One of the most important steps in building a successful Environmental Management System (EMS) is to analyze and understand the aspects and impacts related to the mining activities. After the aspects have been identified, create a ranking system to enable you to compare the various aspects associated with your facility.
Rank each of the identified aspects with your established ranking system and assign each of them a score. Some of the aspects may have more than one score if it is determined that the aspect ranks differently based upon normal operating conditions versus emergency operating conditions. Evaluate the aspects with the highest calculated scores and determine which of the aspects:
- Have the potential to have the greatest impact on the environment.
- Offer the greatest potential for improvement.
- Are relevant to a large percentage of the workforce.
- Are significant to the community and other stakeholders.
Based upon these criteria, and any others which may be significant to your facility, select a few significant environmental aspects to focus on for the year. A thorough evaluation may yield some surprising results. There may be aspects which may not have a significant compliance component; however, they may be very important to the community or may have strategic importance for future permitting efforts.
I work in an area where water resources are limited and can have a significant impact on other industries in the area. While water conservation may not seem like a high priority issue if it is evaluated on a compliance level, the impact to the farming and ranching community can be significant. A focus on the aspect of water consumption can yield some significant improvements with the implementation of a water conservation program. Not only will this benefit the community as a whole, it will also build credibility which may facilitate future permitting actions. It’s a win-win solution.
What aspects are significant at your site? How do you go about ranking and scoring your aspects? As always, I welcome comments and feedback on all of my blogs.