President's Message

 by Stuart Franco - President of AMCHAM T&T


This year the theme for our 27th Annual Health, Safety Security and Environment (HSSE) Conference & Exhibition is “Learn, Empower, Sustain”. 

The past three years—a time of disruption and devastation—have taught us valuable lessons about the importance of Health and Safety for the well-being of our people and the urgency to protect our environment from the threat of climate change. As we return to familiar norms, we must utilise all that we have learned to empower and support a sustainable future for all. 

Emerging trends and innovations in HSE
It’s not enough to just turn to the advancements in Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and Machine Learning to fireproof our HSE policies. We have to find more sustainable measures to incorporate these technologies and weave them into our workplace HSE culture. That way we are working with the technology to identify potential hazards, proactively prevent accidents and monitor environmental conditions in real-time to empower our people while they are performing the most rudimentary tasks to sustain our operations.

Creating a safe working environment starts with how we treat and interact with our people. Pandemic stress, toxic work culture and harassment all contributed to mental health risks of employees. It is the responsibility of every leader to address these to ensure that people are seen, heard, respected and feel safe to speak up when problems arise. Some positive and vital first steps to combat this can be the implementation of mental health programmes. They can offer resources for stress management and supportive work environments. But it can’t stop there. Rather than viewing these steps are easy remedies for a problem, why not redefine how we view and exercise leadership so that we are truly fostering trust and empowering our people to fully promote mental health awareness and providing employees with the necessary support?

A sustainable future starts with how we are protecting our environment. The record heatwaves, wildfires and floods the world has experienced in recent months foreshadow worse to come. As business leaders, this is an issue we cannot ignore. We must make moves to ensure HSE practices align with environmental leadership: reducing our carbon footprint, optimising waste management, adopting eco-friendly practices, implementing more renewable energy sources, promoting circular economy principles, and striving for zero waste while strengthening our adherence to the existing regulations. 

The private sector may need a more coordinated approach to achieve this, but the first step always starts with one organisation or individual setting the example for others to follow. Hopefully, the goal of building climate resilience to sustain economic prosperity, environmental security and social well-being across the region will inspire more organisations to provide leadership on these initiatives. This is how we empower and increase sustainability to ensure a better and brighter future for all.