Denney, Project Director H&S, CDM Services at McBains, reflecting on the event, noted that its greatest achievement was the coming together of HSEQ leaders who openly shared their passion for the industry, as well as their thoughts and ideas about the future.

During these discussions, the group emphasised the increasing importance for HSEQ professionals to focus on sustainability and the environment in the next 20+ years. Proposed solutions included leveraging leading indicators and reliable big data analytics to examine individual behavioural traits, thereby mitigating risks before incidents occur. The conversation also touched upon the necessity for adapting regulations to accommodate AI, addressing language and cultural considerations, exploring reclaimable materials, and interpreting new environmental laws. The collective insights showcased the industry's commitment to shaping a sustainable future.

Growing focus on environment & sustainability

Most HSEQ professionals are already seeing more of an emphasis on the "E" within their roles and this focus will continue to grow. Indeed HSEQ professionals who are NOT embracing environmental and sustainability topics will see the influence and scope of their role diminish as organisations appoint dedicated "E" professionals rather than see if as part of the HSEQ role.

More automation, less boots

The next 25 years will see a fast development of technology within HSEQ. The use of drones, remote sensing & monitoring and AI will reduce the amount of physical human inspection and auditing. HSEQ professionals will need skills in planning, interpretation, and softer skills such as coaching and communication.

Using Big Data Analytics to Predict and Mitigate Risks

Our group suggested health and safety outcomes could be improved through the use of big data analytics to analyze social media, lifestyle behaviors, and other personal data to identify leading indicators and individual traits predictive of higher risk. Companies could then develop interventions to mitigate risks proactively before incidents happen.

What HSEQ skills are needed for the future

Importance of Reliable Data and Leading Indicators

We highlighted the need to improve data reliability in health and safety and identify more leading indicators predictive of risks. Lagging indicators based on past incidents are insufficient to get ahead of emerging issues.

Adapting Regulations for Future Technologies and Sustainability

We anticipate that regulations will get more complex for businesses by 2050 incorporating AI, reusable materials, reduced natural resource extraction, and new environmental laws. HSEQ professionals will need to have the skills and knowledge to correctly interpret these changes.

Language & Cultural adaption

The group discussed how mass migration forced by global warming over the next 25 years will see developed economies with a higher proportion of immigrant population and workforce. For HSEQ (and other key disciplines) there will be a need to communicate, train and coach employees in a variety of languages. Technical advancements such as a digital "babelfish" could support this need.

Join Beyond HSEQ and rethink HSEQ

Would you like to be part of the next conversation?

"The Beyond HSEQ events are a great opportunity to look at issues that promote inter-functional co-operation and understanding within the Environmental, H&S, and Quality fields and allow professionals to expand their thinking and plan more strategically and holistically when back in their own organizations." Rebecca Jackson, Head of Safety at CVS Group Plc. Beyond HSEQ invites professionals in the HSEQ & Sustainability space to join the conversation, rethink, reflect, and inspire the next stage of HSEQ.

Register your interest in attending future Beyond HSEQ events here and be part of the movement.