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Environmental Management


Definition of Environment and Management

Environment and development are interlinked expressions. In fact there are the two sides of the same coin. The environmental degradation, in fact, started with the advent of human civilization. There is a mythological statement that the process of Adam and Eve who ate an apple and threw away the peels led to the onset of environmental degradation.

The process of environmental degradation was accelerated with the development of socio-economic activities, as for example, agriculture, industrialization, drugs and pharmaceuticals, transport, civil construction including roads and buildings etc., with growing population the requirement of food-grains and other consumer items increased stupendously, leading to further environmental degradation.

Environment management is the process of allocating natural and man-made resources so as to make optimum use of the environment in satisfying not only the existing basic human needs but of the coming generations also. This management implies an element of conscious choice from a variety of alternative proposals and furthermore that such a choice involves purposeful commitment for recognized and desired objectives.

Environment management implies not only a mere management of environment but it is essentially the management of various activities with intolerable constraints imposed by the environment itself and with full consideration of ecological factors. Thus " it involves environmental planning, conservation of resources, environmental status evaluation and environmental legislation and administration.

The focus of environmental management is on implementation, monitoring and auditing; on practice and coping with real-world issues rather than theoretical planning. A close integration with environmental planning is inescapable. Thus environmental management is a field of study dedicated to understanding human-environment interactions and the application of science to solving problems.

The characteristic features of ENVIRONMENTAT MANAGEMENT are : It deals with world affected by humans; It supports sustainable development; It demands a multidisciplinary approach; It has to integrate different development viewpoints; The time-scale involved extends the short term and concern ranges from local to global ; and It seeks to integrate natural and social science, policy making and planning.

During the last four decades too much awareness has been developed regarding environmental protection and quality of life. The meaning and content of environment is being renewed regularly with new technologies like clean technology, environmental auditing, environmental friendly products, environmental impact assessment, environmental resource conservation, etc. added. But all these aspects have been converged when the wider concept of environmental management has emerged and also accepted as a tool for sustainable development.

Some definitions

Environmental management is concerned with the manenvironment interface, the complex boundary where biophysical and socio-cultural systems interact. (Hare, 1970)

An approach which goes beyond natural resources management to encompass the political and social as well as the natural environment. (Clarke, 1999)

Environmental management a generic description of a process undertaken by systems oriented professionals with a natural science, social science or less commonly, an engineering ,law or design background, tackling problem of human altered environment on an interdisciplinary basis from a quantitative and/or futuristic viewpoint. (Downey, 1989).

The process of allocating natural and artificial resources so as to make optimum use of the evironment in satisfying basic human needs, at the minimum, and more, if possible, on a sustainable basis. (Jolly, 1978)

Throughout the world, particularly in developing countries, there is an urgent need for the management of total environment. In the first instance environmental management must do three things: Identify goals Establish whether these can be met and Develop and implement means to do what it deems possible. A simple scheme for environmental management has to be designed and implemented.


Environmental Management is an approach which integrates Ecology, Policy making, Planning and Social development. Its main objectives are as follows:

To prevent and solve environmental problems. To establish limits. To develop research institutions and monitoring systems. To warn threats and identify opportunities. To suggest measures for resource conservation. To develop a strategy for the improvement of quality. To suggest long-term and short-term policies for sustainable development. To identify new technology for future development

A General Scheme For Environmental Management

Identification of objectives and define problems Determination of appropriate Action Plan

Implementation and progress evaluation

Monitoring and Adjust Management Future Environmental Management and planning

In brief, environmental management is necessary for environmental planning which implies the optimal utilization of the earths resources and preservation of the quality of environment for the healthy growth of the society.



Environmental problems of a country are affected by the level of its economic development, the availability of its natural resources and the lifestyle of its population. In India, rapid growth of its population, poverty, urbanization, industrialization and several related factors are responsible for the rapid degradation of the environment.

Environmental problems have become serious in many parts of the country, and can no longer be neglected. The main environmental problems in India relate to air and water pollution particularly in the metropolitan and industrial zones, degradation of common property resources which affect the poor adversely due to a degeneration of their life support system, threat to biodiversity and inadequate system of solid waste disposal and sanitation with consequent adverse impact on health, infant mortality and birth rate.

The degradation of natural resources imposes several problems of water, air, noise and soil pollution as well as their impact of human activities on environment in India is a beggars description. But their overall analysis is necessary not only for their understanding but also for the environmental planning in India.


The main sources of air pollution in India are:

Automobiles Thermal Power Plants Industries Agriculture Quarrying Natural Processes.

During the process of fossil fuels mainly oxides of carbon are generated. Apart from this, various industries also generate other pollutants such as SO2, H2S, ammonia, oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbons, methane and other toxic substances including ozone, lead and fluorides. The nature of urban and rural air pollution is quite different in India, therefore, their respective causes, effects and remedies are also different.


Urban Air quality has generally deteriorated throughout the Indian cities. The reasons are rising number of motor vehicles, especially poorly maintained vehicles and growing industrialization without any priority for pollution abatement. Quality of Indian cities as some of the most polluted cities in the world and heading the list is the national capital: New Delhi.

The single most important factor responsible for this deterioration of air quality is the exponential increase in petrol and diesel fueled vehicles. Between 1986 to 2000, the number of vehicles on Indian roads has increased from 11 millions to 36 millions. Of these 70% are two and three-wheelers with inefficient and highly polluting two-stroke engines. The percentage of vehicular population in India in the six metros has been depicted below on the next slide.

Name city

Suspended particular matter

Sulphur dioxide

Oxide of nitrogen




Delhi Mumbai Bengaluru Kolkata

8.58 4.66 2.18 2.71

7.47 3.36 1.47 3.04 2.41

105.38 59.02 21.85 45.58 33.33

207.98 90.17 65.42 36.57 56.46

542 391

872 549 254 245 244


156.87 149.28

Ahemedabad 2.46






135.2 119.35


Jaipur Kanpur

0.98 0.88

1.04 0.90

12.74 11.14

17.49 18.53


75 75

42.73 40.35

Nagpur Gr. Total

0.46 29.42

0.34 24.87

4.24 352.39

13.60 674.96


48 299

29.16 1916.o1

Industries are also responsible for the air pollution in India. Most of the cities are located near cities, irrespective of any environmental consideration. Most of these industries have become a main cause of air pollution. For example, Mumbai has above 523 Chemical industries, 531 Textile industries and 3,348 Mechanical workshops. Besides, there are 32 factories processing rubber or plastic products. In addition, there is a large concentration of chemical units with 30 Km of Mumbai. Similar is the story of other cities in In airdia.

Coal based thermal plants have been set up for power generation and are responsible for air pollution through gaseous emissions of Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen oxide etc. Air pollution can also cause acid-rain which not only adversely affects man but it is also responsible for damage of soil, vegetation and aquatic life of the region and also produces huge amount of solid wastes, fly-ash and bottom ash.

Due to air pollution, life in big cities of India has become intolerable and has created health problems. Air pollution is the main cause of respiratory illness and death, physical damage and loss of vision.


In India, rural population uses substantial quantities of non-commercial fuel, i.e., crop residues, animal dung or wood. Gradually, their use is decreasing as a percentage of total fuel consumption or in terms of per capita use. This provides 80% of rural energy for cooking. Air pollution due to biofuels are largely released directly where people are inside or near households at mealtimes everyday.

Although the emissions are relatively modest, the actual exposure to people is significant in many millions of households around the country. Several health effects are suspected to arise due to smoke such as respiratory infection to children, chronic lung diseases and lung cancer in adults and still birth, for women exposed during pregnancy.

The Rural Air pollution can be reduced by:

Providing an affordable clean fuel for substitute to biofuels, Installation of efficient smokeless burners, Good ventilation to houses, Providing bio-gas facilities and The habits and attitude of rural people be changed. Awareness has to be generated.


