Environmental Protection

Certification & Accreditation


Identifying Metrics with Strategic Business Impact

Everyone wants metrics: first it was the regulatory agencies; now it is a myriad of stakeholders, watchdogs, and investment analysts. As companies struggle to satisfy these external demands, they may be overlooking the true indicators of future competitive performance.

This article originally appeared in the 04/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

Computing Clout

Environmental managers face a growing number of responsibilities, from air-quality compliance issues to emergency response planning and accident mitigation. Increased concerns about terrorism have created additional responsibilities.

This article originally appeared in the 04/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

Manager's Notebook: Killer Meetings

All environmental, heath, and safety (EHS) professionals at some point in their careers will be directly responsible for a segment or all of a large group meeting, conference, workshop, or forum. Indeed, corporations spend enormous resources getting people together for or sending staff off to these networking and learning experiences.

This article originally appeared in the 03/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

Information Technology Systems

Environmental, health and safety IT (information technology) systems span the spectrum from simple, home-grown spreadsheets to complex, enterprise systems that promise to do just about anything and everything.

This article originally appeared in the 01/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

Force Multiplier

In 1999, when former Vice President Al Gore stated during an interview on a CNN television program that he "took the initiative in creating the Internet," neither political party had any idea of the significance his invention would have on American politics.

This article originally appeared in the 11/01/2004 issue of Environmental Protection.

Clearing the Fog

Environmental professionals, civil engineers, and most other professionals are legally obligated to meet the standard of care, i.e., to apply the care and skill ordinarily applied by local peers performing similar services at the same time.

This article originally appeared in the 11/01/2004 issue of Environmental Protection.

Manager's Notebook: Communicating Environmental, Health and Safety Value

Environmental, health and safety (EHS) managers are keenly aware that their careers and longevity within their organizations are dependent upon their ability to demonstrate that they bring something of value to the table beyond just the donuts for a meeting. It's a subject in need of considerable attention, especially in today's tight economy. This month we examine how to identify the communication barriers that impede real progress.

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2004 issue of Environmental Protection.

Site Closure Strategies

U.S. industry faces the daunting task of managing investigations and clean-ups at thousands of contaminated properties. In staying abreast of new technology and ever-evolving regulatory programs, companies must address many challenges involving regulations, technologies, and costs.

This article originally appeared in the 09/01/2004 issue of Environmental Protection.



Living in a Post-Enron World

It is no secret that the financial scandals of recent years have had a dramatic impact not just on the business world itself, but also on individual investors and government regulators. Enron, WorldComm, Tyco, MCI and others have entered the popular lexicon as words that will forever be associated with rampant greed and seemingly non-existent oversight. Whether we've seen the last of the fall of the giants, involving nearly incomprehensible loss of capital, is anyone's guess.

This article originally appeared in the 09/01/2004 issue of Environmental Protection.

Better Benchmarking

Benchmarking is an important tool for evaluating one's practices relative to best-in-class. If done properly, it can even inspire innovation. The majority of these studies, however, are designed and executed poorly and yield dubious or even counterproductive conclusions. Environmental, health and safety (EHS) studies, in particular, are prone to these problems.

This article originally appeared in the 07/01/2004 issue of Environmental Protection.

Preparing for an Uncertain Future

The very nature of environmental issues has grown much more complex: from local contamination to global impacts; from toxic hot spots to breaks at the DNA level; from pollution control to supply chain reliability; from regulations to voluntary product certifications; and so on. Strategic planning offers the best approach against being caught off guard, indeed to gain a competitive advantage. Here's how to go about it.

This article originally appeared in the 06/01/2004 issue of Environmental Protection.

Compliance Survival Tactics

The Title V operating program resulting from 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act requires that facilities demonstrate, in one document, their compliance with all applicable regulations and requirements of the act. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that, as of 2003, 95 percent of Title V permits have been issued nationwide. As such, approximately 19,000 facilities are required to submit annual certifications and semiannual deviation reports.

This article originally appeared in the 06/01/2004 issue of Environmental Protection.

The Brink of Change

The forces that govern the way environmental due diligence is conducted are changing; significantly, in some respects. The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now in the final stages of drafting the first rule for "all appropriate inquiry" (AAI), a term for the investigation into a property's potential for environmental contamination prior to purchase.

This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2004 issue of Environmental Protection.

The Search for Deep Green

Benchmarking is very much in vogue, but how do you identify the best in class? It is more difficult than you may imagine, since reputation and many of the readily available metrics are poor determinants of deep green. What are the ideal indicators? First and foremost, they are a shopping list of sound environmental, health and safety (EHS) practices for boards of directors who are worried about corporate governance and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002

This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2004 issue of Environmental Protection.

If Neanderthals Become Homo Sapiens, Will Anyone Recognize the Difference?

Some companies have done horrific damage to Mother Nature out of greed and ignorance. Relatively few individuals have gotten extremely rich on the profits from businesses that passed-off the true costs of their operations to communities, workers and future generations who will be stuck with cleaning up the human and environmental wreckage.

This article originally appeared in the 04/01/2004 issue of Environmental Protection.

Dust Off Your Plan

Has your stormwater pollution prevention plan been shelved along with the best intentions of your best management practices? If so, you are not alone. Leaner environmental, health and safety (EHS) staffs may appear more productive to management, but oftentimes these lean staffs inadvertently ignore aspects of their jobs, completing the activities with reporting deadlines and letting less-defined requirements gather dust in notebooks on the shelf.

This article originally appeared in the 04/01/2004 issue of Environmental Protection.

Are You Ready?

Readers of this publication are typically highly trained and credentialed professionals; many have graduate degrees in technical fields. Whatever your field or job function, you can count on one more thing in addition to death and taxes: something will go wrong. We all followed the extensive, painful analysis after the blackout in 2003; the finger-pointing and bad publicity continues. If your company suffers a spill, emission, explosion, contamination, fatality or any one of a number other incidents, are you ready? Most people think crisis preparation and crisis communication are someone else's job.

This article originally appeared in the 04/01/2004 issue of Environmental Protection.

Getting the most from your EMS

Environmental Management Systems -- Part 2

Certification may be a requirement for entry into some markets, but aside from the public relations value, what else does a certified environmental management system offer? Not much, according to the results of recent research studies of conformance-based environmental management systems (EMS) such as ISO 14001 and Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS).

This article originally appeared in the 03/01/2004 issue of Environmental Protection.

Speaking of Risk

A primerThose who don't learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat mistakes of the past. You'd think everyone would know that by now; but, in truth, the ranks of the condemned continue to swell. Regrettably, many of them are environmental project managers who all wind up in the same dreadful spot: snared in the barbs of litigation.on how to select an environmental consultant

This article originally appeared in the 03/01/2004 issue of Environmental Protection.

Environmental Management Systems

The winter meeting of the Auditing Roundtable was a wakeup call to environmental auditors. The keynote speaker did not mince words: Conformance-base environmental management systems, such as International Standardization Organization (ISO) 14001, are "fundamentally flawed." What is the point of auditing systems that don't bring value? If certification is not on management's must-do checklist to enable entry into certain markets, why are these systems needed? ... and who needs these auditors?

This article originally appeared in the 02/01/2004 issue of Environmental Protection.

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