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Environmental Management And Sustainable Development

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Questions:

1.Why is Environment Management System (EMS) Policy Important for a Company which is certified to ISO 14001 Standards? 

2.Discuss your Understanding of Environmental Aspects and Impacts and its Importance relating to ISO 14001. 

3.Develop a Procedure for the Management of Legal and Other Requirements in your Steel Fabrication Business. 
 
 

Answers:

1.Importance of Environment Management System (EMS) Policy

The ISO 14001 is an internationally accepted standard and integrated approach to effective environmental management. The standard is designed to help the organizations conduct successful businesses without running away from the environmental responsibilities. An environmental management system (EMS) is a set of management principles and tools that designs or creates administrative procedures which needs to be integrated into the business practices for maximum environmental concerns. The main objective of EMS is to achieve the established policy to protect the environment. The EMS policy is important to the companies who are certified to ISO 14001 standards as they need to integrate environment protection practices while fulfilling their environmental responsibilities (Heras-Saizarbitoria & Boiral, 2012).

EMS is important as it helps the organizations in meeting shareholder and customer demand. With the implementation of EMS, the efficiency can be improved and the organizations can significantly save money. As the ISO 14001 certified company is bound to integrate effective environmental management, the company has goodwill in the market. To stand up to its goodwill, EMS shall help the companies in living up to the expectations of individuals and the wider communities (To & Lee, 2014). Further, if the ISO 14001 certified companies follow EMS policy, it shall create awareness for the other individuals and corporate on environmental degradation and the impact it has on our earth. EMS is proactive towards regulatory compliance that makes the business owners understand the negative impact of environmental degradation and take measures to prevent it. The ISO 14001 makes the company legally bound to win stakeholder and customer trust (Testa et al., 2014).

 

Proposal of EMS Policy

The marine industry requires stainless steel for building boats, submarines and chemical tankers. Stainless steel has 100% recyclability nature as it is not coated with any toxic material (Arushanyan et al., 2017). The most attractive feature of using stainless steel is that it does not harm the environment even if it ends up in landfills. The process of fabrication of stainless steel involves melting the steel and casting it into solid forms. The steel is then heated and treated to give the desired finishing. Lastly, it is sent to the marine industry so that they can weld and join it to get desired shapes.

EMS Policy

The marine industry is committed towards reducing the environmental impact towards a sustainable development in Singapore. The maritime industry needs to comply with Maritime Legislation of Singapore and implement all environmental laws and regulations (Nea.gov.sg, 2017). Relating to the fabrication of stainless steel for building boats, submarines and chemical tankers, the marine industry commits the following-

  • To care for the environment by reducing the environmental impact from shipping activities to promote green shipping in Singapore.
  • To pursue the policy of three R’s- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in managing solid waste from the fabrication of stainless steel-hazardous waste and metal scraps.
  • To comply with The Clean Air Act of 1971 and limit the air pollutants such as dust, oil mist, fumes of lead, manganese and other toxic elements from welding operations (Nea.gov.sg, 2017).
  • To comply with Water Pollution Control and Drainage Act and not dumping waste generated from fabricating steel into water bodies that would damage the marine life.
  • To comply with Singapore Noise Regulations and installing silencers for controlling noise while fabricating stainless steel products.
  • To restrict the exposure to welding fumes as nickel causes allergic reactions leading to chronic bronchitis and other lung diseases (Nea.gov.sg, 2017).

2.Environmental Aspects and Impacts  

Before understanding the environmental impact and understanding, the concept of product, service and activity shall be stated. A product is the physical offering that is made in the market. The environmental aspect could be level of recyclability at the end of lifecycle or excessive packaging on a product. Service refers to the auxiliary services that play a key role in supporting core activities such as maintenance, heating or cooling. According to ISO 14001, environmental aspects are defined as the elements in an organization’s products or services or activities that can link with the environment. According to ISO 14001, the environmental impacts are defined as the change, positive or negative that result from an organization’s environmental aspects (Thiede et al., 2013).

The aspects such as radiation, water discharge into the land, noise generation can have certain environmental impacts such as air pollution, water pollution, air pollution, ozone depletion and others. Aspect can be divided as direct and indirect. The direct aspects are the ones that are associated directly with the products, services and activities of an organization. However, the indirect aspects are the ones that are associated with the non-industrial companies such as customer controlled aspects. Understanding the environmental aspect and impact is important to ISO 14001 as an organization certified for it needs to keep a register for environmental aspect that is updated and modified with the activities, products and services. Evaluating the environmental aspects and impacts is necessary as only the significant ones need to be followed. The EMS of an organization needs to be framed based on the environmental aspects type, nature and complexity (Thiede et al., 2013).

