Environmental and Safety Management Systems

Over the past decade, Environmental and Safety Management Systems (EMS/SMS) have increasingly been employed to track and enhance performance within a wide range of both private and public sector institutions. These organisations include small, medium and large companies involved in renewable and non-renewable resources. Organisations increasingly want to improve their corporate responsibility performance and return greater value to shareholders. SRK has been developing effective EMS systems which serve as a tool to improve environmental performance by providing a systematic way of managing an organisation’s environmental affairs, such as planning, permitting, implementing, monitoring, reviewing, and reporting enhanced processes.

The SRK approach to management plan and system development is based on a partnership with clients to capture knowledge and nurture ownership of pragmatic implementable systems. Often, the ESIA is developed for permitting and forgotten by organisations as they move through development to operation; yet, by combining ESIA with risk assessment, there is a solid basis for good EMS development. Impact assessment reveals the likely consequences of plans while risk assessment tells us how likely they are to occur. This allows management to prioritise their response and creates a culture of efficient resource use for managing potential environmental and social impacts. Potentially, clients can realise significant construction and operational savings by knowing where they need to focus their energy, activities and capital.

The EMS can result in both business and environmental benefits, such as:

• Risk identification, mitigation planning and enhanced compliance
• Improved environmental performance and certification to standards such as ISO 14000
• Pollution prevention and conservation of resources
• Increased efficiency and cost reduction
• Attraction of potential new customers and wider market access
• Enhanced image with the public, regulators, lenders, investors
• Improved employee awareness of environmental issues and responsibilities
• Results eligible for recognition and incentive programs, such as the EPA Performance Track Program
• Enhanced employee morale and possibly enhanced recruitment of new employees

An effective EMS developed with SRK support is flexible and does not require the organisation to “retool”. SRK first creates management “buy in” and a Policy Statement. Then, working with operators and engineers, SRK identifies significant environmental impacts, applies risk assessment to prioritise their importance and develops objectives, targets and an implementation strategy. SRK supports organisational development, ownership and empowerment by providing training and regular audits to inform management’s review of the EMS in an effort to achieve ongoing improvement.

The EMS covers existing activities and builds immediate and long-term plans to secure and improve performance. SRK is currently working with Newmont in the development of risk-based management plans that can be incorporated into an overall Environmental and Safety Management System. SRK is also assisting Oromin with environmental and safety management planning. The systems developed improve clients’ operational, environmental, business and corporate performance.

Don Hovdebo: dhovdebo@srk.com
Mark Vendrig: mvendrig@srk.com


 

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