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BSBSUS301A Implement Monitor Environmentally Sustainable Work Practice
The assignment teaches the learner about environmental sustainability. The project has been divided into three parts. Part A is of question and answer format which focuses on the different aspects of environmental sustainability. It deals with its components, the terms related to its necessity, the various processes involved in it and how they play a key role in the organization. Part B is a case study on Sparkles and Australian Car Wash Water Saver Rating Scheme. Several questions are to be answered on the basis of the case study which gives the learner knowledge about environmental risk, risk assessment, and control. The last Part C is a report based on a research on how Green Office Program can be implemented.
Part A- Questioning
1.In relation to Environmental Sustainability explain the following terms:
a.Stakeholder- a group of individuals or an individual, who have direct or indirect interests in the company’s behavior, services, goods, and actions are not part of the organization internally are called stakeholders. To maintain environmental sustainability, it is important that stakeholders are involved in the organization’s plans. Two-way communication is required to involve them actively. With the help of workshops, assessments, forums, groups, interchange of letters and conducting meetings, the opinions of stakeholders can be taken into consideration (Wolf, 2014).
b.Best practice- this refers to advanced technology and practices professed by the professionals to be the best (Ones & Dilchert, 2012). It gives a standard on the basis of which the performance of the organization can be evaluated; like a scientist might find a new way to dispose or recycle or reuse a certain waste product.
c.Resource efficiency- as the name suggests, it refers to decrease in water usage, consumption of energy, and waste so as to increase the efficiency of resources (Melville, 2010).
d.Environmental Management System (EMS) – a tool which helps the businesses to manage their resources which they use for their activities, products, and services in an organized manner. Its objective is to reduce the utilization of resources in a sequential manner (Foss, Lyngsie, & Zahra, 2013).
e.Environmental Purchasing- this consists of the environmental features which play a role in decision making of the purchase of goods and services. The main goal is to buy goods and services which would be less harmful to the environment and the human health when compared to other products and services (Sadikoglu & Zehir, 2010).
f.A Life Cycle Approach- a product can have an impact on the environment at any stage of its life; hence, its entire life cycle and its influence is an area of concern. Evaluating environmental life cycle depicts that the impact caused while using a product was greater than the one caused during manufacturing of the product (Chourabi, et al.2012)
g.Supply Chain Management- organizations are reviewed continuously by their and their supplier’s activities by customers and financiers (Ageron, Gunasekaran, & Spalanzani, 2012). Few companies in Australia like Ford, Toyota, and Rio Tinto compel their needs the suppliers so that environment performance can be maintained. Developing EMS and arranging environmental reports are an example of such needs.
h.Continuous Improvement- the companies are trying to continuously improve their ways of conducting business in order to reduce environmental hazards caused by their actions (Lee, et al.2013). Less use of paper, using the resources efficiently, by creating environmental policies, finding alternative solutions for research work, taking consultancy from environmental experts.
i.Pay–back Period- it is a method used by organizations to calculate the benefits of the latest environmental possessions. Its formula is:
Payback period (years) = initial investment ($)/ net annual savings (per year)
2.List two (2) internal and two (2) external sources an organization can use to collect information and advice about environmental sustainability.
Two internal sources which can be used by an organization to collect information and advice about environmental sustainability are:
1.Environmental Health Intelligence Analyst
On the other hand, the external sources are:
3. Identify and explain what qualifications, experience, and qualities a compliance assessor should have when conducting an environmental audit.
The compliance assessor, who will conduct an environmental audit, should have the following skills:
1.Should be a qualified professional, preferably an environmental specialist.
2.Should be updated with legislative laws and regulations involved at different levels.
3.Should be trustworthy and responsible enough to keep the results and findings confidential.
4.Should have specialized knowledge in areas which affect an organization the most.
5.Should have work experience in the related field.
6.Should be able to interpret information from the data provided.
4. Consider the following statement and explain what it means.
“It is important to recognize that waste prevention is as much about what you buy as what you throw away”
The above statement talks about the responsibilities of an individual towards the environment. Environmental pollution is caused by the impact of the careless actions of individuals and organizations. The statement throws light on the fact that dumped wastes is not the only cause of environmental degradation but also what a consumer’s preference is while purchasing a product. Use of products made of plastic shows an individual’s carelessness towards the society (Linderman, Schroeder & Sanders, 2010).Plastic is a material which does not get decomposed easily; hence polyethylene bags, plastic containers should be avoided. When responsible individual bars itself from purchasing any product made of plastic, it is moving its first step towards environmental sustainability. Another example is the use of batteries which can be recharged and a battery charger instead of using different batteries every alternative time. It also proves to be cheaper for the environment. Thus when an individual makes sensible decisions while purchasing any product, it helps in reducing wastes and reduces the costs as well which would have been incurred in the future when that product turns into waste.
5. The PDCA cycle is a checklist of the four (4) stages that you must go through to get from ‘problem-faced’ to ‘problem-solved’.
Use an example from your own work area about a continuous improvement strategy relating to the environment to explain each of the steps of the PDCA cycle.
The four stages involved in a PDCA cycle are Plan, Do, Check and Act. With the help of these steps, this cycle gives emphasis as well as exhibits that the programs implemented for improvement should begin with careful planning, the actions should have effective results as desired and the process should continue, if successful (Hart & Dowell, 2011).
