ESG vs EHS: What’s the Difference? (And Why It Matters)

As the world becomes more conscious of the impact that businesses have on the environment and society, there is an increasing need for companies to adopt ESG practices. However, many are still unsure of what ESG means and how it differs from other business practices or programs like EHS. The article and associated FigBytes webinar aim to provide clarity on both ESG and EHS, how they are similar to one another, their differences, and more.

ESG Defined

ESG, which stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance, is a methodology that helps corporations measure and report on their impact through three lenses. The E or Environmental aspect of ESG covers the environmental impacts related to an organization’s operations, including concerns such as climate change, energy consumption, water stewardship, waste management, air quality, biodiversity, deforestation, and more. By adopting environmentally sustainable practices, corporations can reduce their carbon footprint and help mitigate the impacts of climate change.

The S or Social element of ESG involves the impacts of a business on people. It encompasses a range of topics such as gender inclusivity, diversity, hiring practices, customer satisfaction, data protection, human rights, labor standards, and more. Companies that prioritize social issues can foster a more inclusive work environment, improve employee morale, and build stronger relationships with customers.

The G or Governance component of ESG concerns itself with how an organization is being run. It includes matters such as board composition and membership selection, executive compensation, shareholder rights, accounting and auditing procedures, ethics, bribery, and corruption policies, lobbying, political contributions, and more. Companies that prioritize good governance practices can help ensure transparency and accountability, reduce the risk of fraud and corruption, and build trust with stakeholders.

EHS Defined

EHS, which stands for Environment, Health, and Safety, is a comprehensive approach to safeguarding the health and well-being of employees, customers, and the environment from business-related hazards. This term encompasses a wide range of laws, regulations, programs, professions, and workplace initiatives aimed at ensuring a safe and healthy work environment while also protecting the environment.

The Environment aspect of EHS focuses on complying with environmental regulations to minimize the impact of business operations on the environment. This includes matters such as carbon emissions, ambient air quality, energy conservation, wastewater, ambient water quality, water conservation, waste management, noise pollution, contaminated land, and more.

The Health element of EHS is concerned with preventing harm to people through the development of procedures, best practices, and monitoring activities that are safe and environmentally friendly. This can include topics such as community water quality and availability, disease prevention, hazardous materials management, and more. By implementing these practices, businesses can promote the health and well-being of their employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.

The Safety component of EHS involves identifying workplace hazards and implementing measures to reduce the risk of accidents and exposure to harmful situations and substances. This includes employee training, accident prevention and response, emergency readiness, proper use of protective clothing and equipment, fire safety, traffic safety, general facility design and operation, and more. By prioritizing safety in the workplace, businesses can create a safer and more productive environment for their employees.

EHS is a vital component of any business, as it ensures that the health and safety of employees and the public are protected while also preserving the environment. By implementing best practices in environment, health, and safety, businesses can minimize their impact on the environment, promote the health and well-being of their employees and customers, and create a safer and more productive workplace.

Learn the Key Differences Between ESG and EHS With FigBytes

Despite having some similarities, ESG and EHS are fundamentally different. ESG encompasses a broad range of sustainability topics and issues while EHS is primarily focused on compliance with environmental and employee health and safety regulations. ESG and EHS can be further differentiated by their respective intents, scopes, and impacts. 

If you’re ready for a deep dive into the key differences and similarities between ESG and EHS, and how technology can support both practices, check out our complimentary webinar ESG vs EHS: What’s the Difference? (And Why It Matters). Hosted by Rajiv Jalim, FigBytes’ Director of Solutions Engineering and resident ESG Therapist, this webinar answers your ESG and EHS questions and walks you through:

  1. Comparing the Es and Ss of ESG and EHS
  2. The Role of Technology in ESG and EHS Programs
  3. Why ESG is a Unique Discipline

Don’t miss out on this opportunity for a more extensive explanation of the distinctions between these two concepts delivered by an experienced EHS and ESG professional. Click here to check out the webinar today!

About FigBytes

The FigBytes sustainability platform helps customers track and report on their ESG targets in areas including carbon accounting, climate action, water impacts, and supply chain activities. The software automates reporting and provides complete insight into ESG activities in a single platform. To learn more, visit