Jerre L. Stead

    Chairman and CEO - IHS

How did you develop a passion for EHS? Was there a "lightbulb" moment or did it come with time?

For decades, the professionals at IHS have been pioneers in the development of market-leading software, content and expertise for EHS & Sustainability. In the beginning, most of our work was focused on meeting our customers' concerns about ensuring compliance with government regulations and industry standards. Today, however, more and more companies have come to recognize that a cohesive Enterprise Sustainability Management information strategy is essential to creating a culture of operational excellence and gaining a key competitive differentiator. We're proud to be helping make that possible.

What is the biggest issue facing your clients from an EHS standpoint and why?

The most important challenge that our clients face is the need to manage their EHS and sustainability performance information with the same rigor that they do their financial accounting. Industry leaders are under growing pressure to provide greater transparency and accountability across a broad spectrum of sustainability fronts but many of them tell us that they are drowning in data. In 15 of the US economy's 17 sectors, companies with more than 1,000 employees store, on average, more than 235 terabytes of data. We're helping them focus on the data they really need and harness its power to achieve their enterprise sustainability goals. But implementing a comprehensive sustainability strategy in an asset-intensive organization is no easy feat. While there is broad agreement in boardrooms across the globe that sustainability needs to become a key part of the business strategy, there's little understanding around how to put that strategy into practice. In fact, although 88% of CEOs surveyed by Accenture believe that they should be integrating sustainability through their supply chain, only 54% believe that this has been achieved within their company.

What is the one thing that excites you most about the Campbell Institute? What are you looking forward to from the Institute over the next five years?

The Campbell Institute's focus on sharing best practices to help create healthy and high-performing workforces is exactly in line with what we are helping our customers achieve. We share the Institute's commitment to helping organizations achieve and sustain excellence in EHS by proactively identifying successful practices. As a charter member of the Campbell Institute, we look forward to working with other industry leaders to drive global priorities in the environment, health and safety and sustainability field.

What advice do you have for future CEOs - those who are in organizations right now and those in business school classrooms?

Senior executives have elevated Enterprise Sustainability Management as a strategic priority for growing their companies because they are personally accountable for hitting financial and operational performance targets while keeping risk to a minimum. For any company, managing the impact on operations — not to mention the costs and logistics associated with adopting more sustainable materials, processes, and practices—is virtually impossible without access to detailed information about all of its materials and assets, dedicated subject matter expertise, and flexible, enterprise-level information solutions. With both internal and external pressures mounting, CEOs must find a way to satisfy the demands of all the various stakeholders. They must ensure compliance with proliferating EHS&S regulations around the world while also meeting new voluntary reporting commitments. Otherwise, they're putting their operation, brand reputation, and license to operate at risk. IHS supports unified ESM strategies that leverage information and workflows across a variety of disciplines - providing CEOs with the insights they need and stakeholders with the visibility they expect.

 

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About IHS

IHS is the leading source of information and analytics in critical areas that shape today's global business landscape. Businesses and governments in more than 165 countries around the globe rely on the company's comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and flexible delivery methods to make high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed and confidence.

IHS is a primary driver in the emergence of unified strategies for Enterprise Sustainability Management (ESM). By offering a comprehensive portfolio of market-leading EHS & Sustainability solutions - for environmental performance, health and safety, operational risk, product stewardship, energy and carbon, and corporate responsibility - IHS is helping customers accelerate the convergence of information and workflows so they can manage sustainability risks and opportunities for superior returns.

IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005 (NYSE: IHS). Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS employs more than 6,000 people in more than 30 countries around the world.

 

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