Environmental Management Systems in the Mining Industry
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 1994
With the advent of increased environmental regulation and high penalties for non-compliance in many countries, there has grown a need for all industries to assess their risk with respect to environmental compliance and consequently develop management systems which ensure environmental compliance and sound environmental practice. The need to better assess and manage environmental risk has developed rapidly as legal and financial penalties have increased for inappropriate management of the environment. The mechanism that industry has developed to manage risk is through the use of environmental management systems. These environmental management systems are generally based on the principles of total quality management. For example the British Standard BS7750 (Specification for Environmental Management System) shares common management system principles with ISO 9000 quality management systems. The same trends of increased environmental regulation and higher penalties for environmental impairment are now evident in Australia where environmental management systems are now being introduced. With increased penalties for environmental impairment and greater responsibility of managers and directors, environmental management systems are likely to become even more common in Australia. This paper describes some of the influences directing environmental management within the Australian industrial and mining environment, describes the elements of an environmental management system and relates these to the mining industry.