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EMS and Causal relationships

Dear P2 techers,

I  cannot hold back any longer.....

What an interesting discussion!  In New Mexico, we use a Baldrige model (the 
Green Zia Program) for establishment of an EMS because it provides us with a 
strong model for a performance based program.  In a Baldrige model, we query 
companies on their approach (how they do things, like "How does your 
organization assess skill levels and provide education and training to 
employees to enable them to actively participate in the continuous 
envrionemtnal improvement approach?" (one of 18 item level types of questions 
that define an ems).  The organization would how they assess employee skills 
levels (their approach, process, system).  The second measure would be the 
deployment of this system...so they would describe the extent to which this 
assessment is applied throughout the organization.  Then they have to tie 
results back to that...measures of assessment (how many employees received 
training, etc), impacts of the increased skill levels on environmental 
issues, number of employee work orders that have env. improvements in them, 
etc.  We ask that these applicants show results by documenting current levels 
in trends to show how they are improving over time.  We also ask them to show 
their performance goal with the graph or chart so they can demonstrate how 
well they are performing against their goals (ties to strategic planning).  
In a Baldrige-type system you look at approach-deployment and results to 
detect and measure that causal relationship.  In a continuous improvement 
program, you have to have causal relationships to understand if your system 
is really working.  As they say, you cannot improve what you did, but you can 
improve HOW you did it...to get a different or better result...the result 
will tell you if you improved.

This is not typically the way we look at things but it works well.  We 
provided recognitions to 30 companies this year ranging from a three person 
dry cleaner to Intel and Los Alamos.  Cost savings (conservative) were around 
$30 million.

ISO 14001 certified companies could attribute at most about 200 points (out 
of a possible 1000, 600 would be a great score) of their overall score in the 
Green Zia Program to their ISO programs....anything above that was due to 
programs beyond ISO.  I am not knocking ISO...I see it as a good organizing 
tool for companies that can afford it.  But they can really improve their ISO 
programs and move them towards more perfromance based programs by also 
applying Baldrige-type criteria (Green Zia is the environmental equivalent to 
Baldrige) to their environmental programs....it will capture all the elements 
in the ISO program and much more.  The areas outside of ISO that are captured 
in the Baldrige model are those very important aspects that lead to true 
integration of environmental improvement into core business practices.  The 
two (ISO and Baldrige) can work well together or a company can use Baldrige 
to establish an ems without ISO...it is a very thorough performance 
evaluation program.  Our companies are doing well with this in New Mexico. 
Only four of the 30 companies in our program are ISO certified (or will be 
within one year).

We are holding a two day training on this approach in October and November in 
Albuquerque for $50.  You are welcome to attend!  Please call Michelle 
Thompson of the Green Zia Program to register. 


Pat Gallagher