I'd like to ask for your feedback on your experiences in developing
and implementing/adopting environmental management systems (EMS),
whether they have been successful or otherwise. Specifically, What did
you find to be the KEY barriers to adoption of EMS at the
sites/operations you have have worked on?
Some definitions: What do I mean by an EMS? A system specifically
designed for managing environmental impacts at an operation, based on
ISO 14001. It can also include inc orporation of selected elements of
ISO14001/4 to complement an existing management system at an
What do I mean by successful? Environmental policy was developed
and/or codified, systems put in place (or existing systems
enhanced-activat ed) to implement the policy, significant
environmental impacts for the operation were identified and thier
risks were actually addressed, and this process is ongoing.
Certification to ISO14001 may or may not have been achieved! ! .
What do I mean by barriers? These limitations may have substantially
limited successful EMS implementation, coming from inside or outside
of the organisation. These are likely to have been only temporary
limitations in getting the EMS adopted, i e they were subsequently
Below I have indicated some of the barriers that I have become aware
of which may correspond to the ones you have found, and I have
attempted to put them into a decreasing order of importance:
1. EMS impl ementer seen as EMS owner
2. Focus on doing EMS right rather than asking whether it was the
right thing to do (at the time, & at the particular operation)
3. Change was not seen as positive (at the time) by operations people
4. Too much em phasis on software aspects of EMS
5. Limited EMS ownership at lower organizational levels
6. Initial enthusiasm for EMS only
Further limitations were:
7. Limited Senior Management commitment
8. EMS! ! implementer too far removed from what site personnel saw as!
9. Fear of failure (i.e. missing certification) has been a driver
10. Limited understanding of how people shared knowledge at site
11. EMS attempted to change management practices & corporate culture
12. EMS was not perceived as relevant at site
13. Senior Management not embracing public perception as part of
Particularly, I am interested to hear any experiences you have had
with companies in the minerals industry.
I look forwar d to your feedback both on your experiences and the
listing I have included.
TURLOUGH F. GUERIN PhD
ENVIR ONMENTAL ADVISER
5e Hancock Garden Estate
5-15 William St. Botany,
Sydney, New South Wales 2019
Phone +61-2-9666 8570 (& Message Bank)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or turlough.! ! email@example.com
"Turlough F. Guerin" "Learning-org"
and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are
trademarks of Richard Karash.
"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.