Once admired for its beautiful water resources, India has over the years progressively depleted its supply of water due to various factors, including increasing population, thoughtless urbanization, deforestation and the resultant soil erosion and flawed water management. The available water is also polluted in some way or the other. Surface water resources mainly include rivers, springs, lakes and ponds.

The problem of water resources in India is increasing day by day. The major sources of water pollution in the country are:
Domestic effluents, Sewage , Industrial effluents, Agricultural effluents, Thermal pollution, Oil pollution and, Pollution created by Radio-active elements.

Water pollution from domestic and human waste water causes many severe water-borne diseases. Sewage effluents from cities dotting the rivers bank contribute to nearly three-fourths of the water pollution. According to a recent survey out of 142 big cities of India, only eight have proper sewage system. 52 have partial system and 82 do not have any sewage disposal system.


Water pollution in India has now reached a crisis point. Almost every river system in India is now polluted to a great extent. As assessed by the scientists of the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur, nearly 70% of water in India is polluted. India have five major river systems, namely, the Ganga, the Brahmaputra and the Indus river systems in north, and the peninsular, east coast and the West coast river systems in the south.

A few remedies to control water pollution are suggested hereunder:

1. Industries should enforce standards for water effluents, 2. The Pollution Control Boards must enforce the laws, 3. Adequate sewage disposal facilities should be developed so that sewage is not directly released into the water stream, 4. The sewage and water treatment plant should be established,

5. For small and medium size industries combined treatment plant should be established,
6. A pollution tax should be imposed especially for industries responsible for water pollution.


The solid waste generation is increasing day by day not only in the big cities of India but also in small towns and has become a threat to environment. The composition and quantity of waste changes with increase in per capita income. The main change in solid waste material has been with the increased use of plastics and other synthetic materials in place of the bio-degradable organic materials. The slid waste includes domestic and municipal waste and agricultural wastes, west created by mining and also radio-active waste. The composition of solid wastes in 5 big cities of India has been given in the next slide:

Cities Non- Degradable


Kolkata Delhi Nagpur 3.18 6.29 1.88

0.65 0.85 1.35

0.66 1.21 1.33 3.6

Earth 0.38 0.57 1.34

34.00 36.00 41.42

47.00 35.00 34.81







Source: Potential for energy generation from Wastes in India: Bioenergy News: Vol 1 No.1 Page 8

When this solid waste is not collected and disposed of efficiently and effectively, it attracts rodents and flies hich spread diseases and also pollute water and cause land degradation. The status of solid waste collection in selected cities is given on the next slide:

Mumbai 0.20

Solid Waste
Generated (Mt) Collection %

Madras Bengaluru Lucknow Varanasi Hubli-Dharwad Mysore Gulbarga Tumkur

0.29 0.16 0.31 0.14 0.15 0.26 0.10 0.13

90 96 74 87 89 60 40 50

Source: World Resources: 1996-1997: 154

These wastes are left untreated; they ferment slowly and produce biogas that contains 65 to 75 per cent methane gas which is a GREEN HOUSE GAS. Therefore, development of suitable technologies for utilization of wastes is essential to minimize adverse health and environmental consequences.


Forests have a many faced ecological role to play which affects human life in a variety of ways. They thwart the dangers of cloud drifting, soil erosion, floods, wind erosion and ground water evaporation. They also protect a vide variety of flora and fauna, provide recreation and can effectively control air pollution of moderate magnitudes. But due to industrialization, commercialization, growth of population habitat and expansion of agriculture in India, forest cover is fast disappearing.

India has a forest area measuring only to 19.5% of the total land area as against 33% of the National Forest Policy of 1988. A large part of these forests are degraded and productivity is very poor. Even in protected forests unprecedented changes are going on. Actually the closed type of forest having forest cover density of 40% or more is approximately only 11% of the countrys land area.


In India, about 1.30 million hectares of land (45% of total geographical area) is affected by serious soil erosion through ravine and gully, shifting cultivation, cultivated waste lands, sandy areas, deserts and water logging(Government of India 1989. The soil formation is a very long process and under favorable conditions, in India, it takes almost a thousand years to form only 2.5 cm of a soil layer.

