Taylors Wines Pty Ltd used innovation and simplicity to develop an EMS for their fully integrated winery, and vineyard facilities at Auburn, Clare Valley, South Australia.
Taylors Wines commenced using the simple EcoMapping™ Environmental Management System (EMS) tool before then progressing with use of the more detailed EMASEasy tool. The EMS has subsequently been successfully externally audited to ISO14001, the first company in Australia to achieve this with these tools.
The EcomappingTM EMS tool was integrated into their current management systems, including risk, safety, 5S (lean manufacturing) and maintenance systems. Avoidance of duplicating management systems was seen as important to Taylors Wines. Now all business processes at Taylors Wines has an environmental aspect to their approach.
EcoMapping™ helped to identify five distinct operations within the business, recognised by senior managers who already had functional control over daily operations and lean management techniques. Visualising the significant environmental aspects and developing a clear and achievable environmental management action plan assisted employees and management with identification and justification of projects of all sizes.
Achieving ISO 14001 is seen as a key market positioning tool for Taylors Wines. The EMASEasy tool has also become a key business management tool. It has assisted Taylors Wines to plan and clearly budget for environmental action, define key areas for improvement and better manage and control documents across the company. The integrated plan has allowed Taylors Wines to work with the local community on projects of local and national environmental significance and accurately project an image of a successful and sustainable company.
EcoMaps, 5S, asset management, operational control, incident, training, social change.
Taylors Wines Pty Ltd is a family owned vineyard and winery located near Auburn in the Clare Valley, South Australia. Growing more than 650 hectares of vines and crushing over 10,000 Tonnes of grapes per annum presents a range of environmental and business management systems issues. Exporting wine across the world, Taylors Wines were mindful of the need to be able to simply and transparently communicate and demonstrate environmental performance.
Taylors Wines have a reputation for innovative and clever business management. In 2007 when the company sought to simply integrate environmental management in to their existing business plan, they sought external advice and were introduced to the EMS tools, EcoMapping™ and EMASEasy.
They immediately recognised the simple, visual nature of the EcoMapping™ tool, having recently implemented the lean manufacturing “5 S” tool to assist with housekeeping and OH&S issues at the winery.
Within 18 months, the company had progressed the simple EcoMapping™ approach to a fully developed EMS using the European EMASEasy approach. In January 2009 Taylors Wines achieved ISO14001 certification, the first Australian company to use this model to achieve ISO14001.
A key outcome was integration of the EMS in to the company’s business management plan, including financial, asset management, OH&S, emergency and human resources. Employees across the company understand the relevancy of environmental issues from day to day work practices through to capital purchasing. As continual improvement with the EMS is achieved, further integration in to the business plan is expected.
The EcoMapping™ tool was introduced as a method for Taylors Wines to start on their environmental Journey. Because of its visual nature, use of photos and schematics and “bottom up, learning by doing” nature, EcoMapping™ was expected to assist with learning about EMS principles across the business. As the company moved beyond EcoMapping™ and started to progress in to use of EMASEasy, EMS principles were linked in to Taylors Wines existing business management plan.
Initially, a picture of environmental problems, practices and impacts was painted by creating EcoMaps for each of the five main business units at the Auburn property. These main business units were identified as;
2. Vineyard maintenance
4. Barrel Hall, and
5. Bottling and Warehouse
Use of symbols on simple hand drawn plans or “maps”, were created for each of the five business units. The three symbols used consistently on EcoMaps greatly assist with visualizing the environmental problems, practices and impacts.
Figure 1- Example of a hand drawn EcoMap with use of standard EcoMapping™ symbols
As the EMS documentation developed over a period of 18 months, key areas with respect to document and operational control and management review were integrated into the company’s existing business management plan. These included sections within the business plan such as occupational health & safety, emergency, risk and asset management.
Taylors Wines adopted an incident management assessment notebook method for all employees associated with their risk management and lean systems (5S) approach. Environment is included as a key element. The notebook system enables employees to identify and action OH& S and environment risk issues, including use of visual before and after photo methods and action tags.
