Itasca, IL – The debate over whether corporate investment in safety, health and environmental management can be linked to fiscal performance and the company bottom line is rapidly moving from the anecdotal to the measurable.
Two recently released business case studies provide conclusive evidence that SH&E management is strongly tied to corporate profitability and sustainability. The case studies are based on 2004 and 2005 Robert W. Campbell Award winners Noble Corporation and Johnson & Johnson, respectively.
As evidence mounts, leading business schools are moving to incorporate SH&E into their business management curricula. Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business is among the first.
“Evidence-based findings are powerful learning tools for business executives and business school students,” said Brooks C. Holtom, Ph.D., assistant professor of business at Georgetown. “Until now, there has been a lack of solid case studies examining the role SH&E plays in corporate performance.”
Mei-Li Lin, Ph.D., executive director of National Safety Council Research and Statistical Services, said the studies are revolutionizing the status of SH&E as a critical business discipline by providing current and future business leaders with the evidence they need to accept it as a core way of doing business. New case studies will be produced following the announcement of the 2006 winners at NSC's 94th Annual Congress & Expo, Nov. 3-10, in San Diego.
“We truly believe that the acceptance of Campbell case studies into top tier business schools represents the first step in changing the SH&E paradigm,” she said. “We will continue to develop case studies to advance SH&E as a critical principle of business excellence.”
The Campbell award was co-founded by NSC and ExxonMobil Corporation to recognize companies that successfully integrate SH&E into their overall business operations.
Companies applying for the award undergo intense scrutiny by an international panel of SH&E experts, business educators and corporate leaders, including peer reviewers from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the McAfee School of Business Administration at Union University and the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire.
The case study from Noble Corporation – a Texas-based oil and gas drilling company – demonstrates how a company’s commitment to SH&E improved profitability in the highly dangerous industry of contract drilling and natural gas services. Throughout the case study, Noble offers measurable SH&E achievements linked to productivity, profitability, competitive advantage, market value and other key business indicators.
The Johnson & Johnson case study looks at the company’s long history of safety and health initiatives and analyzes the company’s return on its investment in those initiatives. For example, in 1979 the company developed “Live for Life,” an employee wellness program intent on making J&J staff the “healthiest in the world.” From 1979 to 1983, J&J reported hospitalization costs at one-third the rate of companies that did not have similar programs.
The National Safety Council (nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy.