My query/focus: I'd like your feedback on your experiences in developing and
implementating/adopting EMS, whether they have been successful or otherwise.
Some definitions: What do I mean by EMS? A system specifically designed for
managing environmental impacts at an operation, based on ISO 14001. It can
also include incorporation of selected elements of ISO14001/4 to complement
an existing management system at an operation.
What do I mean by successful? Environmental policy was developed and/or
codified, systems put in place (or existing systems enhanced-activated) to
implement the policy, significant environmental impacts for the operation
were identified and thier risks were actually addressed, and this process is
ongoing. Certification to ISO14001 may or may not have been achieved.
What do I mean by barriers? These limitations may have substantially limited
successful EMS implementation, coming from inside or outside of the
organisation. These are likely to have been only temporary limitations in
getting the EMS adopted, ie they were subsequently overcome.
Specifically, What did you find to be the KEY barriers to adoption of EMS at
the sites/operations you have have worked on?
Below I have indicated some of the barriers that I have become aware of
which may correspond to some of the constraints you have found, and I have
attempted to put them into a decreasing order of importance:
1. EMS implementer seen as EMS owner
2. Focus on doing EMS right rather than asking whether it was the right
thing to do (at the time, & at the particular operation)
3. Change was not seen as positive (at the time) by operations people
4. Too much emphasis on software aspects of EMS
5. Limited EMS ownership at lower organizational levels
6. Initial enthusiasm for EMS only
Further limitations were:
7. Limited Senior Management commitment
8. EMS implementer too far removed from what site personnel saw as
9. Fear of failure (i.e. missing certification) has been a driver
10. Limited understanding of how people shared knowledge at site
11. EMS attempted to change management practices & corporate culture
12. EMS was not perceived as relevant at site
13. Senior Management not embracing public perception as part of assessing
Particularly, I am interested to hear any experiences you have had with
companies in the minerals industry.
I look forward to your feedback both on your experiences and the listing I
TURLOUGH F. GUERIN PhD
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