 

Environmental Impacts for Disposal of Hazardous Waste and Metal Scraps

Hazardous wastes are poisonous by-products from manufacturing or fabrication of certain products from the industries. The waste may be solid, liquid or sludge in nature as it may contain dangerous pathogens, chemicals, or heavy metals. As Singapore is a highly developed nation, the industries need to dispose tons of hazardous waste products regularly. Anything from a small chocolate wrapper to radioactive waste can cause damaging impact on the ecosystems. Hazardous waste can be characterized based on certain properties such as corrosivity, reactivity, toxicity, ignitability, acute toxicity, explosive and infectious property (Thiede et al., 2013).

All the hazardous waste needs to be controlled under Environmental Public Health (Toxic Industrial Waste) Regulations 1988. The footprint left by hazardous waste can poison the water bodies affecting or killing the aquatic animals like fishes, frogs and others. The hazardous waste also harms the plants and restricts their growth. Therefore, reduction in plant life can cause natural food supply for humans and animals. The National Environment Agency (NEA) is the regulatory body for managing hazardous wastes in Singapore. The hazardous chemicals need to be controlled under The Environmental Protection and Management Act (EPMA), Environmental Protection and Management (Ozone Depleting Substances) Regulations and The Environmental Protection and Management (Hazardous Substances) Regulations (Nea.gov.sg, 2017).

Stainless steel is prepared using the Electric Arc Furnaces process and the Basic Oxygen Furnace process. While handling the machinery and equipment directly, the workers may be directly exposed to asbestos insulation in rolling mills, steel furnaces, cranes, boilers, tanks and moulding boards. The fibres released from the machinery get accumulated in the lungs thereby causing mesothelioma cancer. The indirect aspect of asbestos exposure is also witnessed in manufacturing ceiling tiles, liner boards or floors that were originally eliminated in the process (Asbestos.com, 2017). The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources in Singapore prohibits asbestos pollution in the environment (Nea.gov.sg, 2017).

 


Singapore generates heavy amount of metal scrap. It is a common by-product in the metal fabrication process to produce stainless steel products. According to the Pollution Control Department, the traders are not allowed to import or export hazardous wastes such as metal scrap or metal slag that contains heavy materials like lead, nickel, mercury and cadmium (Exporters.sg, 2017). The import or export of such hazardous wastes is considered as an offence under Hazardous Waste (Control of Export, Import and Transit) Act. The organizations or individuals shall be liable to legal penalties. In case of individuals, they must be imprisoned for two years or pay a penalty of $100,000 or both (Exporters.sg, 2017). In case of corporate, they shall be liable to pay $300,000 (Exporters.sg, 2017).

Metal scrap can be recycled to reduce the impact on the environment as it is less energy-intensive. Ferrous and non-ferrous metals from local industrial, commercial and construction sectors in Singapore are collected for recycling (Nea.gov.sg, 2017). Metal scrap leads to loss in economic benefits. With the recycling activities, the metal scrap recycling can produce new products such as television, smartphones and other products. By reusing metal scrap, the pollution can be minimized (Thiede et al., 2013).

3.XYZ Ltd.

Procedure for Management of Legal and Other Requirements in Steel Fabrication Business

Revision No.: 1

Date: DD – MM – YYYY

Prepared by:

Approved by:

Revision History

Revision Date

Revision

Amendment

Clause

01/03/2017

00

Initial Release

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purpose

This procedure described the identification and updating legal and other requirements applicable to the environmental aspects of XYZ.

Scope

This procedure applies to all relevant legal and other requirements applicable to the environmental aspects of XYZ and its contractors and suppliers.

Definitions

EMR- Environmental Management Representative

EMS Committee- Environmental Management System Committee

Reference Documents

LR-01Register of Legal and Other Requirements

Responsibilities

Environmental Management Representative (EMR)

The EMR shall work in collaboration with member of EMS Committee to maintain the Register of Legal and Other Requirements, while ensuring access to relevant staff and requirements as listed in the Register.

