Environmental management systems within local government : a case study of Msunduzi Council.
Khumalo, Balungile Judith-Anne.
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Environmental management has increasingly become a critical approach for dealing with environmental issues. Implicit in this, is the premise that for environmental management to be effective, a systematic approach is imperative. For this reason, environmental management systems have emerged as the strategy for organizations within which environmental management initiatives are co-ordinated. While environmental management systems (EMS) are a necessary and important tool to achieve quality environmental performance and protection, experience with them illustrates how their adoption and implementation are constrained by a number of factors. EMS cannot operate in isolation. Rather, they need to be incorporated into an organization's overall management strategy. Using the Msunduzi Council as a case study, this study looks at the challenges and complexities that local governments, tasked with the protection of the environment at local level, encounter. The New England Road Landfill Site has been highlighted as a section of the Msunduzi Council where an Environmental Management System is entrenched. Research methods used to obtain data comprised a workshop and key informant interviews. Issues that emerged from the workshop informed and directed the analysis of the data. As research undertaken and conclusions drawn suggest, the adoption and implementation of an Environmental Management Framework or System ensures that environmental matters are tackled in a systematic and proactive manner within an organization. This in turn promotes quality environmental management and subsequently sustainable development.
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