It is reported that the loss of one mm of cultivated soil could cost 10 kg. of nitrogen and 2 kg. of phosphorus. Soil erosion by rain and river that takes place in hilly areas causes land slides and floods, while cutting trees for firewood and timber, traditional agricultural practices, construction of roads and other activities lead to the opening of soil erosion. In desert regions of Rajasthan, wing erosion causes heavy soil erosion and drifting of sand.


India is a country where all the components of environment have been considered as life support systems from ancient times and their protection has been of paramount importance. The air, water, land, vegetation, soil, rivers, mountain, trees, animals etc. have been considered as sacred in one form or the other. There was a general public opinion to protect all these as a part of religious activity.

Although at that time there was no problem of environment because of limited population and of simple pattern of life, gradually, especially during the present century, with the growth of population, industrialization, urbanization as well as growth of other economic activities, environmental problems have developed, therefore, a planning strategy is necessary.

For the protection of environment and to control pollution several measures have been undertaken both by government and NGOs. Even before independence, some laws have been enacted for the protection of environment. In Indian Penal Code of 1860, Articles 268, 290, 291, 426, 430, 431 and 432 are related with environment. Similarly, Article 277 was related with water pollution and 278 with Air pollution.

In Motor Vehicles Act, 1938, there was a provision to control pollution and Indian Forest Act was passed in 1927. After independence, serious efforts have been made in the form of legislation for the conservation and protection of the environment. The act and laws passed during last 60 years, is a major step for the protection of environment in India. The following are the important Acts:

In Motor Vehicles Act, 1938, there was a provision to control pollution and Indian Forest Act was passed in 1927. After independence, serious efforts have been made in the form of legislation for the conservation and protection of the environment. The act and laws passed during last 60 years, is a major step for the protection of environment in India. The following are the important Acts:

1. Damodar Valley Corporation (Prevention of pollution of water) Regulation act 1984. 2. River Board Act 1956. 3. Water Preservation and Control of Pollution Act 1974 and 1977. 4. Atomic Energy Act 1972 5. Radiation Protection Rules 1971. 6. Wild Life Protection Act 1972. 7. Factories Amendment Act 1987. 8. Environmental Protection Act 1986. 9. Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989.

Above all, in 1977 a major step in this direction has been taken in the form of 42nd constitution amendment. Accordingly, Article 48-A imposes a duty on the States to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country. Article 51A(g) imposes a duty on citizens of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures.

The establishment of the Ministry of Environment and Forest in November 1980 is another step towards environment protection and also for policy making and planning. Similarly, every State government has established a Ministry of Environment. The Central Pollution Board has been established to take measures to control water and air pollution. In the country, national laboratories, IITs and University departments and several other autonomous bodies are engaged in research in the field of environment.



As the quality of life improves, demand for better quality services and products also increases. Customers all over the world and at all times demand that they be assured and satisfied that the product or services as anticipated. However, inspection is not a satisfactory way of giving assurance that the product will perform as desired during its life. It is generally agreed that the required level of quality can be built into the product only through the use of a proper quality management system.

EMS: ISO 14000

The International Environmental Standards are intended to provide organizations with the elements of an effective environmental system, which can be integrated with other management requirements to assist organizations to achieve of an environmental management system to support it to cover the following major areas:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Environmental Management System Environmental auditing Environmental Labeling Environmental Performance Evaluation Life Cycle Assessment.

ISO 14000 builds a single global management system that allows effective management of environmental responsibilities, liabilities, costs; document commitment to governmental management system (EMS) and proper guidelines cost the company in the following areas:
1. Missed opportunities to reduce energy consumption and material waste. 2. In disabled administrative staff, to address the literally thousands of environmental regulations in India and the countries in which business transactions take place.

4. Fines and penalties through government audits because its environmental aspects are out of compliance. 5. Loss of confidence by stockholders and financial institutions which are not sure of environmental risk factors. 6. Poor public image and loss of opportunities to describe the who products to those who prefer to buy environmental friendly products.

