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The role of EMS in managing a small business

Bob Richards

Australian Barramundi Culture Email


Australian Barramundi Culture (ABC) is a Northern Territory barramundi farming enterprise that views EMS as an essential part of the business. This paper discusses ABC’s perspectives on both the opportunities and the challenges that EMS presents to small business.

The opportunities include that EMS is an effective management tools to implement company environmental policy; it provides a transparent view of environmental management performance; it can be used to demonstrate company environmental compliance and due diligence; it is a valuable tool for informing and negotiation with regulators; and, it has the potential to play a key role in building trust and commitment by providing transparent and practical methods for translating agreed values into structured actions. For EMS to work, it must be integrated into the business and it must have a sustained level of commitment and resource allocation.

Implementation of EMS for ABC was challenged by the significant demand it placed on the limited resources available. It was perceived by some staff as onerous and tedious to implement and suffered from being poorly understood. It was therefore resented by some and seen in a negative light.

The Australian barramundi industry is moving towards developing an ESD framework as a means to engage regulators and other stakeholders and to develop negotiated co-regulation.

Key Words

Environmental management systems; Aquaculture; Barramundi;

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