Environmental management systems
Developing an Environmental Management System (EMS) is a good starting point for companies to understand and address their impact on the environment. The EMS defines environmental objectives and targets; and outlines plans and strategies to achieve these targets.
The Green House can assist companies through the process of establishing an EMS in accordance with the ISO 14000:2006 standard.
As the EMS covers all aspects of environmental management including carbon emissions, a carbon footprint of the company can be calculated at the same time.
Cleaner Production addresses the priorities of both competitiveness and environmental responsibility by simultaneously identifying and quantifying opportunities to save money and improve a company’s environmental performance. Technical site-level analysis is combined with an integrated, reduction-at-source approach with particular emphasis on water, raw material and energy efficiency improvements, and waste and effluent minimisation. Examples of options for improvement identified through this analysis range from behavioural changes and adjustments to production scheduling, to equipment servicing and upgrades, and to improved insulation.
The Green House offers comprehensive cleaner production assessments as well as more focused energy efficiency audits in industrial and commercial operations, including site visits, measurement, baseline setting, analysis of options and costing.
We aim to provide companies with the business case for implementing improvements, and to support ongoing measurement and benchmarking.
Industrial Ecology is based on the principle that industrial systems can be designed, built and operated to emulate more closely natural or ecological systems, and in so doing improve their environmental performance and enhance their social impact. Ten broad principles are used to guide the process of mimicking ecological systems:
Use waste as a resource;
Diversify and co-operate;
Gather energy and use energy efficiently;
Optimise not maximise;
Use materials sparingly;
Clean up, not pollute;
Do not draw down resources;
Remain in balance with the biosphere;
Information sharing; and
The Green House uses Industrial Ecology to frame much of the work we do in cleaner production, technology assessment and industrial systems analysis and planning.
Efficient and appropriate technologies are one of the critical foundations of improved environmental performance, including reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Technology selection requires the simultaneous consideration of performance, cost, maturity, adaptability and potential for becoming redundant.
The Green House consultants are qualified engineers, with experience in sustainable technologies, making us well placed to advise on technology selection across a multitude of applications.
Case Studies: An Industrial Ecology Framework for the Coega IDZ East of the Coega River Masterplan; Investigation into the use of economic instruments to support greenhouse gas mitigation; Development of a Low Carbon Action Plan for South Africa
Integrated Solid Waste Management
Integrated solid waste management is founded upon the waste management hierarchy, which incorporates the ‘4 R’ alternatives to waste management, namely: reduce, reuse, recycle, and recover, in order of decreasing preference.
Integrated Solid Waste Management Planning is a structured process whereby the different waste streams in a system (typically a city) are quantified; projections of likely future streams are determined; and context-specific options for management of each of the components of the stream are explored. The ISWMP is supported by a financial and implementation plan, and is developed through an extensive stakeholder process.
Successful implementation of this approach thus relies on a combined application of technology, integrated systems thinking and analysis of feasibility within institutional, regulatory and financial priorities and constraints. This approach can realise the maximum gain from all materials before they become ‘waste’ and find the best balance between extracting value from waste materials and avoiding the financial and environmental costs of their disposal.
The Green House has experience in developing ISWMPs particularly in the developing country context.