International EHS Management Systems and Compliance Auditing Protocols – Development, Application And Challenges
(Freescale Semiconductor, Austin, TX)
Companies which operate internationally face diverse risks, ranging from competitive positioning and marketing of their products, to cost effective manufacturing and compliance to an array of local and national environmental, health and safety (EHS) regulations. Risks will not only include the companies’ compliance status to international regulatory requirements, but also the operationally derived risks associated with worker safety, environmental protection and impacts to the community. Beyond strict regulatory requirements, international companies must address how internal processes are applied, and to assure their stakeholders that these processes are consistently and equitably institutionalized across their global operations. The majority of countries have developed and promulgated regulations which address environmental, health and safety (EHS) aspects within a workplace and it is of no great surprise that significant differences exist in regulatory language from country to country. As a result, companies operating internationally are challenged by the need to assure EHS risks are addressed consistently while taking account of inconsistent regulatory requirements. Freescale Semiconductor has developed a management systems approach to address EHS risk issues arising from global operations, and has instituted a complementary compliance auditing system to provide the required check and balance review. This paper will discuss how Freescale EHS and Legal professionals balance compliance to strict regulatory requirements with operational risk identification and reduction processes, and will address the structure of the international compliance auditing program which supports and augments the management systems.