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Creating Value from Your Environmental Management System

How many orgnaizations are really exploiting the value that an environmental management system presents to their organization?

Organizations implement environmental management systems (EMS) for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they were seeking certification to meet a customer requirement, to reduce risk, or because of a corporate mandate.
In any management system there is a certain amount of bureaurcratic effort that is required to demonstrate conformance and achieve certification. 

How do you go behond these basics and ensure that real value is being achieved?

There are a number of core elements of an EMS that present real opportunities for improvement, including:
  • Focussing environmental aspects & ojbectives on risk reduction & efficiency
  •  Applying supported implementation processes to build capacity and improve team performance
  • Creating effective corrective & preventive action programs
  • Deploying preventive action programs to avoid real costs

Focussing environmental aspects & objectives on risk reduction & efficiency

By using a process approach to identifying environmental aspects, organizations are able to clearly identify risks and opportunities for improvement.

This involves the creation or use of existing process flow maps along with resource accounting of core processes to identify environmental aspects and reduce risk. By identifying risks and opportunities in this way it is possible to identify problems across different facilities and enable them to be elevated and solved at the corporate level.

Supported implementation to build capacity & improve team performance

 The process for deploying an EMS can be greatly enhanced if a facilitated collarorative approach is taken.  In this way, teams are trained and empowered to identify risks and solve problems before they arise.

This process involves an active learning technique with the use of highly effective communication approaches to empower individuals to take responsibility for process improvement in their workspace.

Creating effective corrective & preventive action programs

The true value of an EMS is the successful implementation of corrective and preventive action programs. 
By quickly capturing non-conformities and effectively applying improvement techniques there is an opportunity for avoiding recurrance of problems and saving significant dollars. Techniques that can be used to understand the reasons for non-conformities and to design effective solutions include:
  • Root cause analysis
  • Lean and Kaizen
  • Six Sigma
Many companies focus on corrective actions, however the real value is in establishing a program to prevent incidents before they occur.   The creation of an effective preventive action program provides the greatest long term potential for reducing costs and avoiding environmental impacts.

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