BSBSUS401 Implement and Monitor Environmentally Sample Assignment
Implement & Monitor environmentally sustainable work practices.
What is the purpose of National Greenhouse & Energy Reporting
The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act (NGER Act 2007) establishes the legislative framework for the NGER Scheme which is a national framework for reporting greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gas projects and energy consumption and production by corporations in Australia.
It does this by setting out the details that establish compliance rules and procedures for administering the NGER Act. It also describes the methods, standards and criteria to be applied when estimating greenhouse gas emissions, energy production and energy consumption.
It also sets out the requirements for preparing, conducting and reporting on greenhouse and energy audits.
2. What is the purpose of Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Legislation?
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC
Act) is the Australian Government’s central piece of environmental
legislation. It provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally
and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and
heritage places, defined in the EPBC Act as matters of national
Its objectives are to provide for the protection of the environment, especially matters of national environmental significance. To Conserve Australian Biodiversity, enhance the protection and management of important natural and cultural places. Assists with promoting ecologically sustainable development through the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of natural resources.
It also recognises the role of Indigenous people in the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of Australia's biodiversity, and to promote the use of Indigenous peoples' knowledge of biodiversity with the involvement of, and in cooperation with, the owners of the knowledge.
3. What is the Kyoto Protocol?
The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which commits its Parties
by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets.
It recognizes that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities."
The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005.
4. Who has the prime responsibility for environmental protection?
Under the division of powers between the Australian Government and the
states under the Australian Constitution, it is the states that have the
primary responsibility for environmental protection.
The Australian Government environment minister only has authority over the nine defined matters of national environmental significance, which are
- world heritage properties
- national heritage places
- wetlands of international importance
- nationally threatened species and ecological communities
- migratory species
- Commonwealth marine areas
- the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
- nuclear actions (including uranium mining)
- Water resource, in relation to coal seam gas development and large coal mining development.
In addition, the EPBC Act confers jurisdiction over actions that have a significant impact on the environment where the actions affect, or are taken on, Commonwealth land, or are carried out by a Commonwealth agency (even if that significant impact is not on one of the nine matters of 'national environmental significance).
5. How do organisations know how to behave ethically in regards to sustainability?
Organisations can refer to their own individual code of conduct, ethics or
behaviour established in the business core values. Also, field of industry
regulating bodies of the business will have an established code of practice
The following of this behaviour starts with management, and filters down all levels of staffing, establishing morality and social conduct. On a wider level, shareholders in that business will have a stake in the direction taken concerning ethics. Finally the greater community will take an interest in a business’s behaviour toward ethical sustainability.
1. What process might an assessor follow when analysing procedures to ensure compliance with environmental regulations?
Firstly, the assessor will establish the laws that are relevant to the
company requesting assessment, by asking yes or no questions pertinent to
the relationship between an organisation and environmental laws. Depending
on the answer to specific line of questioning, the assessor would rule out
non-essential laws to adhere to. The questioning would align with
activities that generally concern areas of climate, air quality, soil,
water, land use, wildlife, resource and resource depletion. Specifically,
they would be establishing potential opportunities of contamination of
these environments, which can include, physical damage, economic damage,
social damage or undesirable ecological change.
Once all the laws of compliance have been established, they would then require access to all work sites and stations, observing work activities and practices. Viewing also any organisational environmental resources or materials.
Upon completion of the analysis, they would then compile a report outlining their findings.
2. How might an assessor conduct an assessment?
Once all the laws of compliance have been established, they would then
commence an assessment on the business. This would require the assessor
having access to all work sites and stations, including any locked or
restricted areas, observing work activities and practices. The assessment
would be conducted under normal workplace practices or conditions, with the
company avoiding to alter or hide areas or tasks they view might reflect
poorly on the assessment. Viewing also any organisational environmental
resources or materials.
Staff should be made aware of the intention of the assessment, which is to identify any compliance issues that may need to be rectified.
Upon completion of the analysis, they would then compile a report outlining their findings including descriptions of noncompliance, details of when and where, relatable regulation of non-compliance, impact and measures to rectify.
1. What is resource efficiency?
Resource efficiency means using the Earth's limited resources in a
sustainable manner while minimising impacts on the environment. It allows
us to create more with less and to deliver greater value with less input.
This can be achieved through a number of measures.
One way of assessing your current environmental performance is to conduct a waste assessment. A waste assessment will help you to better understand where your efforts will gain most value. By improving your purchasing, your resource use and waste output will be reduced. Buying recycled materials can reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. If you reduce your energy consumption you can save money and reduce greenhouse gases caused by burning fossil fuels. Manage water usage and wastage.
2. What is an Environmental Management System?
An Environment Management System (EMS) is a tool for managing the impacts of an organisation's activities on the environment. It provides a structured approach to planning and implementing environment protection measures. An EMS monitors environmental performance, similar to the way a financial management system monitors expenditure and income and enables regular checks of a company's financial performance. An EMS integrates environmental management into a company's daily operations, long term planning and other quality management systems.
3. How can a work group be engaged in disseminating environmental and resource efficiency information?
Disseminate means to spread information acquired, usually over a wide area
or group of people. To engage people in the dissemination of information,
you can adopt a number of strategies.
Identify and engage stakeholders throughout the course of the project in order to ensure that the results of the project are applicable and appropriate to stakeholders. Establish and maintain a business website available to persons who are unable to be contacted directly.
Prepare and translate press releases and selected other materials for dissemination to the media and other stakeholders.
Where applicable, prepare scientific journal articles and conference presentations.
1. Explain the differences between qualitative and quantitative information.
Qualitative data collection is a method in which the characteristics,
attributes, properties, qualities, etc. of a phenomenon or thing is
described. It is the description of data in a language rather than in
numbers. This method does not measure the characteristics but describes
them. It is also sometimes referred to as “categorical data.” It does not
focus on drawing any inferences. It only deals with data that can be
observed like texture, taste, smell, beauty, but is not measured.
Quantitative data collection is a method in which data that can be numerically counted or expressed is collected. This data is useful for experiments, manipulated analysis, etc. and is represented by histograms, tables, charts, and graphs. It deals with measurements like height, length, volume, area, humidity, temperature, etc.
This type of data is associated with some type of scale measurement. The most commonly used scale for this data is a ratio scale.
2. What do you think are the advantages of presenting analysed data in graphical format, rather than a written report?
A graphical form of your data not only provides a nice picture of data, but it's also quicker to comprehend and understand. With data in graphical form, you can easily report trends, in a quicker way, with the visual aspect easier for information dissection. Graphic techniques are especially valuable in presenting quantitative data in a simple, clear, and effective manner, as well as facilitating comparisons of values, trends, and relationships. It can be a more interesting way to emphasize main points than just written words, and can help your audience better understand topic content by breaking up reports visually.
3. Your organisation is interested in analysing and organising information about the amount of paper it uses. Convert the data provided into a format that is easily used.
1. What are the goals of resource usage assessments? Give at least 6 examples.
The aim of a resource usage assessment is to measure total resource usage by members of your work force. By using the collected data, you will be able to identify ways in which you can best improve on resource efficiency.
· You can improve on the amount of energy being used.
· Identify which source of energy is used the most.
· Reduce the amount of water used.
· Reduce the amount of total waste produced by the business.
· Identify the main type of waste produced by the business.
· Reduce amount of Greenhouse gas emissions
2. List the steps (in order) that need to be taken when carrying out a resource usage assessment.
First you have to decide who will be responsible for carrying out the
assessment, often this is outsourced to organisations better versed in
identifying resource usage and waste generation. They will then commence to
gather any relevant background or existing information, such as
environmental management plans (EMP), any results from former efficiency
assessments. Then they will gather data about the organisations total
resource usage. Having identified total resource consumption, they will
then begin to allocate usage and waste generation to individual business
activities, this can be achieved by observation, talking to staff and
reviewing business documents.
On completion of this, a report will be prepared to assist the business with reducing identified areas of concern.
1. Identify 5 benefits of environmental purchasing.
Organisations looking to be environmentally responsible seek to practice
environmental purchasing. This means that they seek to buy resources,
goods/ services that have a reduced impact on the environment than their
alternatives. Purchasing products made from recyclable materials, or energy
efficient products are examples of environmental purchasing.
Environmental purchasing can assist in;
- Decreasing waste.
- Reduced pollution.
· Decreasing energy & water usage.
· Increase in resource efficiency.
· Establishing markets for environmentally friendly products and services.
1. How can organisations ensure that work processes meet environmental requirements and identify areas in which changes need to be made? Give at least 6 examples.
Organisations need to consider its business activities and identify any
potential environmental risks. Suitable work practices will need to be
designed to ensure risks are mitigated. Using the various state or
territory regulations and legislation associated with their work practices
as a guide.
To ensure that work practices meet environmental requirements, and to identify areas in which changes need to be made, an organisation needs to:
- Identify hazards.
· Decide who can be harmed, and how.
· Plan and conduct audits in consultation with staff and experts.
· Asses the level of risk, and determine the degree to which harm might be caused.
· Take action to eliminate or reduce the risk.
- Monitor and review the actions.
