پیاده سازی سیستم مدیریت زیست محیطی در صنعت معادن : یک کلید برای دستیابی به تولید پاک کننده
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|6451||2002||23 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9561 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Mineral Processing, Volume 64, Issue 1, February 2002, Pages 19–41
This article examines the business practicality of integrating an environmental management system (EMS) into mining and related operations, describes how it can contribute to cleaner production (CP) in the industry, and provides guidelines to facilitate implementation. An EMS, which is the component of the overall management system that includes organizational procedures, environmental responsibilities, and processes, can help a mining company comply with environmental regulations, identify technical and economic benefits, and ensure that corporate environmental policies are adopted and followed. To date, a number of multinational (mining) corporations—namely, the companies with economical and technological flexibility—have implemented comprehensive EMSs at sites, the key in such cases being the formation of working partnerships with administrative bodies and international organizations. A number of other mine sites worldwide, however, despite having important environmental management practices such as audits and policies in place, have received insufficient assistance and/or simply lack the requisite resources to integrate an effective EMS into operations. The article sketches a series of guidelines for mining companies keen on adopting comprehensive EMSs at sites, and argues that to facilitate widespread EMS implementation throughout the industry, expanded inputs are needed from governments, international environmental organizations, educational facilities, and the companies themselves. More specifically, regional governments must provide assistance to the more resource-deficient operations, local universities must provide the necessary EMS educational assistance to local miners and finance environmental technology demonstration projects, and international organizations must help disseminate valuable EMS information to mine managers and technical staff.
There is a burgeoning literature that examines in detail the business practicality of integrating an environmental management system (EMS) into industrial operations. In short, an EMS, which is the component of the overall management system that includes organizational procedures, environmental responsibilities, and processes, helps an industry comply with environmental regulations, identify technical and economic benefits, and ensure that environmental policies are adopted and followed (Barrow, 1999). Unlike the conventional stand-alone environmental auditing and review processes, which tend only to assess the environmental situation of an enterprise at the time at which they are carried out, an EMS ensures that an organization's environmental targets and objectives are being effectively pursued. In fact, an EMS links audits, reviews, and other important environmental management processes through a network of management actions, procedures, documentations, and records, and is designed with the purpose of promoting continuous environmental improvement. In the case of mining and allied operations, which are typically confronted with serious environmental complications and face the challenge of having to satisfy a diverse group of stakeholder demands, the implementation of an EMS is a necessary step toward achieving industrial cleaner production (CP). Several mines worldwide (see, e.g. WMC, 2001, Homestake Mining, 2001 and Delta Gold, 2001) already have a comprehensive EMS in place, and in many cases, management credits it as being a principal factor behind industrial environmental improvements (see, e.g. Cambior, 2000 and Noranda, 2001). Further, it has helped to put many of these operations in a better position to anticipate problems with waste and avoid costly environmental cleanup. Some mining companies (see, e.g. Falconbridge, 2000 and Rio Tinto, 2001) have even gone one step further by obtaining international EMS certification—in most cases, that of the International Standards Organization (ISO), ISO 14001—at selected properties, which requires that specific procedures be in place for environmental monitoring, assessment and measurement purposes. The majority of mines that have implemented a comprehensive EMS, certified or uncertified, are owned wholly or partly by multinational corporations, which have the financial and technological flexibility to ascertain its precise application and potential business benefits, and have the means to readily integrate it into industrial operations. What tends to be overlooked, however, is the fact that a number of other mining properties already have in place important system elements and management procedures that would allow for the convenient incorporation of environmental issues and eventual implementation of an EMS. For example, many sites have an environmental officer that is responsible for ensuring compliance with set environmental regulations. In addition, at a number of mines, environmental audits, impact appraisals and reviews are conducted periodically to assess environmental performance. Multinational mining companies have already taken these and other existing environmental elements, along with newly developed environmental strategies, and have designed and implemented comprehensive EMSs at properties around the globe. The remaining companies, due to a shortage of financial, technological, and informational resources, have not, and therefore require assistance for effective EMS design and integration. An increased input from governmental groups, educational facilities, and international organizations, however, could help management of these properties design comprehensive EMSs, and hence contribute to prolonged CP in what has long been perceived as one of the world's most polluting industries. The purpose of this paper is to examine in detail the applications and potential benefits of a mining EMS, and to provide guidance to facilitate its implementation. The paper begins by providing a general overview of the utility of EMSs in industry. Next, the paper discusses the business practicality of integrating an EMS into mining and related industrial operations, and outlines guidelines for implementation. A discussion is then presented that profiles some of the steps taken by the Canadian and Australian governments to facilitate improved environmental management in their mining industries, along with some of the recent efforts made by individual Canadian and Australian companies to implement EMSs at mines. The paper concludes by prescribing some recommendations that could improve the overall quality of existing mining EMSs, and which would further assist other mine properties in implementing practical EMS designs.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
