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Re: EMS & P2



Late on Friday 4/21/01, thus spake Kelly Moran:

Aha--a chance for a discussion on whether EMSs actually cause P2 or
environmental improvement!  Does anyone have any data that shows that
ISO 14000 certification and/or implementation of an EMS can be linked to
implementation of P2 or other environmental improvement?  This is a
topic of ongoing debate here in CA.
Thanks,
Kelly Moran
TDC Environmental
---------------------
I'll stick my oar in:

My own interpretation of the on-going research which NHDES (my employer),
CAEPA, et alii, are conducting (see www.eli.org/isopilots) is that P2, or
more specifically P2 planning, is a prerequisite to EMS implementation.
Given that this is longitudunal research, whether the reverse is true, as K.
Moran asks, will come out with time.  BTW, new stuff out of that research
has been published.  See the exec summary (at least) of "Drivers, Designs
and Consequences..." at the above website.

As to why we see P2 planning as a prerequisite, I can speculate.  My own
experience is that getting people to think about their environmental afairs
in a holistic manner, breaking out of the 'regulatory compliance' box, is
the most difficult initial step.  Organizations that really do the P2
planning thing have done this, and so the step into a full EMS is much
easier.

Intuitively, an EMS that is taken to heart and and is not just paper work
will inevitably involve increasing efforts along the lines of what we in the
US call P2. A point about that: Yup, you can do an ISO 14001 EMS badly.
Doesn't invalidate the concept.  Anything can be done badly.

Re: ISO business practices, they are in the private sector after all.
Selling standards is their business, if they give their products away, they
go under.  By Gadfrey, I do wish they charged less though.  

I personally get more cranked up about the (arguably) equivocal language on
compliance with laws than with their (arguably) equivocal language about P
of P, but the compliance business actually seems to work.  ISO 14001 is not
conducive to quotes out of context, it is extremely cross-linked.  "What
objective evidence do you have to show that you have met your commitment to
P of P?" the auditor asks.

Now if we could just get some consistency between auditors....

And I guess that's enough for one Monday,
Bob Minicucci
NH DES
603-271-2941
Subvert the dominant paradigm!