2. What is problem solving in the context of environmental work processes and what is its aim/s?
Organisations can analyse current work practices by carrying out a problem solving process. Problem solving is the process of analysing data and using the results to make improvements to operating systems, and to determine the extent of environmental interactions without causing harm or damage. For this to take place, organisations need to know a number of things including but not limited to:
- What to do.
- How to do it.
- What is required to do?
- Who should do it?
- What resources are available?
1. List at least 5 various ways that organisations can access stakeholder input.
You can access stakeholder input concerning required targets for improvement via working groups, surveys, personal meetings, public forums, written correspondence (either letters or email).
1. What are the advantages of joining an industry association? List two examples.
By becoming a member of an industry association, it will allow your
business to be up to date with the latest environmental developments for
your industry so you can remain competitive, and will also give you
opportunities to be a part of training programs and seminars that directly
affect your environmental business practices.
There are numerous associations available to membership some include:
· The Australian Business Council for Sustainable Energy.
· Green Building Council of Australia.
· Environment Management Group Australia.
2. What are the advantages of joining an environmental program? Give 2 examples.
By joining an environmental program, your company will have access to
advice from environmental experts, industry advisors and opportunities to
network with, and learn from other members.
Some of the programs include:
- Buy recycled business alliance.
- Sustainable Living Program.
- Environment Improver Program.
1. What is the hierarchy of control?
Hierarchy of control is a system used in industry to minimize or eliminate
exposure to hazards. It is a widely accepted system promoted by numerous
A hierarchy is name for a list. Usually a list of things that have something in common and usually in some sort of order, big to small, good to bad, useful to useless.
A control is some type of action that reduces the chance that a risk will happen, for example. Using a seat-belt when you’re driving a car reduces the chance that your head will hit the windscreen should you be in an accident.
So a hierarchy of controls is just a list of types of controls from really good to less useful.
Rearrange the controls in their correct order, as specified in the
hierarchy of control:
Administration, Elimination, Engineering, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and Substitution.
The control methods and measures at the top of the list are more effective and protective than the ones on the bottom. In order of priority they are:
1. What are Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?
A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that demonstrates how
effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Organizations
use KPIs at multiple levels to evaluate their success at reaching targets.
High-level KPIs may focus on the overall performance of the enterprise,
while low-level KPIs may focus on processes in departments such as sales,
Targets are signposts of where your organisation wants to go and hopes to achieve. You will be able to measure how well your resource efficiency strategies are working, and also help monitor progress.
These can be measured by either setting target percentages, by achieving industry benchmarks, or by comparisons to similar business in your field.
2. What five criteria should be met when creating targets?
When implementing targets into your organisation, it is best to ensure you
follow the S.M.A.R.T principal of goal setting. That is:
SPECIFIC – Specific targets have more chance of success as they focus efforts, and clearly outline what is expected.
MEASURABLE – Targets that are measured help people stay on track and focused. When targets are measurable, they can be compared to actual results.
ACHIEVABLE – The target needs to be a reasonable benchmark that with some effort employees will be able to make. If the Target is too unrealistic, you may discourage staff from feeling successful, however if the target is too easy, staff may be encouraged to not try that hard to achieve the target. The target should be able to be achieved with some hard work and effort.
RELEVANT – The target set should apply to the culture, needs and direction of the business.
TIMELY – An end date should be applied to the target to map out a timeframe in which goals need to be achieved, this encourages workers to commit to the KPI.
3. Identify what is wrong with the following targets and rewrite them so they conform to SMART criteria.
a. The Absolute Advertising Agency will reduce its paper waste.
The statement is too vague, not setting any targets or time line. It could
be better explained by the example:
The Absolute Advertising Agency will reduce its paper waste by 20% within the next 4 months.
b. The Fish Factory will reduce its energy consumption to zero in the next month.
This example places an unrealistic target to achieve, and again is vague in
its description. A possible alternative could be:
The Fish Factory will commence reducing energy consumption in our harvesting department to achieve zero by this time next year.
1. Identify five things a business could do to reduce its energy consumption.
There are a number of measures available to businesses to help reduce
energy consumption. Some of these include.
1. Establish energy efficient practices: Try your best to only use excess energy during the low or off peak times. 2. Get energy audit done: Hire an energy audit company to a do energy audit of your office.
3. Use hibernation feature of computers and laptops: Hibernate feature in laptops and desktops allows you to save your existing work as it is and you can continue from the same point next day.
4. Upgrade all outdated equipment with energy star appliances: If your old heater or air conditioner is not working at its maximum efficiency, it could draw unnecessary power which may cost you money.
5. Reduce Paper Wastage: Print only when necessary. This will not only reduce paper wastage but also helps to cut energy required to run printer which in turn reduces your energy cost and makes life of your printer longer.
2. Identify five things an organisation could do to reduce its waste.
Conversely, there are many ways an organisation can reduce wastage in the workplace. Some of these can include:
1. Use both sides of paper: When making copies, set your machine to use
both sides of paper and cut your consumption in half.
2. Turn off lights when not in use: Ask employees to turn off lights when they leave.
3. Install low-flow taps and toilets: Help conserve water by installing low-flow taps and toilets in restrooms and other common areas.
4. Take advantage of natural lighting: Install windows and skylights so that you can use natural daytime light.
5. Buy Energy Star appliances: When buying appliances, look for the Energy Star label to save at energy.
1. Identify the four steps of the continuous improvement cycle.
Continuous improvement is the ongoing improvement of products, services or
processes through incremental and breakthrough improvements.
Among the most widely used tools for continuous improvement is a four-step quality model—the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle , also known as Deming Cycle or Shewhart Cycle:
- Plan: Identify an opportunity and plan for change.
- Do: Implement the change on a small scale.
- Check: Use data to analyse the results of the change and determine whether it made a difference.
- Act: If the change was successful, implement it on a wider scale and continuously assess your results. If the change did not work, begin the cycle again.
2. Identify five things an organisation can do to improve the performance of its employees.
To assist with improving performances from its employees, an organisation
has a number of options to maximise performance. Some of them include:
1. Set clear, achievable, communicated performance & improvement goals.
2. Develop a quality orientated culture.
3. Be proactive, rather than reactive in foreseeing and preventing risk.
4. Be innovative.
5. Ensure everyone understands the link between quality & sustainability.
1. Explain why it is a good idea to integrate environmental procedures and practices with pre-existing organisation procedures and practices.
By integrating strategies from your EMS plan into existing policy you will
minimise disruption with staff complying, as they will be able to
understand and work with them more easily.
The goals and strategies in your EMS will have natural links with other facets of business policies, such as health & safety and quality management. An example would be, waste minimisation measures will integrate into existing quality control programs, and strategies to control harmful emissions will form part of your daily health and safety procedures.
Naturally, manuals and operating procedures will have to be amended and updated, but again you can add the new policies and procedures to existing documents.
2. What needs to be done when existing procedures or work practices are changed or new procedures and work practices are introduced?
Any changes to existing practices and procedures will need to be
communicated to all staff in a clear and concise manner. Staff need to
understand what the improvement procedures are trying to achieve, and how
their roles and responsibilities relate to the new change.
Specific training and awareness concerning the revised documentation should be organised before the actual implementation of the new policies and procedures to ensure full understanding of any new work practices. Information can be made available concerning suitable training programs and general information which will assist with informing and educating the workforce.
Define the term “Engagement”.
1. Engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the
organization and its goals. It relates to a state of involvement and
This emotional commitment means engaged employees actually care about their work and their company, and are more likely to be proactive in identifying areas for improved practices and resource efficiency.
2. Why is it important to ensure that employees do not become disengaged?
Staff that feel disengaged in the workplace feel disconnected, sometimes isolated in terms of involvement and are unlikely to be proactive in looking for areas that could be improved, much likely even more apprehensive in communicating their ideas. This could have a flow on effect to loss of productivity, even cost the business more money than required due to ineffective or outdated business practices.
3. What are the benefits of having a diverse team?
Having a diverse team, they are more likely to identify a number of areas of improvement by bringing a much wider pool of skills and experience to draw from. They may have come across, or experienced problems in the past, and can quickly identify suitable resolutions. Not only that, but they can generate high morale and productivity which can resonate throughout the entire workforce.
1. List at least six people/groups who might make up an organisations stakeholders.
Organisation stakeholders can come from a diverse area from within the
Some of these can include:
- Business Associations.
· Key personnel within the organisation.
2. Each stakeholder will have different areas of expertise. Complete the table by providing reasons that an organisation should seek suggestions & ideas about their environmental and resource efficiency management for each of the listed stakeholders.
1. A school is thinking about installing low-flush toilets in all of its bathrooms and air hand-driers to replace paper towel dispensers. Purchasing new toilets for the entire school will cost $22,000. It will need to employ plumbers to fit the toilets at a cost of $9,500. It is estimated that this will save the school $16,000 in water consumption fees. The hand driers will cost $13,500. The cost of employing electricians to install the hand driers will come to $4,400. As the school will no longer have to purchase paper towels, it will save $7,300 per year. It also estimates it will save $1,000 a year in cleaning costs, as the bathrooms will take less time to clean, and bins will need to be emptied less frequently. The school will incur additional electricity costs of $1,700 per year, however. Calculate the combined payback period for the installation of low flush toilets and air hand driers.
Organisations can calculate the benefits of new environmental assets by calculating the payback period using the formula:
Payback period (years) = initial investment ($) ÷ net annual savings (per year)
· Toilets: $22,000 (total cost of purchase) + $9,500 (plumber fees) ÷
$16,000 (water use savings)
$31,500 ÷ $16,000 = 1.97
It will take the school approximately 1.9 years to payback the toilets.
· Hand driers: $13,500 (total cost of purchase) + $4,400 ( electrician
fees) + $1,700 (increase of electricity) ÷ $7,300 (paper towel savings) +
$1,700 (labour savings)
$19,600 ÷ $9,000 = 2.17
It will take the school approximately 2.1 years to payback the hand driers.
1. Determine whether the following statements are true or false.
· Comparisons between variables allow you to make predictions about future events based on past events? TRUE
· Only data obtained from external, formal observations should be used to evaluate an organisations environmental performance? FALSE
· Competency analyses map current processes? TRUE
· Statistical analysis is the process that makes data useful and meaningful? TRUE
· Constants are the degree to which work practices fit within a range of acceptable limits? TRUE
· Only information that is verifiable, relevant, valid, accurate, reliable and timely should be relied on? TRUE
· Only qualitative data should be used to measure an organisations environmental performance? FALSE
· A variable is an amalgam of qualitative and quantitative measures? FALSE
· Environmental scans examine external activities, such as the economy, market trends and legislation? TRUE
· Environmental scans examine internal activities, such as staff morale, resources and skill? TRUE
1. Place the steps, which need to be observed when creating an environment report in their correct order.
- Communicate with the audience to understand their concerns, questions, expectations & interests.
- Create performance Indicators.
- Decide how you are going to publish report.
- Gather the data and evaluate it.
- Identify the data you will need to produce the report.
- Identify key environmental aspects that need to be covered by the report.
- Identify the target audience for your report.
- Make improvements to reporting procedures for future reports.
- Obtain Feedback.
- Produce, publish and distribute the report.
· Identify the target audience for your report.
· Communicate with the audience to understand their concerns, questions, expectations & interests.
· Identify the key environmental aspects that need to be covered by the report.
· Create performance indicators.
· Identify the data you will need to produce the report.
· Gather the data to evaluate it.
· Decide how you are going to publish the report.
· Produce, publish and distribute the report.
· Obtain feedback.
· Make improvements to reporting procedures for future reports.
2. Identify 5 benefits of creating and distributing an environmental report.
By creating an environmental report, it can then be used as a marketing tool also for your business to enhance your organisations reputation. Other benefits can include:
· They promote improvements in environmental outcomes.
· They encourage businesses to develop benchmarks to measure their environmental performance.
· They lead to better risk identification, thereby promoting better risk management.
· They demonstrate, by example, how to improve sustainability of operations.
· They ensure that organisations remain focused on continuous improvement.
1. Why is it important to carry out regular evaluations of environmental management systems/ strategies and improvement plans?
It is important to remember that an effective environmental management
system (EMS) is an ongoing system that requires continuous monitoring and
By conducting regular evaluations and reviews, you can ensure that measures contained in your EMS are being correctly implemented daily. Conversely, if they are not being followed, a review can provide an opportunity to reinforce strategies, and to clarify plans, procedures and expectations.
Failure to carry out regular reviews/ evaluations of your company EMS strategies and improvement plans can lead to adopting out of date work approaches. It could also lead to the EMS effectiveness being diminished or even nullified.
1. List 5 reasons that efficiency targets should be/ might need to be regularly reviewed.
You should be aware that efficiency targets need to be realistic and
applicable to operations at the time.
· From time to time targets might require periodic review and change to better support organisational goals.
· Changes to legislation, or industry standards often require businesses to change their targets.
· A similar business to yours may be doing things better, so you might like to adopt their approach.
· It can help identify lagging areas of your business, and also the more successful aspects of the business to see if unrealistic, or soft targets have been applied.
· Can help identify your businesses relevance in the current marketplace.
1. Identify the characteristics of an effective reward system. Give 4 examples.
Successful reward systems will have a number of features. The reward system
must be objective and fair, identifying people/ persons who have responded
positively to the characteristics under which the reward was established.
Therefore, reward systems need to establish clear and objective criteria at
the commencement of the scheme. Employees need to be aware of exactly what
type of performance or contribution constitutes rewardable behaviour or
Rewards can take many forms. Some of these can include:
· A day off, or late start/ early finish time.
- Lunches/ dinner.
Summative assessment 1.
What methods can be used to convey information and identify sustainability improvements?
Having great systems, policy and procedures in place are of no use to the
business if staff and management are unaware of their existence. It is
important for their success that staff fully commit to the practices, and
this can be achieved by having full working knowledge of the protocols, and
how to go about integrating these into day to day schedules.
Conveying required information to employees can be performed during the initial induction phase of employment. Gathering your workforce and presenting the information via addressing the gathered workforce, or presenting in video form. Individual emails can be sent, content can be added to company newsletters or formal consultations can take place.
These are just some examples of how to get your message across.
By conducting a sustainability compliance assessment, you will best identify any areas that are lagging under legislation, and which areas can be further improved. It will also provide an insight to areas of your business that are compliant.
Assessments conducted by independent officials, will give an honest insight into the status of your business.
They will not only identify areas requiring attention, but also assist with providing solutions to improve the identified areas/ aspects.
What are the essential features of a non-compliance form that could be used by employees to report any non-compliance issues?
Organisational employees should be focused on early detection of sources at
risk of non-compliance. A way to achieve this is to use a non-compliance
report form, available to all staff. Information included in this form will
allow employees and management to focus on areas in need of improvement.
The form should include details of non-compliance such as date, time and the location.
The impacts it will have on the business, including actual and possible impacts. A description of the non-compliance. It should allow an area to describe any corrective action that has been taken, also any further corrective action required.
The person who identified the non-compliance should be documented also.
What is the effect of environmental regulations and legislation on business?
Ever since the first major environmental regulations were enacted, there
have been concerns about their impacts on businesses. However,
environmental regulations only have a marginal impact on productivity and
employment, and can boost economic growth by encouraging innovation by
The benefits of environmental regulations often vastly outweigh the costs. There is ample evidence that environmental regulations induce innovation in clean technologies, which can be used by other innovators to further develop new technologies across various sectors of the economy. This makes it plausible that the switch from ‘dirty’ to ‘clean’ technologies could generate economic growth and justifies strong public support for clean technology development.
Regulations and legislation identified areas of business practices that required overhauling to come into line with consumer thinking on topical environmental issues. These were put into place to assist businesses in becoming more proactive in terms of their environmental responsibilities.
What common environmental and energy efficiency issues can you think of?
Climate change is now a major talking point in Australia. Persistent
drought, and resulting water restrictions, are an example of natural
events' tangible effect on economic realities. The current federal and
state governments have all publicly stated their belief that climate change
is being caused by greenhouse gas emissions.
Conservation of our unique flora and fauna rates high on the agenda of key environmental issues. Australia is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world, with a large portion of species endemic to Australia. Preserving this wealth of biodiversity is important for future generations. Currently, there are a number of environmental movements and campaigners advocating for action on saving the environment.
Water use is a major sustainability issue in Australia. During times of drought Water restrictions in Australia apply to conserve water. Climate change may intensify drought in Australia putting pressure on water resources and leading to alternative water sources including construction of Water tanks , dams, Water transportation and desalination plants many of which affect water catchments and put increasing pressure on the environment.
Most of Australia's demand for electricity depends upon coal-fired thermal
generation, with Australia being high on the list as one of the world’s
highest emitter of CO2 gases per capita. Australia is claimed to
be one of the country’s most at risk from
Reducing energy use and costs with in the business is becoming a major factor in the running of an organisations daily operations. Decreasing output on green waste & water usage also plays a major factor in a company’s bottom line and standing in the public arena.
What benchmarks might be used for environmental & resource
List at least 8 examples of techniques or tools that can be used to achieve efficiency.
Sustainability measurement is the quantitative basis for the informed management of sustainability . The metrics used for the measurement of sustainability they can include indicators , benchmarks, audits, indexes and accounting, as well as assessment, appraisal and other reporting systems. Key Performance Indicators (KPI’S) or the setting of targets can be used as a benchmark to achieve for staff and the business.
There are a number of ways to achieve workplace efficiency. Try and adopt
some of these principle into the business.
Reduce waste by choosing products that have minimal packaging and can be used productively and then recycled. Re-use containers, packaging or waste products, wherever possible. Recycle waste material into useable products, wherever possible. Use goods which stop waste being generated.
Consider sustainability issues when making planning and managing decisions. Promote and encourage environmental awareness to ensure employees are aware of their environmental responsibilities. Buy quality goods that will last. Make double-sided copies when printing and photocopying, wherever possible.
Define the term “Sustainability” and explain how it relates to resource usage.
In regards to the environment when describing sustainability, it is the
quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural
resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.
