Case Study: General Electric’s EHS Big Data Journey and Future Strategy
Report from AIHce 2016
On Monday afternoon AIHce attendees will hear a first-hand account of GE’s world-class program for managing environmental, health and safety (EHS) risks. GE has learned that the way to deliver high EHS performance is through operational ownership. Operational ownership means that GE holds its site and service managers accountable for the safety and environmental integrity of the operations they supervise. GE’s EHS professionals support and guide its safety and compliance programs, but the GE expects its operations managers to take the lead.
GE ensures operational commitment through (1) constant reviews of managers’ EHS performance; (2) comprehensive EHS audits conducted by an independent central governance team; (3) in-depth classroom EHS training for new managers; and (4) feedback surveys in which employees anonymously evaluate their managers’ EHS commitment.
GE tracks EHS metrics and reviews performance in three ways. First, EHS data is tracked in real time using GE’s Gensuite® IT tool . Second, senior leaders within each of GE’s businesses regularly conduct internal EHS operating reviews of each of their facilities. Third, GE Corporate conducts quarterly strategic reviews of EHS risks and strategies.
GE expects to be a leading software company by 2020 and says it is the world’s leading digital industrial company. The emerging disruptive technologies that GE is developing and adopting present opportunities for improved EHS performance and also generate new types of EHS risks. To address these issues, GE created an organization called “Digital EHS” in 2015 and tasked it with taking advantage of, and preparing for the impact of, disruptive digital technologies.
GE uses the Gensuite® software system to track hundreds of EHS performance metrics at sites around the world in real time. The system is granular enough to identify maintenance delays for an individual valve at a chemical plant, for instance, while also comprehensive enough to aggregate data across GE businesses and regions. In 2015, GE developed real-time data-visualization tools that have allowed it to use Gensuite data to enhance GE’s focus on its highest-risk operations. In addition, GE conducted several deep-dive analyses of high-impact event types that led to significant changes in its management system priorities.