Barriers to Adoption of EMS LO24549

From: Turlough F. Guerin (
Date: 05/04/00

Greetings List: 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 operation. 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 overcome. 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! environmental issues 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 assessing risks 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. Best regards, Turlough ====================================================================== TURLOUGH F. GUERIN PhD ENVIR ONMENTAL ADVISER 5e Hancock Garden Estate 5-15 William St. Botany, Sydney, New South Wales 2019 AUSTRALIA Phone +61-2-9666 8570 (& Message Bank) Email: or turlough.! ! ====================================================================== -- "Turlough F. Guerin" Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash Public Dialog on Learning Organizations --

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