Furthering Environmental Impact Assessment

Furthering Environmental Impact Assessment

Towards a Seamless Connection between EIA and EMS

Edited by Anastássios Perdicoúlis, Bridget Durning and Lisa Palframan

The environmental impact of development projects is currently studied and mitigated from two distinct perspectives: before and after project implementation, with environmental impact assessment (EIA) and environmental management systems (EMS) being the main instruments on the respective sides. This double perspective creates a discontinuity in the way environmental impacts are analysed, an issue that has been noted by both academics and practitioners. This book gathers and presents both theoretical and actual examples to link EIA with EMS and explores ways to overcome difficulties and provide innovative solutions.

Chapter 3: Link Framework Analysis

Anastássios Perdicoúlis

Subjects: business and management, management and sustainability, environment, environmental management, environmental sociology

Extract

´ Anast´ ssios Perdicoulis a The way we currently deal with environmental impacts of development or investment projects is somewhat fragmented. At the study phase, or ex-ante, the predominant instrument is environmental impact assessment (EIA). After implementation, or ex-post, the predominant instrument becomes environmental management systems (EMS). While both instruments are established with well known procedures, their integration remains a significant challenge. It is difficult to argue that the ex-ante and ex-post procedures should remain independent, since they are both dedicated to the same object – that is, environmental impacts of development or investment projects. If we argue that the two instruments have different perspectives – for instance, regarding time – then they should be at least complementary to each other. If we argue that EIA and EMS take different perspectives on their common object of interest – for instance, environmental accounting versus financial accounting – then they should be taken together, at least to juxtapose their respective perspectives. In just over a decade, the attempt to link EIA and EMS has been manifested in a number of publications – for instance, Barnes and Lemon (1999); Ridgway (1999); Eccleston and Smythe (2002); S´ nchez and Hacking (2002); Perdico´ lis a u and Durning (2007). The existing attempts contain various degrees of formality and strength of the link, and collectively elevate the issue to a higher level: What could be the framework, or general method, to establish the link between EIA and EMS? There are many ways to search for link frameworks, as illustrated in Figure...

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