Environmental management is the central building block of sustainability (supported on either side by two pillars: economic impact and social impact) and our capacity for resilience and ability to endure changes to climate, land use, water, other resources and population growth, while at the same time preserving biodiversity. World population is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050 and peak at 11 billion by 2070, followed by a decline to 8.4 billion by 2100. The key question is whether or not the Earth as we know it will be able to regenerate and stabilize after an extending period of excessive resource extraction. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment found in 2005 that human activity is having a significant and escalating negative impact on biodiversity, compromising resilience and sustainability. Out of 24 ecosystems measured only four were estimated to have shown improvement over the past 50 years, with 15 in serious decline and 5 in a generally stable state. It’s clear that environmental management will have to go to another level to meet growing demands for food, land use, water, timber, fibres and energy. Leading companies and countries and many individuals are taking on the environmental management challenge through improved water conservation practices and technologies; improvements to energy efficiency; and greater use of recycling and other measures to reduce packaging demands on the environment. Nevertheless, the ecological footprint is still well in to negative territory. In 2007 it’s estimated we are using ecological services 1.5 times faster than the Earth can renew them (Global Footprint Network) (http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/).
What can we do to enhance environmental management in your country, industries and/or business?
● Identify environmental risks and integrate environmental risk management in to operations.
● Identify, measures to improve and manage resources more efficiently. Prepare environmental management strategy and plan
● Estimate ecological footprints at a country, regional, sector or company level for ongoing monitoring, evaluation and control
● Help with design and promotion of ecologically sustainable products and services to create a competitive edge.
● Help build capacity to enhance environmental management performance.
Our approach to environmental management:
An effective environmental management strategy underpins environmental management performance. The strategy normally searches for the most effective and efficient way of saving and conserving resources, through more efficient work practices and new technology. Ideally this strategy creates value through lower costs and brand benefits. Leadership, accountability and governance play important roles in effective environmental management.
Environmental management examples
● Number of life cycle assessment studies, covering agriculture, food and other manufacturing, transport, storage and energy.
● Development of environmental management strategy for national development plans.
Interesting environmental management links: