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You will be provided with a set of readings around a certain topic in environmental management. All papers will be related to a central theme/industrial sector.


You are required to read the articles and reflect on them. Students are then required to write 1 piece (paper).

This year themes is: Implementing Environmental Management Systems in the Australian Agriculture Sector.

Research Question

Environmental Management System (EMS) refers to the process of managing an organization’s programs related to the maintenance of better environment and protecting the natural resources. The system hence, needs to be highly planned, systematic and constructed. The EMS program not only focuses on the procedure of protecting the environment, but also includes organizational planning, implementation process and resource development. To elaborate it furthermore, it can be said that the EMS integrates the process for training the workforce regarding the environmental issues, monitoring the procedure and gathering the information regarding the environmental performance of an organization. In this regard, it is to be mentioned that the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), has specified the standards that are to be maintained by the organizations. The ISO 2004 is the most widely used standard amongst the organizations. As the ISO standards focuses on the occupational safety, health and environmental safety, the standard is taken into consideration in the fields of agricultural business as well. The discussion hence will focus on the importance of implementation of EMS in the Australian agricultural sectors and its potential influence.

What are the factors that are responsible for EMS implementation in Australian agricultural sectors?

The primary goal of the EMS system are to reduce wastage and increase compliance. To elaborate it further, it can be said that the EMS works toward maintain the minimum structural and legal standards by the organizations. It continuously monitors that all the organizations that are related to the production of consumable products. In addition to this, the standard also monitors that the organizations are using proper waste reduction techniques so as to minimize impacts on the environment. As opined by de Oliveira et al., (2017), the maintenance of the guidelines are highly important as they are related to the wellbeing of the consumers as well as the surrounding environment.  In this regard, it can be seen that in recent times the Australian government is playing influential role in the process of taking up and implementation of EMS by the agricultural industries. The government has shown keen interest and taking up initiatives of teaching the workers and the owners about the importance of the system.

However, it has been widely argued that the environmental practices are directly linked to the organizational or institutional pressure. Over the time, this has been a widely debated issue that the organizations taking up EMS are doing so as a result of institutional pressure. They are not taking up the environmental strategies willingly. According to Daddi et al., (2016), the regulatory frameworks are the primary driving forces behind the voluntary implementation of environmental strategies. In order to analyze the practices by the agricultural organization of taking up the environmental strategies, it is to be witnessed that all the organizations are taking up similar strategies. As a reason behind this act, it can be understood that the organizations operating in a similar field, tend to look up to similar regulatory structures. This tendency of following isomorphic rules and regulations can further be of three kinds. The first kind of isomorphism pressure is that the organization is being pressurized by the entities on which they are depending. This has been named as the Coercive isomorphism. Another reason for taking up environmental strategies is Normative isomorphism, where the professional that have been specified by the regulatory bodies. The third kind of isomorphism is the Mimicking isomorphism where the organizations end to follow the established and big farms.

Reading Review

In opposition to this view, Cary & Roberts, (2011) pointed out that successful implementation of environmental strategies are helpful in the overall growth of the organization. The implementation of the strategies leads the organization towards the paths of new innovations and hence the organization gains competitive edge over other similar organizations. In this regard, the Australian government has taken up the methodology of voluntary participation from the agricultural organizations (Collins et al., 2016). The ISO regulatory body as well as the Australian government is willing to opt out from “command and control” methods that have been used traditionally.

In addition to the regulatory framework and the mandates of the government and the ISO framework, the organizations that are taking up EMS framework are found to be gaining more in the front of consumers’ satisfaction. The ISO standards ensure the food and agricultural safety, this leads to greater chances of satisfying the consumers. As opined by Nguyen et al., (2014), the modification and control of the waste or byproducts are the most important aspect in maintain the ISO regulatory framework. In this regard, the importance of managing phosphate can be regarded as of having high significance. In the agricultural fields, phosphorus is being used in order to manufacture multiple products. Hence, over the time it has been monitored hat the usage of phosphate have highly increased. As pointed out by scientists, as a result of this practice, the reserve of phosphorus is going to be exhausted within a span of 50-100 years. Thus, in order to maintain the balance and decrease the ill effects of phosphate on the lands and water bodies, taking up proper strategies is highly important. Various methods of metal loading are being taken up in order to manage the effects of the metal.

In addition to this, El Hanandeh, (2015) has opined that the importance of energy recovery can be seen in the agricultural sectors where the rates of manufacturing waste or by products are high. Taking example from the olive oil refineries can be taken. The oil refineries need to deal with the highly polluting waste materials that are the obtained after the process of oil refining. The solid waste materials obtained from the oil refineries, can effectively be used in manufacturing briquettes that are used in the solid fuel burners. The Australian households are in need of these solid fuel stoves in winter. Hence, the briquettes made by the oil waste an effectively be used in this sector. In addition to this, these solid fuels can be used in the domestic biomass water heaters. The domestic water heating boilers are used extensively in the Australian households. Moreover, these units can run using the biomass as fuel. El Hanandeh, (2015) rightly pointed out that the wastewater available from the oil refineries, wheat mills and other agricultural machineries, can be used in this regard.

Discussion and Reflection

In addition to the strategies taken up in order to minimize the waste products, the EMS also includes the strategies to save natural energy resources. Leung & Yang, (2012) have mentioned that the agricultural farms are mostly using the non-renewable energy resources to run their set ups. As it is widely known that these set ups are in need of huge power consumption to run effectively. Hence, the EMS has pointed out the necessity of using renewable natural sources to produce energy. One of the most prominent methods is producing wind energy by setting up windmills. As it is widely known that the wind energy does not pollute the environment as the non-renewable energy sources such as energy produced by fossil fuels or nuclear powers. In addition to this, Leung, & Yang, (2012) have pointed out that the procedures of setting up windmills are less complex if compared to the process of reserving tidal energy. The agricultural field are able to implant the set up easily as they have the available spaces.

However, it has been  argued that the negative impacts of windmills can also be seen in few countries where the windmills have been implanted extensively. It has been said that the giant blades are seen to be affecting the local environment in many places. After installation of the windmills, many of the places have witnessed draughts. However, the effects are not prominent enough to come to any conclusion.

In this context, the role of Life Cycle Assessment Tool (LCA) is to be considered. The implementation of LCA insures the capture of various indirect aspects such as impacts on the environment. It is needed to be considered as an important tool for identification of the environmental aspects and assessing them.  However, Lewandowska, (2011) has argued that the LCA is not entirely flawless. The primary limitation of the tool is that it is a time consuming process. In addition to this, the small and medium agricultural industries are seen to be less interested in the including LCA as a result of the complex and costly implementation procedure. In order to overcome the problem, it is recommended that the government must take up proper actions in order to support the small and medium scale industries. As opined by Notarnicola et al., (2016), the effects of the LCA implementation as highly elusive as the consumers are not coming to direct contacts with these bulk producers. In this  regard, the role of government is highly important.

Strategies to Minimize Waste Products

Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be said that the successful inclusion of the EMS framework depends upon the willingness of the framers in taking up the system. The farmers, on their parts are more willing to take up frameworks that have immediate and long lasting effects. The process of installing EMS includes activities such as managing wastewater, byproducts and opting for renewable energy sources to maintain the effectiveness of the farms. By employing these methods, an organization can gain significant competitive edge over the other organizations. Moreover, it can ensure a steady growth in its economy, as well as achieve customer satisfaction.

References:

Cary, J., & Roberts, A. (2011). The limitations of environmental management systems in Australian agriculture. Journal of Environmental Management, 92(3), 878-885.

Collins, A. L., Zhang, Y. S., Winter, M., Inman, A., Jones, J. I., Johnes, P. J., ... & Noble, L. (2016). Tackling agricultural diffuse pollution: What might uptake of farmer-preferred measures deliver for emissions to water and air?. Science of the Total Environment, 547, 269-281.

Daddi, T., Testa, F., Frey, M., & Iraldo, F. (2016). Exploring the link between institutional pressures and environmental management systems effectiveness: an empirical study. Journal of environmental management, 183, 647-656.

de Oliveira, J. A., Silva, D. A. L., Guardia, M., do Nascimento Gambi, L., de Oliveira, O. J., & Ometto, A. R. (2017). How can Cleaner Production practices contribute to meet ISO 14001 requirements? Critical analysis from a survey with industrial companies. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, 19(6), 1761-1774.

El Hanandeh, A. (2015). Energy recovery alternatives for the sustainable management of olive oil industry waste in Australia: life cycle assessment. Journal of Cleaner Production, 91, 78-88.

Leung, D. Y., & Yang, Y. (2012). Wind energy development and its environmental impact: a review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 16(1), 1031-1039.

Lewandowska, A. (2011). Environmental life cycle assessment as a tool for identification and assessment of environmental aspects in environmental management systems (EMS) part 1: methodology. The international journal of life cycle assessment, 16(2), 178-186.

Nguyen, T. A. H., Ngo, H. H., Guo, W. S., Zhang, J., Liang, S., Lee, D. J., ... & Bui, X. T. (2014). Modification of agricultural waste/by-products for enhanced phosphate removal and recovery: potential and obstacles. Bioresource technology, 169, 750-762.

Notarnicola, B., Sala, S., Anton, A., McLaren, S. J., Saouter, E., & Sonesson, U. (2016). The role of life cycle assessment in supporting sustainable agri-food systems: A review of the challenges. J. Clean. Prod, 140.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

My Assignment Help. (2020). Implementing Environmental Management Systems In The Australian Agriculture Sector. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/7407eng-environmental-management-systems/ems-implementation-in-australian-agricultural-sectors.html.

"Implementing Environmental Management Systems In The Australian Agriculture Sector." My Assignment Help, 2020, https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/7407eng-environmental-management-systems/ems-implementation-in-australian-agricultural-sectors.html.

My Assignment Help (2020) Implementing Environmental Management Systems In The Australian Agriculture Sector [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/7407eng-environmental-management-systems/ems-implementation-in-australian-agricultural-sectors.html
[Accessed 29 May 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Implementing Environmental Management Systems In The Australian Agriculture Sector' (My Assignment Help, 2020) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/7407eng-environmental-management-systems/ems-implementation-in-australian-agricultural-sectors.html> accessed 29 May 2024.

My Assignment Help. Implementing Environmental Management Systems In The Australian Agriculture Sector [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2020 [cited 29 May 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/7407eng-environmental-management-systems/ems-implementation-in-australian-agricultural-sectors.html.

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