By introducing Sustainable resource management into a business, it can provide a planning and decision making process, that seeks to coordinate and balance the social, economic and environmental demands on resource use to achieve long term sustainable benefits and reduce conflicts among resource users.
What are the steps in creating an Environment Management System (EMS)?
An Environment Management System (EMS) is a tool for managing the impacts
of an organisation's activities on the environment. It provides a
structured approach to planning and implementing environment protection
measures. An EMS monitors environmental performance, similar to the way a
financial management system monitors expenditure and income and enables
regular checks of a company's financial performance. An EMS integrates
environmental management into a company's daily operations, long term
planning and other quality management systems.
To ensure your EMS is of quality in needs to include.
Before you commence with an EMS, you need to ensure the business or organisation supports the idea. You will need to provide a clear understanding of the impact the business activities have on the environment and the community. Once the business has committed to an EMS, a formal organisational policy will need to be developed. This will be used as a public declaration of the company’s commitment and responsibilities concerning Environ mental management.
How do sustainable businesses foster ethical behaviours in staff and management?
The ethics that leaders in an organization use to manage employees may have
an effect on the morale and loyalty of workers. The code of ethics
determines discipline procedures and the acceptable behaviour for all
workers in an organization. When leaders have high ethical standards, it
encourages workers in the organization to meet that same level. Ethical
leadership also enhances the company’s reputation in the financial market
and community. A solid reputation for ethics and integrity in the community
may improve the company’s business.
When a company adopts sound environmental sustainability practices, it is being pro-active in its commitment to cut wastage and costs, and to ensure business longevity in the marketplace.
Employees who use ethics to guide their behaviour adhere to employee policies and rules while striving to meet the goals of the organization. Ethical employees also meet standards for quality in their work, which can enhance the company’s reputation for quality products and service.
When an employee adheres to sustainability practices identified by the company, they are taking an active part in the future of the business.
By ensuring your business through sustainability, you are sending a message to the consumer of morality, and that your company is maintaining current trends with what the population practices.
Summative Assessment 2
Essay Question – write a response to the following quote from Unlimited Sustainable Development Solutions.
Organisations today are being asked to address an increasingly complex set of environmental issues. As noted in the quote:
“ Sustainability is achieved when we understand the economic, environmental, and social consequences of our actions and make deliberate choices that allow all people to lead healthy, productive and enjoyable lives”.
Your response should include a discussion of:
- Complex environmental issues.
- Methods of measuring an organisation’s environmental impact.
- Methods of managing an organisation’s environmental impact.
- Methods of reducing an organisation’s environmental impact.
Environmental problems make it apparent that solving complex issues
requires the cooperation of all sectors. Environmental issues affect every
individual, organization, community and country, and by becoming
environmental stewards, it keeps the economy moving, which is necessary for
growth and long-term viability.
Some of these problems businesses are facing today can include:
One of the world’s biggest environmental problems, as it tends to be a typical by-product of modern life. Air pollution, for instance, is the result of fossil fuel combustion, as well as various gases and toxins released by industries and factories. Pollution and modern living seemingly go hand-in-hand, but the costs of air pollution can no longer be ignored.
The costs of pollution go beyond medical bills and loss of productivity. Heavily polluted areas make it difficult for companies located there to hire and retain workers, forcing them to pay higher wages to attract and keep employees. In addition, unchecked pollution can temper investors’ interest. To produce their products safely, companies in heavily polluted areas may need to close shop and move their operations to less polluted locations.
As populations and industries grow, so does the problem of proper waste disposal. Communities accumulate so much garbage that properly disposing of it has become increasingly difficult. Solid garbage, for example, is usually buried in landfill sites or incinerated, which is extremely harmful to the environment. Decomposing garbage may attract vermin, give off a foul smell or leach into groundwater. The smoke given off by burning garbage contributes to air pollution.
Certain by-products of the manufacturing process amplify the need for improved waste disposal. Efficiency is sometimes pursued at the expense of environmental sustainability. To produce as much as possible in the most cost-effective manner, manufacturers may adopt practices that appear to be cheap, but are actually resource-intensive in the long run. These practices generate by-products that cannot be reused and must be disposed of.
Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges of our current daily lives.
Climate change can trigger a higher demand for energy. As the climate gets warmer, people consume more electricity for air conditioning. Greater electricity consumption, in turn, means higher operational costs for businesses. Furthermore, a higher energy demand translates to increased consumption of natural resources such as fossil fuel and water. Climate change can also have negative effects on agricultural productivity.
