Varying Approaches to Environmental Management

The definition of EMS or Environmental Administration, is employed very loosely and many of these strategies do not include a system. environmental auditing

All EMS programs start with some form of environmental audit and this is an important first step but knowing what is wrong and doing something to fix the issue are two different things. There is not any reason why, given appropriate tools and guidance, businesses probably should not in the beginning audit their environmental influences themselves. They get more information on their business than someone else nevertheless they do need to open their eyes to practices that were there never realised pose an environmental risk. They need to function with a very systematic approach is to do this with their eyes open. 

Once they have an audit set up and understand the issues, an audit alone is not effective – it only identifies problems. The next step is to build up an environmental management plan (EMP), which hopefully has been based on examining risks discovered by the audit findings. An environmental management plan still will not necessarily lead to good environmental management because there is no responses loop. It is so easy to leave things until tomorrow, which never comes.

There exists an throughout the world recognised method to Risk Examination described in AS/NZS 4360: 2004 which is the proper approach to follow. Some people grab a “risk” out of the air and decide that it is a low risk activity and the other end of the variety is demonstrated by some scientists deciding that deciding environmental risk for a market is a wonderful possibility to apply for research funding. The middle strategy, based upon a realistic evaluation of both likelihood and consequence within individual businesses is the approach that is internationally recognised. The difficulty with a market wide approach is that the actual likelihood and consequence differ widely between businesses even within the same industry.

There is a major push, particularly by some regulators, for Requirements of Practice (COP) and Best Management Practices. Once again there is no reviews built-in. Some people try to write a Code of Practice BEFORE they start their EMS nevertheless the audit, risk analysis and plan need to come first. The Code of Practice will then very useful as a starting point for others provided it has been depending on an audit and risk analysis.

Government Agencies often impose Codes of Practice on industry sectors without industry consultation. The kingfish farmers in South Sydney developed their own code of practice, and then both PIRSA (Primary Companies and Resources SA) and the EPA (Environment Security Agency) imposed others so now they have 3. Interestingly all are incredibly different. The industry code addresses much of the other two but PIRSA and the EPA have developed codes that barely terme conseillé. Neither was based on working with the industry to identify the real issues, and each is based on government recognized issues.

An imposed Code of Practice might not exactly really consider the way the businesses operate in their particular situation. It really is impacting a solution that may well not be appropriate. It looks in my opinion that the reason for the Code of Practice is the very real must make sure that industry behaves legally and does indeed not cause environmental injury. A summary of the legislation that applies to those businesses, showing that what areas the government bodies felt most concern, would actually be more helpful than the usual Code of Practice since it raises legislative consciousness while allowing the business operator for top level solution to the problems.

There are often community calls for increased monitoring of environmental outcomes. Monitoring is a great tool so long as it feeds back into altered action if there is a problem. Monitoring for/by an outside organisation will not necessarily cause transformed management and continual improvement. Government Agency monitoring, with long reports written in “science speak” 1. 5 years later does not feed back in changed techniques. A fax or similar, the day we have a problem would allow a change in activity. The long reports are mostly just put in a furniture with little effect on management practices. Monitoring is actually, a tool that most businesses use internally to control their operations. Regrettably many of the general public do not trust industry to monitor their own outcomes. A classic example is fish farming. Workers very quickly learn, if they did not know already, that clean water is crucial for growing healthy seafood and they are less likely to pollute the clean water that is so essential for them.

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