Creating a New Pathway to Corporate Sustainability: The Unified Risk Management Approach.
John W.Grosskopf,

ERE, Inc.

John F. Milliman,

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Address Correspondence to:

John F. Milliman, PhD

Department of Management

College of Business

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway

Colorado Springs, CO 80933-7150

Ph 719.262.3316   Fax  719.262.3494

Email:  jmillima@uccs.edu

Sustainability has rapidly emerged as an important business issue and many executives are struggling to address it while also pursuing the primary corporate focus on making profits.  In addition, executives must now address not only traditional issues and risks associated with environmental, health and safety (EH&S), but also security and business continuity threats associated with manmade and major natural disasters.   In our view most organizations do so in a more reactive, incremental, and tactical manner.

One important new way organizations can proactively and strategically address these various risks, as well as the challenge of sustainability, is by utilizing a unified risk management approach. Unified risk management involves a single, comprehensive systems wide approach to identify, analyze, and prioritize all risks, no matter if they are health, safety, security, or environmental risks associated with sustainability, etc.  This approach uses quality management tools, processes, and approaches commonly utilized in many organizations today (e.g. ISO 9001 certified), but does so more comprehensively by addressing all risks simultaneously and with a consistent approach.  By managing environmental and other risks in this systematic and integrated manner corporations are  also creating a pathway towards sustainability through greater organization-wide reductions in waste, materials, and energy consumption, and greater organizational efficiency.  

This paper reports the results of a unified risk management pilot project in a U.S. manufacturing site sponsored by the U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation.   The pilot project results provide a strong indication that the unified risk management approach is not only more effective in assessing, analyzing, and prioritizing EH&S, security, and other organizational risks, but also did so in a more efficient manner (i.e. by streamlining separate and redundant risk activities into one comprehensive approach).     

The implications of this pilot project is that EH&S managers can take a leadership role in their organizations by undertaking a unified risk management approach to more effectively and efficiently manage EH&S, security and other organizational risks.  In doing so EH&S managers can simultaneously advance both the economic and environmental aspects of sustainability and gain the influence and resource support needed to create further proactive corporate steps towards sustainability.

Full Paper (.ppt format, 221.0 kb)

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8:00 AM-8:00 PM, Friday, June 15, 2007, Oral

The Ontario, Canada 2007 Meeting