Joe Welch (left) meets with EMJ Construction Superintendent John Rudez at Ruby Falls in Chattanooga.
Joe Welch serves as the Environmental Compliance Manager for CORE Safety Group and advises EMJ Corporation’s teams on environmental laws, regulations and best practices.
Welch has led environmental compliance efforts for heavy manufacturing and chemical companies for more than 20 years, providing him with ample experience with transitioning legislation. A new administration and potential regulatory changes makes Joe’s role even more crucial to his clients’ businesses today.
“While the EPA is in a temporary state of uncertainty, new general permit requirements will begin affecting many companies through increased public visibility of construction projects,” said Joe. “Construction companies that have not seen much in the way of agency inspections may now begin seeing active interest from citizens in reviewing permits and site plans.”
These requirements mean increased public access to environmental information, which could result in project delays or increased enforcement activities if citizen groups target projects and companies that are not protecting or using resources efficiently. With this added scrutiny, though, comes opportunity for organizations that integrate environmental stewardship into their operating culture.
“There is significant room for improvement in the industry and opportunities for construction companies like EMJ to lead through environmental contributions, “said Joe.
To guide the organization toward a focus on environmental stewardship, Joe works with teams to create proactive processes that help them identify ecological obstacles and opportunities, create environmentally-friendly jobsites, and generate results to deliver unique value for clients.
“I have learned over the years is that environmental stewardship and cost optimization do not have to be mutually exclusive,” Joe said. “The most effective organizations find innovative ways to create value in any operating environment.”
Joe explains that understanding a client’s goals, whether through EMJ’s C2C approach or another process, is key to creating value through environmental sustainability. By understanding vision and goals, Joe can view various environmental solutions through the lens of the client and advise construction teams to proceed in ways that align with those goals.
“If environmental risk and stewardship goals are given proper attention early in the planning process, a project team can identify opportunities to implement best practices and create significant value for the owner in terms of cost avoidance, resource management and sustainability,” Joe added. “If you are not thinking about environmental considerations at the very beginning of a project, you are doing a major disservice to all stakeholders involved.”
Teams should strive to seek best available knowledge to ensure they are providing clients with the best service possible. An ideal process for an exceptional client experience is to understand the client’s goals, risk tolerances and overall vision, then create solutions and engage the right resources to execute effectively.
With a focus on encouraging environmental efforts by focusing on client goals, Joe Welch may be at the forefront of EMJ’s mission to “change the industry—one project at a time.”