EMS Committee

The EMS Committee is responsible for establishing and reviewing the Register(s) of Legal and Other Requirements.

Upper level Management

The upper level management approves the Register of Legal and Other Requirements.

Departmental Manager

The departmental manager is responsible for informing the member of EMS Committee to make any changes as relevant to the department and ensuring access of the same in the department.

 

Procedure

The EMS Committee needs to identify the relevant and applicable legal and other requirements to the environmental aspects of steel fabrication in XYZ.

The member of EMS Committee must maintain a Register of Legal and Other Requirements while ensuring availability and accessibility of adequate information.

The information in the Register(s) shall include the following but not be limited to:

  • Title of legal / other requirement;
  • Description of legal / other requirement; and
  • Licenses / Compliance Records Required

The register(s) shall be updated every 3 months or in case of availability of relevant information. The members shall regularly update information from the websites: National Environment Agency (https://www.nea.gov.sg/) and Singapore Statutes Online (https://statutes.agc.gov.sg).

The EMR needs to ensure that the updated copies of registers are available to the employers. The hard copies such as technical memoranda and code of practices need to be controlled by the EMR. The soft copies of the same can be provided on the website.

Records

 

References

Arushanyan, Y., Björklund, A., Eriksson, O., Finnveden, G., Ljunggren Söderman, M., Sundqvist, J., & Stenmarck, Å. (2017). Environmental Assessment of Possible Future Waste Management Scenarios. Energies, 10(2), 247. https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/en10020247

Asbestos.com,. (2017). Steel Mill Workers - Mesothelioma & Asbestos Exposure Risks. Mesothelioma Center - Vital Services for Cancer Patients & Families. Retrieved 28 February 2017, from https://www.asbestos.com/occupations/steel-mill-workers/

Exporters.sg,. (2017). SINGAPORE Waste And Scrap Metal Member listings - Exporters.SG. Exporters.sg. Retrieved 28 February 2017, from https://www.exporters.sg/categories/130800/member-Waste-And-Scrap-Metal/page1.html?cty=SG

Heras-Saizarbitoria, I. & Boiral, O. (2012). ISO 9001 and ISO 14001: Towards a Research Agenda on Management System Standards*. International Journal Of Management Reviews, 15(1), 47-65. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2370.2012.00334.x

Nea.gov.sg,. (2017). Code of Practice on Environmental Health. Nea.gov.sg. Retrieved 28 February 2017, from https://www.nea.gov.sg/public-health/food-hygiene/code-of-practice-on-environmental-health

Nea.gov.sg,. (2017). Collectors, Traders and Local Recycling Facilities. Nea.gov.sg. Retrieved 28 February 2017, from https://www.nea.gov.sg/energy-waste/3rs/collectors-traders-and-local-recycling-facilities

Nea.gov.sg,. (2017). Control of Asbestos in Singapore. Nea.gov.sg. Retrieved 28 February 2017, from https://www.nea.gov.sg/anti-pollution-radiation-protection/chemical-safety/hazardous-substances/control-of-asbestos-in-singapore

Nea.gov.sg,. (2017). Environmental Protection And Management (Hazardous Substances) Regulations The Schedule. Nea.gov.sg. Retrieved 28 February 2017, from https://www.nea.gov.sg/anti-pollution-radiation-protection/chemical-safety/hazardous-substances/environmental-protection-and-management-(hazardous-substances)-regulations-the-schedule

Nea.gov.sg,. (2017). Hazardous Substances. Nea.gov.sg. Retrieved 28 February 2017, from https://www.nea.gov.sg/anti-pollution-radiation-protection/chemical-safety/hazardous-substances

Testa, F., Rizzi, F., Daddi, T., Gusmerotti, N., Frey, M., & Iraldo, F. (2014). EMAS and ISO 14001: the differences in effectively improving environmental performance. Journal Of Cleaner Production, 68, 165-173. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.12.061

Thiede, S., Seow, Y., Andersson, J., & Johansson, B. (2013). Environmental aspects in manufacturing system modelling and simulation—State of the art and research perspectives. CIRP Journal Of Manufacturing Science And Technology, 6(1), 78-87. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cirpj.2012.10.004

To, W. & Lee, P. (2014). Diffusion of ISO 14001 environmental management system: global, regional and country-level analyses. Journal Of Cleaner Production, 66, 489-498. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.11.076

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