Overview of Environmental Management Systems

Environmental Management it's a process of managing risk within a company's daily activities its abroad it's something that covers all industry streams from manufacturing construction infrastructure health transportation food tourism you think about almost any industry it has got that has got an environmental impact which is almost all there is a requirement for someone to manage the environment within there and a environmental management doesn't just isolate itself to what goes on within that company it moves well outside that company and these days companies have to be very aware of what their their suppliers are doing and how they're processing and what they're doing and looking at what their other consumers are doing with their products or this or their services and things stakeholders communities regulators the government you and me we are all becoming more and more aware of what impacts we have on the environment and and it's something that we've got to manage through everything that we do environmental managers they cover a very broad broad spectrum of roles and responsibilities ultimately they're responsible for the development and the implementation of plans and activities that occur within an organisation the to minimize to avoid to manage the impacts that that company may go about imposing upon the environment environmental managers don't necessarily do those activities they aren't necessarily the people who are going to be preventing or doing the activities such as digging the holes or building the things or or placing the the things within companies but they are going to be the people who set up those systems and integrate management into the daily processes of that company environmental managers they they have to have a very solid understanding of what goes on within that company and how that company actually processes and what they're doing you know whether whether they're manufacturing whether they're providing services whether they are constructing of doing providing goods to two entities that they they need to understand those processes intricately so they can look at improvements look at avoiding certain activities to minimize or manage those risks for example looking at reducing noise which may be created looking at minimizing waste avoiding rate wastes looking at managing reducing energy consumption with organizations all of those sorts of processes are things that environmental managers need to be aware of and they need to be able to incorporate those systems within the daily activities that that company undertakes they also have to work really closely with other groups within the company to ensure that company meets its environmental objectives and that's not always an easy process because the mandate of of different groups within a company for example a construction manager tease out to save time and and money to do things in the fastest and cheapest way you can the environmental manager has a different focus and and so there needs to be a very close relationship between those different groups within the company start to avoid head lock in those processes - and to make sure that a win-win result is achieved each time - what is an environmental management system environmental management system and this is defined within the the ISO 14001 document itself it's a tool for managing impacts of an organization's activities on the environment who provides a structured approach to planning and implementing environmental protection now what does that mean what's a tool an environmental management system it's normally it's normally present as a series of documents and in the more developed systems it becomes an interactive web interface where where you can go on and if you've got a task to do if you have to go and take a water sample or if it's a if you need to go and mix a solution that has to go into the treatment of timber for example or if you have to install a causeway under a under a road and that sort of thing it's a system that tells you how to do those sorts of things and provides that framework so that you don't go about doing that process and cause greater environmental risks or impacts sorry that you would normally that you would otherwise of course an environmental management system monitors environmental performance and similar to the way in which a financial management system monitors expenditure and income and enables regular checks for a company company's financial performance an EMS integrates the environmental management into a daily the company's daily operations a long-term planning and other quality management systems environmental management systems don't even have to exist within a separate environmental document they can be integrated right through the the organization's procedures on how to go about doing their day-to-day activities and the ultimate goal is that people are going to they only want one one point source one source to go to to to get that information so if you want to go and go excavate an area and pour a concrete slab you don't want to have to go and find the the details on how to do that and then going at the environmental management procedures for that as well those environmental management procedures need to be incorporated into that process so that when you go about doing that job you've got that information all there and it provides you with the measures that can be monitored and and and watched to make sure that you're getting the the performance out of the activity that you need or that the company needs the company's going to set objectives and that's something that I'll go and work with you and we'll work on how to set those objectives and write those objectives but the performance of the environmental management of the company needs to be something that can be presented and and regularly monitored - to ensure that those that company objectives and goals are met there are many reasons to implement an environmental management system they provide a lot of advantages to a company I can run through several of them at the moment they reduce environmental impact by preventing and mitigating adverse impacts impacts that are imposed by the company for example if we were to go ahead and develop a site and push some trees over dig a hole and lay a concrete slab we would need to manage those impacts of of pushing those trees over with the other creatures that might live in those trees we have to manage the the impacts of of when we turn the soil making sure the soil wouldn't erode and wash away we need to manage all of those things in pouring a concrete slab what we do with when we clean out concrete trucks and what we do with that slurry and that sort of stuff that's left behind we need to manage those sort of things secondly they mitigate impacts of adverse environmental conditions on the company if that company is in an area of high rainfall or of intense heat so environmental management systems set in place systems to protect the company against those some those conditions thirdly and look at ensuring compliance with obligations to go ahead and operate many companies require licenses and so we need to be making sure as an environmental manager making sure that we are meeting those obligations because if we don't we'll end up being shut down all the subject to large fines we can also be subject to very serious of X crew 'tony it's becoming more and more a top priority within organizations to manage your compliance the financial implications alone a huge for enhancing environmental performance we want to be able to we want to be able to not only do the things well but we need to be able to show people that we are doing them well it's one thing to go out and and go through doing things effect effectively minimizing environmental risk however if you are monitoring that process and looking at ways of being able to take that performance and and present it then that can be that can be presented to management it can be presented to some stakeholders and shareholders and those sorts of people increasing knowledge within those those groups of people can then either provide provide you or the company with further for the support to continue the good work that you've been doing and it also can help just create general awareness increase that culture within all the organization which is often a big battle for environmental managers if they didn't able to enhance and capture and present that environmental performance is a is a really really important skill to try and acquire taking responsibility for the lifecycle of a pro of a product or service one thing that's becoming more and more prevalent within our our workplace is that we're not just responsible for what's going on within our entity within our company we have to take responsibility for what's going on outside as well who's supplying us with those those products how do they go about creating those things that they're providing us are they doing it in an environmentally friendly or environmentally responsible way we don't want to be simply purchasing that cheaper timber over there because it's cheaper meanwhile it's being cut out of Indonesian forests or Brazilian forests or or wherever we want to make sure that those products that are being supplied are coming to us in an environmentally responsible manner and likewise with our what goes from our company we need to make sure that it's going to an environmentally responsible destination for example if one of our waste streams is tires we need to make sure that those people disposing of those tires are doing it in an environmentally responsible manner increasing our organization's market position and and that that goes about through communication it goes about through being able to get that performance measures that I spoke of before being able to get those and present those to the people who are interested the stakeholders whether it be at the community being within a share market bed within the regulator all of those areas we need to be able to get our performance and increase our market position people who are purchasing our product or our service want to know that what we are doing is responsible and an environmental management system as a way of being able to present that number seven to be able to communicate environmental information to employees to management and also to stakeholders and and people outside our community so again this this system might be a series of documents it might be a website which employees can go in and find out information so that they can go about doing their job in a responsible manner it might be providing information to management so they can make wiser and more educated decisions and the stakeholders generally it might be for the community that's around us so they feel more comfortable with what we're doing where we are