Essentials of environmental management

Essentials of environmental management
  • by Paul Hyde and Paul Reeve
  • Price £30
  • Softback, 312 pages
  • ISBN 978 0 901357 48 9

Essentials of environmental management provides a comprehensive introduction to the management of environmental issues. Clearly structured and illustrated, the book explains why and how organisations should manage their environmental interactions at both strategic and operational levels.

The third edition includes significant updates and additions on corporate social responsibility; sustainable development and sustainability; and carbon (energy) management, including carbon footprinting and ‘embodied carbon’.

“An excellent introductory text.”

Martin Baxter, Executive Director of Policy, IEMA

“A high quality reference book … ideal for readers in business or industry who are looking to gain a quick understanding of how to establish an effective environmental management system, and those studying for a formal environmental management qualification.”

Safety Management


5.2.9 Addressing carbon

Perhaps one of the most important issues affecting all organisations is that of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, especially given the world’s current dependency on fossil fuels and consequent emissions of CO2. It is now widely regarded as the most pressing global environmental problem.

This issue has been dealt with in a number of chapters in this book, including 1.3, 1.4, 2.4, 4.2 and 5.1. With the rapidly developing agenda on climate change (see Table 5.2.3), it will become increasingly important for all organisations to have a greenhouse gas management strategy (addressing CO2 equivalent) as part of their environmental management policy.

Figure 5.2.7 sets out some of the key elements of a greenhouse gas management strategy. Essentially, the approach follows that of the ‘plan, do, check and act’ cycle, which is the basis of an EMS. However,important in this approach is an understanding of the organisation’s carbon footprint (see Chapter 5.1) as a basis for action. External reporting on the strategy and performance (including constraints encountered in its implementation) can also be an important element.

Actions may differ between different types and sizes of organisation, or between different parts of the same organisation. In some areas it might be possible to prevent emissions through changing a process, eg to avoid venting methane. In other areas the focus might be to reduce emissions through a range of energy reduction or efficiency measures – both behavioural (ie how people use and waste energy) and technological (eg controls that ensure only the right amount of energy is used for a job, or high efficiency equipment).

In others, it might be appropriate to install ‘low to no carbon’ renewable technologies, eg solar electricity or solar heating. Furthermore, some actions may need to be investigatory – for example, to properly understand a source of emissions, to explore the feasibility of different technologies, or to identify sources of products with lower embodied carbon.