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Environmental Management

Table of Contents

Why is Environmental Management Important?
Who Needs Environmental Management?
Synonyms & Related Terms
Typical Uses
Typical Results Achieved
Typical Symptoms
Typical Problems Encountered
Things to Consider
What's the PQA Advantage?
The Next Step


With climate change, species extinction, and environmental cancer rates soaring, Environmental Management is beginning to be recognized as an essential foundation for business and all human activities.   PQA personnel have been involved in the technical aspects and implementation of environmental systems for the past 25 years. Within the last 10 years, the recognized and accepted "gold standard" for environmental management is ISO 14001 certification.  PQA offers consulting, training, auditing, and implementation support services in Environmental Management systems.

Why is Environmental Management Important?

  • In most North American locations, it is 0.5șC warmer now than 100 years ago.  The Heating Degree Days (HDD)  have decreased by 9.5%, and the Cooling Degree Days (CDD) have increased by 65%.  This is in spite of air pollution causing Global Dimming, which has blocked an extra 10% to 30% of the sun's radiation from getting to the planet's surface during the last 50 years.  Had all the sun's energy reached the surface, we would have had an even higher temperature rise.
  • Greenhouse Gasses (eg. CO2, CH4, CFCs, N2O, etc.) and related pollutants that absorb or affect the concentration or efficiency of Green House Gasses (eg. CO, NOX, SO2, VOC, etc.) have been continuously on the rise.  Within the last 20 years, CO2 has gone from 335 to 385 ppm, a 15% increase.
  • A total of 15,589 species of plants and animals are known to face a high risk of extinction in the near future, in almost all cases as a result of human activities. This includes 32% of amphibian species, 24% of mammal species, 12% of bird species, 25% of conifers and 52% of cycads (an ancient group of plants).    http://www.iucn.org/themes/Ssc/red_list_2004/Extinction_media_brief_2004.pdf
  • California has banned the construction of schools, day cares, and senior centres within 500 meters of freeways and major arterial roads due to the excessive pollution levels in these areas.
  • Canadian Cancer Incident RatesApproximately 50% of Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer sometime in their life.  While modern medicine has focused on miracle cures, the childhood cancer incident rate have risen over 20 per cent in the last 30 years.  Click on the map for a full size view of Canadian cancer annual incident rates.  These sad statistics are in spite of good lifestyle choices (eg. not smoking, exercising, and eating your vegetables).  Tests on the blood and urine of 500 randomly chosen Canadians found varying levels of contamination from heavy metals, pesticides and other toxic chemicals (such as PCBs, mercury, lead). The contaminants include known and suspected carcinogens and other chemicals that may cause reproductive disorders, harm the development of children, disrupt hormone systems or are associated with respiratory illnesses.  Cancer costs the Canadian economy an estimated $14 billion a year. Direct cancer healthcare costs will be more than $176 billion.  Over $248 billion in tax revenues will be lost because of disability due to cancer. Approximately 80% of these cancers will be linked to environmental factors (eg. air pollution, water pollution, occupational exposure, commuting to work, etc.).
  • People expect business, and other individuals to curtail their polluting behaviours, and adopt "Good Citizen", sustainable, and environmentally sound methods.

Who Needs Environmental Management?

All businesses need a sound environmental policy, and effective implementation.  Certain business sectors and activities have been mandated to have effective environmental management practices, limits on emissions, prevention, and emergency response systems.

ISO 14001 registrations vs. country, as of 2004Growth in ISO 14001 registration, 1995-2001
Click on graphs for larger version

World-wide as of April 2005, 88,800 organizations have achieved compliance and registration to the ISO 14001 environmental management standard.  Japan has the most registrations, followed by China.  USA is ranked 6th, and Canada is 12th.

The number of ISO 14001 registrations per $ GDP or population are interesting statistics.  In 2001, the USA had one registration per 200,000 people or one per $6000 million of gross domestic product (GDP). This compares to one registration per 23,000 people in Japan and one registration per $900 million of GDP in the United Kingdom.  For Canada as of August 1999, it is 34th in the world in terms of ISO 14001 certifications per unit of GDP, behind all major competitors, and behind such countries as Korea, Thailand, Brazil and Mexico. Clearly, North America is lagging behind the rest of the world in adopting ISO 14001.

EMAS, the European environmental standard, has achieved similar recognition and adoption.  The rate of growth in ISO 14001 registrations has been exponential since its start in Dec. 1995.

Individuals also need awareness and limits on their polluting behaviours that affect others.

