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The Case for an Environmental Management System. What is an environmental management system (EMS)? Part of an organisation’s management system used to.

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Presentation on theme: "The Case for an Environmental Management System. What is an environmental management system (EMS)? Part of an organisation’s management system used to."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Case for an Environmental Management System

2 What is an environmental management system (EMS)? Part of an organisation’s management system used to develop and implement its environmental policy and manage its environmental aspects. (AS/NZS ISO 14001:2004 cl. 3.8)

3 Why have an EMS?  Improve management of environmental impacts  Set targets to reduce energy use, water use & waste to landfill  Initiate and maintain procedures to improve efficiencies including:  Environmentally friendly purchasing procedures  Preferred business travel option  Define key responsibilities for achieving targets  Monitor and measure environmental performance against key indicators  Regularly assess progress towards achieving set objectives  Ensure due diligence and ongoing consideration of legal and other environmental requirements

4 Why have an EMS? continued  Assist with environmental reporting as required by s.516A of the EPBC Act 1999  Government policy encourages commonwealth agencies to implement an EMS (at least one site)  Contribute to preferred employer status  Achieve cost savings  Show leadership, nationally and/or internationally  Obtain competitive advantage  May be required by clients, customers and/or regulators  Build goodwill from customers, employees and stakeholders

5 What is AS/NZS ISO 14001:2004?  An international standard (ISO) for requirements of an environmental management system, adopted jointly by Australia and New Zealand (AS/NZS)  Used as basis for third party certification of environmental management systems.

6 Environmental Policy PlanningImplementation & Operation Checking Management Review Continual Improvement The ISO model of continual improvement

7 Why is management commitment important?  Top management responsibilities are  Endorsing an organisation wide environmental policy  Developing and communicating firm and ongoing commitment – leading by example  Provide or facilitate resources  Appointment of management representative to ensure EMS is developed and implemented  Regular review of the EMS to ensure its continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness.  Actions by management provide a reflection of the corporate culture – help to endorse the new culture

8 Planning for improved environmental performance Objective Environmental Management Programme Initial Environmental Review Policy Target Objective Environmental Management Programme Significant aspects & impacts Target

9 Certification Assessment Preliminary Assessment Document Review Certification (registration) The main steps toward ISO EMS certification ISO Certification Surveillance ReCertification Assessment

10 Case Study 1: IP Australia  Reasons for implementing an EMS?  Reduce impact on the environment  Become a socially responsible workplace  Align with government recommendation  Respond to staff values.  Challenges  Organisational support  Perceived cost  administration associated with an EMS  New tasks of monitoring environmental impacts  Need for additional resources

11 Case Study 1: IP Australia  How were challenges overcome?  Strong top-down support  Integration of EMS into strategic plan  Contracting of NCSI consultants for training & certification  Assistance from the Environmental Management Committee of high-level staff  Assistance from volunteer environmental champions  Policy endorsed by Director General  Objectives developed using S.M.A.R.T. principles  Feedback from staff encouraged & responded to.

12 Case Study 1: IP Australia  Biggest benefits  Initial ‘quick wins’: Adjustment of climate control = energy savings Staff car pooling Default duplex printing signatures include reduce printing message  Improved staff moral Improved image as employer of choice Improved corporate image to potential clients

13 Case Study 2: Australian Antarctic Division  First operation in Antarctica to be certified to ISO  Operates in a very fragile environment.  Subject to increasing national and international scrutiny.  Much higher environmental risks than the average government agency.

14 Case Study 2: Australian Antarctic Division  Most significant environmental aspects:  Waste management, including incineration  Bulk fuel handling & storage  Waste water  Ship and air activities  Environmental aspect register benefits from wide consultation throughout organisation— easy to use, with a high degree of ownership.  This in turn has resulted in a high degree of commitment to the EMS from staff.

15 Case Study 3: Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade RG Casey Building  Responded to original request from Government to establish an EMS and achieved certification in June  Does not use EMS consultants or environmental scientists—all done in-house.  One building of 1000 staff certified by NCSI.  Aiming for maintaining certification provides a driver for a thorough EMS.  Surveillance audits help to maintain focus.

16 Case Study 3: Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade  EMS facilitated by recognising the positive environmental work already being done.  Need to understand resistance to change.  Used corporate culture to establish EMS in modest steps.  Encouraged commitment rather than focussing on breaches.  Establish credibility with stakeholders through realistic objectives & targets.  An EMS Committee facilitates consultation.

17 Case Study 3: Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade  Main initiatives and benefits:  Reduced waste to landfill.  Green café—people brought in own mugs, donations to Greening Australia  Staff volunteer to plant trees—”they love doing it!”  EMS mailbox for suggestions  Reduced power consumption  Main challenge: rents building (involves landlord’s agent) Building design provides challenges  Final messages: Don’t aim for perfection, just continual improvement. Be realistic.

18 What resources are available?  EMS Tool  EMS Standards: AZ/NZS ISO & ISO  Training on EMS auditing, lead auditing, and internal auditing.  Consultancy to assist with development of the EMS.  Conformity assessment bodies to certify the EMS to AS/NZS ISO 14001:2004.

19 Barriers to effective implementation  Lack of management support and commitment  Inadequate resources  Lack of support from staff  Poor internal communication and awareness  Lack of clear responsibilities and authorities  Lack of EMS training for implementers  EMS too complex for the organisation

20 Conclusion An environmental management system takes time and commitment from the entire organisation. Effective running of an EMS will provide ongoing environmental benefits, cost savings and contribute to building an attractive work place culture.


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