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 11: Moving Towards Sustainability Management Systems

Jane Scanlon and Jenny Pope

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


Jane Scanlon and Jenny Pope 11.1 Introduction The relationships between environmental impact assessment (EIA) and environmental management systems (EMS) have been discussed extensively in the literature, often with a focus on ways to promote alignment between the two tools to ensure the effective management of environmental impacts of new developments from the approvals decision through to operation (Marshall, 2002; S´ nchez and Hacking, 2002). Management systems, it has been argued, can a play a key role by providing a framework to support the systematic management of project issues and risks (Ridgway, 2005).1 While we endorse the use of management systems to manage relevant issues throughout the life of a project, in this chapter we promote an approach based not upon traditional EMS but upon sustainability management systems (SMS),2 an emerging concept reflecting a more holistic and societal-based consideration of issues, risks and opportunities inherent to project delivery. We ground our argument for SMS in our experiences as consultants and researchers on infrastructure projects, which include rail, road, water and power supplies (Gilpin, 2006), although we believe the principles we present may prove equally applian impact assessment perspective, EMS is thus often conceptualised as a key element of ‘EIA follow-up’, the term given to a range of post (approval) decision activities (Arts et al., 2001). 2 This acronym should not be confused with the acronym for safety management systems (also SMS) often used by occupational health and safety professionals. 1 From 175 Furthering Environmental Impact Assessment cable to...

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