Synonyms & Related Terms

  • Global Warming
  • Green
  • Sustainable development
  • Environment
  • Conservation
  • Recycling
  • Emissions
  • Pollution
  • Chemical
  • Carcinogens
  • 3R's (Reduce, Re-use, & Recycle)

Typical Uses

  • Profit centre.  It pays to be environmentally effective.  The 3R's (Reduce, Re-use, & Recycle) are a profit centre
  • Ensure acceptance by customers as an environmentally acceptable supplier
  • Minimize worker exposure & risk
  • Good corporate citizen.  You are recognized as a preferred place to work, or as a neighbour.
  • Reduction in risk, legal costs, and administrative overhead due to recognized environmental leadership and trust.


Typical Results Achieved

Canadian Chemical Producers Association emissions reductions 1992-2003

On the financial side of the environmental equation:

  • 3M saved >$1 billion since 1975
  • IBM saved $32 million in 1990
  • Sealtest Dairy saved $3 million in 1994
  • Sony cut scrap & waste by 95%
  • Delphi Saginaw saves $14 million/yr
  • GM Flint saves $0.25 million/yr in energy

Typical Symptoms

You know you need an Environmental Management System if one or more of the following events occur:

  • Your mind flashes to the consequences if the government's Environmental Inspector starts asking too many questions
  • Your customers have demanded you be ISO 14001 certified
  • You are feeling a price or profit squeeze, and don't know where else to turn to find the necessary savings.
  • You have an absenteeism, sickness, or employee turnover problem that is costing your money or causing frustration
  • You want to minimize government intrusion into your business or industry sector

Typical Problems Encountered

  • Some people feeling smug about using a Blue Box, recycling cans, bottles, and paper.  On the global basis, compared to what could be accomplished, it's a good start, but is obviously short sighted, narrow focused, and insufficient
  • Too much bureaucracy.  Remember, environmental management is not about generating paper.  It's all about the hearts and minds of people, and awareness of the environmental consequences before making a major decision.
  • High implementation costs.  Don't forget, a properly designed implementation should save money, not increase your costs.  If you have heard differently, talk to PQA to get the facts.
  • Change can put you in the environmental spotlight after years of "flying below the radar".  PQA has experience at making these types of transitions as smooth as possible.  Find an expert.

Things to Consider Before Implementing Environmental Management

  1. Why do you want to do an Environmental Management implementation?
  2. How does environmental issues rank on your organization's overall Priority list today?  20 years from today?
  3. Why are environmental issues a significant competitive factor for your business?
  4. Why do you want to do an Environmental Management implementation now?  Why not delay till later?
  5. What are your competitors & industry leaders doing about environmental issues?
  6. How do your customers and Stakeholders feel about environmental issues, pollution, Green House Gasses, and sustainable development?
  7. Would you still do an Environmental Management implementation, even if government regulations weren't forcing your hand?
  8. How will you find the best person to do your Environmental Management implementation?
  9. What is your budget for doing an Environmental Management implementation (minimum $, maximum $, ideal $)?

What's the PQA Advantage?

PQA has 17 years experience at implementing Environmental Management systems in various industries.  We have developed proprietary Environmental Management systems that ensure Environmental Management System is effective, accurate, timely, believable, and useful for management to make the best decisions.

Environmental Management systems implemented by PQA typically include one or more of the following features:

  • Environmental Management is custom designed to each organization's specific needs.  One-size Environmental Management doesn't fit all.
  • PQA searches for cost savings and productivity improvements that can be achieved through improved environmental management.  These small changes can pay for the entire system.
  • Environmental Management data is collected for each of the 21 internal processes that exist in most For-Profit and Not-For-Profit organization.  This means that Environmental Management data is available to managers on a departmental, as well as a business process basis (across 1 or more departments).
  • Environmental Management system is linked to the 9 Competitive Factors (the 9 reasons why customers buy from you instead of your competitors)
  • Environmental Management data is linked to the 21 Success Factors for Business Excellence.  This ensures environmental issues help maximize your profits, are sustainable in good times and bad, and you have both balance and focus.
  • Environmental Management assessment, consulting, coaching, and implementation assistance to ensure effective implementation at all stages of your Environmental Management project.

The Next Step

If you or your organization want higher profitability, or significantly improve your stakeholder satisfaction, a properly designed and implemented Environmental Management system may be of interest.

 E-mail, or phone PQA (1-800-837-7046) for a free, confidential discussion of your current situation, and how Environmental Management system may help.

PQA's typical recommendation is to do a rapid assessment of your organization.  This includes the accounting system, current management measurement systems, all business processes, and interviews with key personnel.  PQA then provides a report on our findings and recommendations on Environmental Management or other techniques that would be beneficial.  You are provided an approximate cost to implement, as well as the currently estimated losses from the current system.  An ROI and ROQ can then be calculated for the Environmental Management upgrade or implementation project.

If you decide to proceed, PQA can provide any necessary skills, training, or implementation assistance to ensure an effective system.  PQA also offers quarterly or annual assessments to ensure the Environmental Management system is working at peak effectiveness, or offer recommendations for further improvement.

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