Emergency preparedness, an important component of the EMS, was incorporated in to the business plan by including elements of the existing plan and through use of an emergency and risk committee who adopted environmental risk in to their existing analysis and review processes.
Taylors Wines use a software based asset management system, which includes a root cause analysis tool. Rather than develop a new template for managers to consider and investigate root cause analysis for environmental problems, the EMS incorporated this tool in to its function. This also enables budgetary issues regarding environmental matters to be considered.
Ongoing review of employee job description key performance indicators (KPI’s) and task job safety analysis (JSA’s) presented an opportunity for inclusion of environmental factors. This overlap between human resources and OH&S enabled environment issues to be incorporated. As job descriptions are updated, an existing component of the business plan, environmental tasks forming part of the employees job, were updated. Similarly, as task procedures were reviewed through JSA’s relevant consideration for environmental aspects was given.
Training in EMS was introduced through the company’s existing training methods (external trainer provider/s) where environmental issues and the integration in to existing work place methods were introduced. Combined with the ability to actively participate in preparation of EcoMaps, employees engaged in valuable hands on learning as well as EMS theory.
Taylors Wines developed a simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet entry point for the EMS, which linked all aspects of the EMS with the business plan on the company’s computer server. Employees, already familiar with accessing business plan documents electronically, were able to similarly access all EMS documents, automatically hyperlinked to the appropriate electronic file location.
A community based water course rehabilitation action program was commenced as a consequence of better understanding and managing the key environmental issues at the Taylors Wines property. The need to consider actions both onsite and off-site and their linked nature was revealed. Integration of the EMS and business plan indicated costs, communication and planning requirements for these community projects.
Through the process of development of an EMS and integration of elements with the company’s business plan, Taylors Wines were able to achieve and demonstrate streamlined management processes. The use of low document and visual tools, such as EcoMapping™ and EMASEasy enabled participation in the EMS across the company.
Simple and visual, employees found EcoMaps a great way to initially record environmental information and actively participate in development of the EMS.
Through use of Taylors Wines existing incident management system and inclusion of environmental issues within this system, employees were able to link the process of EcoMapping™ with incidents and the structure of the EMS. This was a key outcome.
The risk management team integrated information from the incident management system and the company’s existing emergency action plan to further develop an integrated approach to emergency preparedness and response. This clearly demonstrated the ability to integrate elements of an EMS with existing business management systems.
Taylors Wines business plan is located on a computer server for access by employees. The use of a simple spreadsheet interface to link the EMS into this server greatly assisted the environment officer with EMS document control.
Company management required that environment issues be incorporated into OH&S, job safety and tasks. This has enabled initial integration of environmental issues at deep level within the organisation and this will continue to evolve through the cycle of continuous improvement as JSA’s, job specifications and KP’s are further included and modified. All employees have been trained in the elements of EMS. Each year a different set of employees participate in EcoMapping™ further enhancing knowledge of environmental issues across the company.
Figure 2 – Example of a Taylors Wines Energy EcoMap – produced for the cellars at the winery.
Figure 3 – Taylors Wines incident management log book, including environmental issues.
Taylors Wines have managed to further understand and participate in community environmental action through integration of EMS within the business plan. By understanding their own environmental issues, apply all aspects of the business plan, including social and economic factors they have better understood the link between company activities, environmental impact and social action, to the extent where activity within the community links with actions on Taylors Wines own property and holistic environmental outcomes.
Taylors Wines adopted new (to Australia) innovative EMS tools to effectively implement environmental change in their business, by ensuring that the new EMS integrated in to their existing business management plan. The model enabled a simple “bottom up, learning by doing” process and helped to visualise the importance of environmental issues and the intent of the EMS for employees.
By integrating in to the existing business plan, excess additional paperwork and employee fear of additional work load were managed.
Social change is a key requirement for long term positive environmental outcomes. Where workloads, excess administration and paperwork can be addressed through adoption of simple methods, the change is more likely because these traditional blockers have been either removed or minimised.