While the aims of this paper have been to discuss the benefits to implementing a mining EMS, to provide guidance to facilitate implementation, and to present practical accompanying case study material, it is important to clarify that in order to make widespread mining EMS implementation a reality, a number of key areas must be further researched. It is suggested here that with increased government effort, expanded mining industry partnerships with international agencies, and increased input from academic and government research units, even the smallest, most resource-deficient mining operations would be in improved positions to implement comprehensive EMSs. First, it is imperative that the methods and techniques used for disseminating vital EMS information to Junior mining companies are improved. “Junior mining”, generally, is used as a label for the smaller exploration and mineral processing corporations and operations of developed countries that are heavily influenced by mineral price fluctuations, and are recognized as the most financially volatile and high-risk portion of the industry. It is therefore particularly challenging for these parties, which lack both the money and resources to anticipate environmental change, to implement leading-edge environmental practices. Though selected administrative groups—namely governmental bodies, mining associations and mining institutes—in large mineral producing nations such as Canada, Australia, South Africa, and the United States have successfully communicated to multinational corporations the merits of a mining EMS, and in turn have facilitated and initiated implementation, at the same time, they have neglected to reach these small- and medium-sized mining companies, many of which already have important environmental management tools in place, but obviously lack the finances, educational material and technological know-how to design and implement an effective EMS. This group must be equipped with the requisite educational, informational, and technological assistance to achieve higher levels of environmental performance. Significant environmental improvements can be made at these operations if EMSs are implemented, and governments must bridge information, technologic, and economic gaps, and provide Junior mining operations with the means—namely information and training—to design EMSs. Incentives such as tax breaks, levies, payback schemes, and interest-free loans can be provided to these operations. A second recommendation, which is applicable to mines of all sizes, is for mine management to place greater emphasis on developing and implementing high-quality (mining) EMS training programs. An integral part of any EMS is training because for the system to work as designed, staff must understand their jobs and how their positions impact the environment. Within an EMS, mine management must be trained on a continual basis to ensure that the most up-to-date information is disseminated to each employee. Training could range from education on safety standards, to updates on regulations. Familiarizing employees with environmental issues best prepares the operation to deal with occurrences as they arise. The action plan can involve using the tools provided to further prevent environmental hazards, or can simply mean that the employee contacts officials, fire departments, or advisory bodies. As long as individuals are prepared, however, the chances of any uncontrollable problem occurring are minimized. It is therefore imperative for top management to commit to the design and continual improvement of an in-company EMS program that involves the participation of all staff members (though it is impractical to assume that mining companies, individually, are capable of improving the quality of their EMS training programs without outside input). There could be merit in forging additional partnerships with both local authoritative bodies and international agencies, which have the means of disseminating valuable CP information, and are equipped with professionals capable of designing practical EMS training programs. Further, these bodies have the knowledge and capabilities of financing demonstration and dissemination programs in important areas such as policy-making, health and safety, environmental technology, and database management, which, in the end, could serve to improve the quality of any existing mining EMS. A final recommendation is that governments and the industry itself should encourage wider participation from academic research units in mining EMS research. Given that so many mining academic research units exist, the majority of which already have environmental management research programs in place, it would be beneficial to the industry if EMS research were incorporated into research agendas. Emphasis should be placed on EMS training, environmental technology implementation, coursework, environmental auditing practices, and education. In fact, it is suggested that universities offer the following four types of coursework options (adapted from Van Berkel, 2000): 1. Orientation or introductory courses—quintessentially, courses that emphasize the basic principals of mining environmental management, environmental protection and regulatory compliance. 2. Environmental integration and disciplinary courses—courses that emphasize the particular facets of environmental management including, inter alia, training, technology use, auditing and assessment. These courses can be tailored to the requirements of the EMS. 3. Specialist environmental courses—since the EMS mandates that certain personnel undertake specialist environmental management tasks (e.g. reporting, documentation, auditing, etc.), coursework can be designed to train engineers, managers and scientists in these areas. 4. Environment relevant interdisciplinary project work—establishing “hands-on” training courses, whereby trainees engage in fieldwork or are trained outside of the classroom in the “industrial environment”, gaining first-hand experience about various EMS responsibilities. Mines could provide local units with grants to either expand existing departments or to conduct stand-alone studies in exchange for this EMS training and research. This would create a win–win scenario, since mines would receive relevant EMS educational material, and universities would obtain funding for research. In conclusion, it has been argued in this paper that implementation of an EMS is a key to achieving CP in the mining industry, since it helps an operation comply with environmental regulations, identify technical and economic benefits, and ensure that corporate environmental policies are adopted and followed. An EMS features a series of organizational procedures, environmental responsibilities, and processes that, unlike stand-alone environmental management processes, which tend only to assess the environmental situation of an enterprise at the time at which they are carried out, effectively ensure that a mine's environmental targets and objectives are attained. Although to date, it has been mainly the large mining companies that have implemented EMSs at sites, with increased government effort, expanded mining industry partnerships with international agencies, and increased input from academic and government research units, even the smallest mining operations would be in excellent positions to implement comprehensive EMSs.