Whether we are engaging in a high risk activity in a heavy industry, creating an environmental management system, or striving for continuous environmental performance improvement across our organisation, an environmental risk assessment is the tool to use to create a solid, targeted foundation for the process. By being open, transparent, communicative and collaborative in our approach to analysing our systems, it is possible to efficiently focus our resources to implement positive change. This process reduces risk to the environment, people and the business.
The first step is to clearly understand and describe the scope of the process being assessed, including the steps of the system, the human factors, and environmental context . This may be used for developing a new product, changing a process, or assessing a current process that has not yet undergone environmental risk management. If you are not currently undertaking environmental risk management for your business systems, EcoHub can help you implement this process, reach out via our contact us page. A key error in risk management is choosing the wrong personnel to describe it. Important steps are often missed, which leads to real hazards not being identified. This is why the International Standard for Risk Management ISO 31000 utilises an inclusive system, in which the relevant stakeholder must be involved, so that the best available information is available to the risk assessment team. For instance, if we are describing the process of placing lubricant into a piece of equipment that operates at a lithium mine, the Managing Director of the business is not the content expert to describe this. The risk assessment team should gather the information from the people who undertake the process on the ground.
Environmental hazards, or unwanted events that are likely to have negative environmental impacts, and their effects over a given area and timeframe need to be clearly understood. An environmental content expert is required for this phase of the risk assessment process. Again, this is where EcoHub can provide support to your business, reach out via our contact us page, we have experience in a range of sectors from environmental product development through to mining rehabilitation. We can risk rank these environmental hazards in terms of severity and allocate controls as appropriate.
Where the expertise and collaboration of a multidisciplinary risk-assessment team begins to add value to an organisation is during the control design process. Managing risk is about creating and maintaining value. For us this is the part where the magic happens, you can feel a buzz in the room, people's ideas begin to mesh in a system of positive transition, from the old process, to a new, more balanced and sustainable one. Excitingly, we have recently been asked to use the risk management process to develop completely new environmental products and services in innovative environments that will have sustainable outcomes for our partner organisations. This trend is sweeping businesses because we now realise that transition to a sustainable future is crucial for business survival and growth. At a basic level, we can evaluate a system, if it is unsustainable it cannot continue to generate value for a business into the future. It has a shelf life, which potentially is short. That in itself is a driver for business evolution to transition to offering sustainable products and services that can be marketed to add value, potentially over an unlimited timeframe.
If you would like to know more about our environmental risk management services, please contact EcoHub at any time via our contact us page.