Environmental legislation in South Africa places a lot of emphasis on proactive environmental management. A systematic approach becomes necessary in an organisation when it needs to know its environmental liabilities and to manage the impact. An Environmental Management System (EMS) is one tool that will assist in ensuring compliance and a reduction of possible risks.
An EMS software package was provided and implemented according to ISO 14001. A 3-phase plan was followed consisting of the following categories: policy and planning, implementation and operation and lastly checking and reviewing.
The process started with the formulation of an appropriate environmental policy, together with the necessary management procedures in collaboration with senior management. Objectives and targets were set and information gaps identified. The required information was obtained, defined and documented. The necessary awareness training was provided. The success of the system depended on commitment from all management levels and functions in the organization.