EMS Association Newsletter Winter 2010

2010 National EMS Conference
Waterfront Campus, Deakin University
Geelong Victoria
11-14 October

Early Bird Registration until 31 July - http://ems.asn.au/events/2010/registration.htm

The Conference will examine how the EMS process helps to overcome the challenges and barriers of EMS development and implementation. Our keynote speakers will share their experiences in building management and social change systems through EMS and related processes. Session speakers will canvass examples from across industries as diverse as mining, eco-tourism, agriculture, manufacturing and within agencies and private enterprises.

Conference website - http://ems.asn.au/events/2010/

Excellence in EMS Awards

Entries are open for the 2010 Excellence in EMS Awards. These awards recognise and reward businesses and governments that have successfully implemented an environmental management system (EMS) and promote the adoption of sustainable management practices within their business or government in Australia. The awards also serve to inspire people through the shared experience of innovative approaches to EMS.

For information and entry details go to: http://ems.asn.au/awards/index.htm

Entries close 30 August 2010. Winners will be presented at the Conference.

Membership News

Membership renewals are now due. Please login to the website - http://ems.asn.au/my/dashboard - to check your membership status and renew. Remember that if your membership expired in the six months to June your membership expiry date will be updated to 30 June.

Join before you register for the Conference to get the special members rate.

In the News

The following stories highlight some of the challenges faced by EMS and EMS users.

BP aims to certify EMS

Having an EMS does not always mean that everything will go right – particularly if the risk assessment and identification process does not fully consider all potential risks, and if stated procedures are not followed. The oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico demonstrates this fully. BP has EMSs in place at sites across the globe. They had stated that their Gulf of Mexico operations EMS had a particular focus on drilling and production facilities, and shore bases. While BP at present is understandably focused on corrective actions, amendment of risk assessment, emergency preparedness and management review procedures will seem to be major areas requiring attention in the near future. In addition, any future certification audits for BP sites should stringently examine these elements.

For updates on how the spill is being handled go to:

Malaysian Study Looks at Employees Responses to EMS

The need for top management commitment for successful EMS implementation was recently discussed by Abdullah and Luong (2010, see link below). They conducted a survey of 97 manufacturing companies in the State of Selangor, Malaysia. Employees of the 1SO 14001 certified companies were asked how they felt about having an EMS at the company and the challenges presented during the implementation of the EMS. The majority of respondents believed having an EMS benefited both them and the company. Benefits listed included improved corporate image, increased customer satisfaction, better staff involvement and morale, enhanced staff capabilities and skills, improved relationships and communication with vendors and agency staff, and reduced operational costs. However, these gains were also matched by a number of barriers and challenges.

The top three reasons for resisting EMS implementation were observed to be:

  1. Preference to stay at status quo
  2. Haunted by past failures of EMS
  3. Fear of the unknown

Major challenges encountered by senior management:

  1. Top management commitment towards implementation
  2. Identification of environmental impact and aspects
  3. Legal compliance

The authors recommend use of awareness training, and the development and implementation (by staff) of an incentive or rewards program, along with a range of other approaches, to overcome resistance to EMS implementation within businesses.

Read more at: www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ass/article/view/4048/4495

Danish company defies GFC when committing to CSR

The current financial crisis has not hampered implementation of CSR initiatives at Denmark’s Danfoss Group. The valve and fluid handling component manufacturer has gradually adopted corporate social responsibility goals influenced by climate change risk, commitment to the UN Global Compact and a desire to learn. The GFC has provided the company with an opportunity to  walk-the-talk . In order to boast responsible leadership, management wants to create more than just short-term value to shareholders.

Read more at: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/123440173/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

Pen Made From Spuds!

Spuds are a most versatile vegetable, but now rather than baking or frying, an American company has developed a biodegradable pen made from potatoes! The pen is made using non GM potatoes, in a wind-powered factory. Future environmental managers might look to completing environmental audits using the pen in a bid to directly reducing their personal ecological footprint. Once you’ve finished writing and monitoring your EMS procedures and implementation, simply throw the used pen in the compost heap!

Read more at: http://www.dba-co.com/