The task of management is to control internal costs and maximize market opportunities by enhancing the product, and companys image of giving thrust to areas of environmental importance, such as quality, health and safety.

ISO 14000 is a way of empowering businesses to take control of environmental responsibility and encouraging government departments to approach the challenge with far greater flexibility. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency has developed what is called Project XL which (Excellence in LEADERSHIP) is an effort that allows companies with demonstrated leadership in pollution control to operate under lower requirements that the law provides, with the companys assurance that it will strive to go beyond current standards.

ISO 14000 does not only relate to massive global companies. The standard states It has been written to be applicable to all types and sizes of organizations and to accommodate diverse geographical, cultural and social conditions. ISO 14001 Certification is an initiative to bring about uniformity in environmental compliance standards to reduce impediments to trade among countries. If it is accepted and implemented properly, it can bring about a lot of changes in the present Indian scenario.

ISO 14000 series of standards are designed to cover the whole of environmental issues for organizations in the global market place. This series emerged primarily out of the Uruguay Round of the GATT negotiations and the RIO Summit on the environment held in 1992. While GATT concentrates on the need to reduce nontariff barriers to trade, the RIO Summit generated commitment to protection of the environment across the world.

The environment field has seen a steady growth of national and regional standards. The British Standards Institution has BS 7750, the Canadian Standards Association has environmental management, auditing, eco-labeling and audit regulation and many other countries (USA, Germany and Japan) have introduced ecolabeling programmers.

After the increase of environmental standards around the world, ISO assessed the need for International environmental standards. They formed the Strategic Advisory Group on Environment (SAGE) in 1991, to consider whether such standards could serve to be effective instruments of pollution control.


A set of international standards, which bring world-wide focus on the environment, encourage a cleaner, safer, healthier world for all of us. The existence of these standards allow organizations to focus their environmental on the basis of internationally accepted criteria. At present many countries and regional groupings are generating their own requirements for environmental issues, and these vary between the groups. A single standard will ensure that there are no conflicts between regional interpretations of good environmental practice.

The fact that companies may need environmental management certification to compete in the world market place could easily overshadow all ethical reasons for environmental management. Within Europe many organizations gained ISO 9000 registration.

1992, on the basis of SAGE recommendations, a new committee TC 207, International Environmental Management Standards were created. Industries, Standards organizations, governments and environmental organizations represented this committee from many countries. The new series of ISO 14000 are designed to cover:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Environmental Management Systems Environmental auditing Environmental Performance Evaluation Environmental Labeling Life Cycle Basement Environmental aspects in products standards.

ISO 14000 is a group of standards encompassing the following areas: Environmental Management Systems (14001, 14002, 14004) Environmental Auditing (14010, 14011, 14012) Evaluation of Environmental Performance (14031) Evaluation labeling (14020, 14021, 14022, 14023, 14024, 14025) Life Cycle Assessment (14040, 14041, 14042, 14043)


Creating an EMS involves the following sequential steps:

Establish a project committee to the EMS process. The Project Committee prepares a briefing for top management describing ISO 14000, the EMS registration, costs and benefits. Top management commits to the EMS process. Perform a gap analysis to determine how well the organization meets the ISO 14000 requirements and what will it take to meet them.

Present results of gap analysis to the management and receives approval for continuation of the process. Present a draft environmental policy with the top management participation. Design a procedure to identify the environmental aspects of the operation. Identify the environmental aspects and impacts.

Design a procedure to identify the legal and other requirements of the organization. Identify the legal and other requirements. Create environmental objectives and targets for each relevant function and level in the organization. Establish a program for achieving targets and objectives. Present the EMS to the top management for approval.

Top management accepts the EMS. Policy and EMS are implemented and an audit function is established. Audit. Final Gap Analysis is performed to determine if the organization is ready for registration audit. Organization applies for certification by the external auditors.

Organizations are registered by the outside auditors or Registrars for meeting the ISO 14000 standard. The registration can be for the specific company site, for several sites or for the entire company.