The world’s water supply is becoming increasingly scarce. Water shortages have a detrimental effect on agriculture. Farms are dependent on water for irrigation, so a decrease in water supply will drastically affect their productivity. Farms will have smaller yields, which means manufacturers will also have fewer raw materials to turn into products and services. If the water supply in a particular area gets critically low, businesses in that area may be forced to move their operations to where water supply is still sufficient. Water is needed in almost every aspect of business operations, from running machines, to keeping the office premises clean. Relocation forces businesses to spend on new facilities and equipment, as well as on hiring and training new staff.
To fully understand businesses impact on the environment, you first need to
be aware of exactly how you are affecting it. Information and statistics
can be acquired by performing a resource usage assessment.
This tool will give you an understanding of the environmental impacts you may be causing.
Once decided as to who will carry out the assessment, you will then commence to gather any relevant background or existing information, including results from former efficiency assessments. Then gather data about the organisations total resource usage. Having identified total resource consumption, you can then begin to allocate usage and waste generation to individual activities, this can be achieved by observation, talking to staff and reviewing business documents.
Once you have the necessary information, you can then set about looking to manage the company’s environmental impact, and subsequently look to reduce the impact the business is having on the environment.
Environmental management plans describe how action might impact on the natural environment in which it occurs and set out clear commitments from the business taking action on how those impacts will be avoided, minimised and managed so that they are environmentally acceptable. In conjunction with information acquired via your resource usage assessment, the plan should include a description of the activities that will be undertaken to ensure management and reduction.
The environmental management plan should clearly state how the potential impacts of the proposal will be managed and this information usually forms the bulk of the content of the plan.
You are the supervisor of a group of 15 workers in a business involved in an industry of your choice. You have been asked to plan and organise a number of work group activities in relation to measuring current resource use and devising strategies to improve usage.
1. Identify a minimum of 3 appropriate work group activities and provide an overview of what is involved with each activity.
2. Develop a plan to monitor resource use and improvements for
environmental performance as a result of the activities undertaken by
your work group.
The business I have chosen is a Mine site catering company. The
characteristics of this business is to oversee all aspects required to
house, feed, laundry and sanitary requirements of mine site workers lively
remotely on an accommodation village.
Mine camps are pretty much like small towns at times, with the added difficulty of being remote, providing services can be a challenge.
It is also important to minimise the footprint the village is having on the surrounding environment.
The administration office use a lot of paper due to the different forms that need to be filled out for accommodation requests, maintenance requests, flights, food orders etc. When new people arrive they fill in information forms, staff timesheets are manually written. There is a lot of consumable paper that may or may not be totally necessary.
Being a high traffic area of people coming and going, doors are constantly being opened, therefore causing a fluctuation in air temperature control. Power usage can be higher than necessary due to this, with air conditioning units working harder to maintain a constant temperature. Also lights being left on as well as electronic devices left on outside of operational hours can cause a rise in power usage.
Coupled with higher power usage, being a common area water usage can fluctuate depending on number of persons visiting the administration office. During peak arrival times the numbers can be quite high, add to this the staff numbers and there can be a [possibility of unnecessary water usage also.
All of the identified work group activities are not uncommon to any workplace of areas identified as potential drains on resources and money to a business.
Looking at invoices concerning paper purchases, we can monitor the volume
used over a period of time (eg: 1 month) to establish a cost and turnover
time of paper. Taking the figures from our data, look to reduce the amount
used, thereby reducing the frequency of orders placed and the volume of
Have the staff try and record as much information as possible electronically to minimise paper use. This could be maintenance requests, staff timesheets for example. Some initial outlay in time and money may be required to update data entry skills training for the staff, but hopefully this will be offset down the line in savings and time, and storage.
Encourage forms and reports to be printed on double sides of the paper. Implement more 1 off forms and documents rather than repeat duplicate forms for recurring guest bookings.
Once the recommendations have been implemented, revisit the time frame monitored in the initial data collection to gauge success of the new procedures.
Same with the power and water measuring. Take a respective utility bill and
use that as a measure of usage and costs.
Energy usage can be reduced by installing air curtains over main entrance doors to help keep the cooler air inside, thereby allowing the air conditioning unit to run at a constant level instead of fluctuating. Have staff turn off electrical appliances when leaving for the day. In areas that require constant lighting, install low wattage lamps, or even motion detectors for added reductions in power use.
Educate staff in smarter ways of using, or not using power, including using natural light where available.
Same with water, the water bill will give you usage and costs over a set
Have slow flow\ low flow filters installed in taps and showers. Dual flushing systems in the common area toilets, perhaps look to install set time on taps for washing hands.
Little measures taken throughout the workplace can add up to big savings in money and also resource usage. For a mine site this can have a positive public relations outcome for the company, and can also educate on a large scale the benefits of minimising usage of our resources to the staff and public.