تجزیه و تحلیل SWOT از شیوه های مدیریت زیست محیطی در استخراج معادن یونانی و صنایع معدنی
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Resources Policy, Volume 35, Issue 3, September 2010, Pages 226–234
Over the last two decades, mining and mineral exploration companies have adopted various environmental management practices in response to society’s pressure for better environmental protection. The literature highlights a number of benefits and challenges for companies adopting environmental management practices with the Greek Mining and Mineral Industry (GMMI) facing similar issues. In order to analyze the challenges faced by the GMMI, a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis was conducted, which examined the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats faced by the industry when adopting environmental management practices. The analysis prescribes policy recommendations both for the government and industry which, if adopted, could facilitate improved environmental performance.
In an effort to promote cleaner production and environmental management tools in the mining industry, certain countries – both industrialized and industrializing – have revamped sector-specific environmental regulations. On one side, industrialized countries such as Canada and the USA have enacted strict environmental regulations for mining companies such as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (Hilson, 2000a). On the other side, industrializing countries have also prepared environmental regulation but there are some important weaknesses such as a lack of clear, supportive plans for facilitating waste minimization and incompleteness of present regulatory frameworks. To respond to these increasing environmental regulations, mining and mineral companies have adopted environmental management practices. These have helped companies minimize their impacts on the environment. For instance, Suppen et al. (2006) refer to certain Mexican mining companies that have adopted environmental management tools with very significant environmental improvements. In the same sense, Newbold (2006) pays more attention to holistic environmental management systems (EMSs), which “are designed to help [mining] companies manage their environmental responsibilities and liabilities”. Apart from deriving environmental benefits, authors also examine the relationship of these practices with accountability issues. Driussi and Jansz (2006) highlight that the adoption by Australian mining companies of specific management practices such as environmental management systems (EMSs), pollution control technologies, environmental education programs for staff and other strategies may assist them to improve their accountability in relation to environmental issues. The lessons of other countries on the benefits and obstacles of environmental management practices are followed in different ways by the Greek Mining and Mineral Industry (GMMI). Recently, several Greek medium and large-scale mining companies have introduced environmental considerations into their strategic management as a result of the current environmental regulatory framework as well as in response to society’s requirements for environmental quality maintenance. The Greek mining industry has responded to these challenges by introducing environmental management practices or holistic environmental management systems mainly to restore environmentally depreciated operation sites, by eliminating the use of environmental resources, managing waste production, eliminating water use and controlling other environmental impacts. By implementing such management practices, some members of the GMMI state, in environmental reports and internet sites, that the environmental management practices they adopted have assisted them to gain ‘the social licence’ to operate from local communities. However, there are a significant number of obstacles to the implementation of such practices, including short-run compliance costs and a low level of environmental awareness by staff. Thus, this paper utilizes a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis to examine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for the GMMI in implementing environmental management strategies. The data were taken from the environmental reports of GMMI and annual environmental reports published by the Greek Association of Minerals and Mining Industry. Finally, the results of this method are utilized to prepare specific environmental policies for the GMMI. The remainder of the paper is divided to the following sections: (a) the global experience regarding mining and mineral environmental management practices is described in the Environmental management practices of the mining and mineral industry: a short review of the global experience section, (b) the Greek experience of mining and mineral environmental management practices is presented in the Environmental management practices of the mining and mineral industry: the Greek experience section, (c) the basic steps of methodology are demonstrated in the Methodology section, including the steps of the analysis, sample selection and the SWOT analysis, (d) policy recommendations are presented in the Policy and strategies recommendations section and (e) conclusions are discussed in the Conclusions section.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper answers four research questions, which highlight the strong and weak points of GMMI in the attempt to implement environmental practices. In answer to the first question ‘what are the strengths for GMMI when adopting environmental actions?’, the majority of GMMI points out that strengths could be cost reduction, productivity improvement and new innovations. Such internal benefits related to environmental management practices can assist both economic and environmental performance of those companies. These results are similar to those in general mining literature (Warhurst and Bridge, 1996). To this end, Greek mining companies seem to adopt similar environmental management practices in order to gain benefits like those experienced by the industry at an international level. This may be explained by the institutional theory as a mimetic strategy. However, these practices are not without obstacles for those companies concerned. Specifically, GMMI states that there are several weaknesses when implementing environmental practices such as lack of funds, bureaucratic requirements and the low level of employee involvement. These factors play an important role for GMMI to implement environmental management practices effectively. In order to deal with these weaknesses, the policies proposed include the necessity of the state to offer specific financial services to facilitate the environmental management practices and to prepare essential guides to promote environmental practices and seminars for employees of GMMI. Similarly, international experience comes to the same conclusions. For example, Hilson (2000b) supports that the lack of available funds for environmental management practices is a common barrier faced by the mining industry. Additionally, he states that the implementation of such management practices needs essential environmental training programs for staff and engineers. The third research question is answered though the analysis of the opportunities of GMMI, in relation to environmental management practices. Indeed, GMMI notes that these practices helps it to find new markets and consumers and gain competitive advantages over non-environmentally friendly companies. It also claims that exports may be enhanced because environmentally friendly production is necessary for European and other western countries. Finally, several companies view good environmental practices as the licence to operate since the general public demand these. Similar results appear in the general mining literature that environmental management practices could assist mining companies to maintain acceptance of products in the worldwide market place as well as gaining client approval (Newbold, 2006). The last research question highlights a variety of threats that arise from the adoption of environmental management practices. These threats are mainly related to external factors such as additional financial funds, rigorous future legal requirements and a lack of significant environmentally friendly clientele. The threats may be dealt with if the state prepares effective environmental regulations for GMMI and informs consumers about GMMI environmental practices as well as if GMMI rewards the best environmental practice. Mudd (2007) indicates that the environmental management practices of mining companies may involve high costs in the long run. Additionally, in an assessment of the influence of the environmental regulatory regime on the decisions of the mining industry, Annandale (2000) finds that mining companies take environmental regulations very seriously. This also exists in Greece, where mining companies consider environmental regulation very important. This could be explained due to the fact that Greece, as a member of the European Union, has standardized its regulative and legislative regime with EU laws, which has led to strict environmental requirements for Greek companies.