The PDCA cycle has been useful to my organization as well while conducting a project. Being the manager of the project, I had certain responsibilities endowed upon me. The PDCA cycle was conducted in the following way:
1.Plan: this step helped me to analyze the problems regarding the project and helped me in understanding the necessary solutions to overcome the project. In this step, the systematic way in which the operations were to be performed was prepared.
2.Do: in the second step of the cycle, I made the necessary changes required to solve small problems of the project so that it does not disturb the ongoing important activities while running the project. This helped me to ensure that whether the suggested alterations would be helpful for the project or not.
3.Check: at this step, I evaluated whether the changes made in the assignment are actually befitting the project or not. It gave me an in-depth knowledge of the cost estimation of the project, how the productivity is and if I am being able to achieve the desired outcome.
4.Act: in the last step, after having a profound knowledge about my project, accurate data, and knowing the cost and effect relationship involved, I took in charge of the modifications on a larger scale. I implemented them to assess the final result, how successful the project was. In this step I involved the other members who were working on the project, cooperated with them to make this trial a regular habit for future purpose.
6. A large island resort is upgrading their landscape lighting system by replacing all their current outdoor lights with sensor lights. Consider the following scenario:
1.The total cost of the globes, fittings and labour is $38, 000.
2.The saving on the electricity bill will be $2, 500 per quarter
3.The savings on replacing light bulbs (cost of bulbs & labour) will be $2, 000 per year
a. What are the total cost benefits (savings) per year? Show all calculations.
b. What is the Payback Period? Show all calculations.
1.The company is saving $2,500 per quarter on electricity bills.
Therefore, the per year it will save= $2,500* 4= $10,000
Savings on replacing the light bulbs per year= $2,000
Therefore, the total cost benefits (savings) made by the company in a year= $10,000+ $2,000= $12,000
2.Initial investment= $38,000
Annual savings= $12,000
Payback period (years) = initial investment ($)/ Net annual savings (per year)
= $38000/$12000= 3.167 years
7. Consider the following statement:
“Employees who are engaged are more likely to be proactive in identifying areas for improved practices and resource efficiency than those who feel disengaged.”
1.Identify three (3) continuous improvement strategies an organisation can do to improve the performance and motivate their employees to contribute to environmental sustainability.
It is true that an employee who is involved in the project can prove more helpful in recognizing areas where resource efficiency can be applied (Daily, Bishop & Steiner, 2011). Three strategies which an organization can implement in order to progress its employee’s performance as well as encourage them to be part of environmental sustainability are:
1.Appreciate their efforts: the employee’s hard work and effort should be appreciated by rewarding them wherever required. Their performance should be evaluated on the basis of the goals of the organization and on a fair basis, without being bias towards anyone (Shaw, Grant, & Mangan, 2010).
2.Promote Communication: the organization should promote communication at all level of hierarchy so that the employees can converse with their leaders more openly and discuss their work related problems without any fear (Mi Dahlgaard & Dahlgaard, 2010).
3.Discussion with the staff: the organization should seek advice from its employees and get them engaged actively so that the team can progress more.
8. Explain when, how and why efficiency targets should be reviewed.
An organization works to achieve the goals and targets set by it. The targets provide a mark which depicts where the organization aims to reach; hence they play a very significant role in the organization. The targets portray the efficiency of the organization. The efficiency targets need to be evaluated at every stage due to amendments in legislative laws and regulations and industrial standards which are applicable to an organization (Dibrell, Craig & Hansen, 2011). The review of these targets can be done by following the SMART criteria which mean assessing whether the targets are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. The targets are to be evaluated to ascertain that they are flexible in nature, adaptive to changes and creative at the same time so that they can last for long. They provide various benefits like developing benchmarks, retaining the employees, keep the organization focused and promote improvement and innovation (Karakas, 2010). Hence, it is necessary that efficiency targets are reviewed timely.
1. Identify two (2) internal and two (2) external stakeholders of Sparkles.
The internal stakeholders of a company refer to the entities that are within the business and external stakeholders are those who do not belong to the business directly but care for the business and affected by its operations (Harvey & Clarke, 2012). Sparkles is a car washing company in Australia. The internal stakeholders of the business are its owner and employees whereas the external stakeholders are customers and investors.
2. Identify two (2) pieces of environmental legislation, regulations, codes of practice, industry or organizational standards that apply to Sparkles. Include a statement for each one to explain how they apply to Sparkles.
Australia is putting emphasis on Environmental Law. As per the Queensland’s Law, Sparkles would face legal complications under Environmental Protection Act 1994 and Environmental Protection Regulations 2008.
The main aim of Environmental Protection Act is to protect the environment of Queensland and it improves the quality of life. It means the law maintains ecologically sustainable development (DiPippo, 2012). It is observed that Sparkles is a small car business that washes 55 cars per day, in the self-wash bays and there are two spray booths that wash about 40 cars per day. Employees of Sparkles spend almost 5500 liters of water on washing 55 cars that mean it takes 100 liters of water to clean a single car. Again, to wash 40 cars the spray booth employees spend 6000 liters of water a day. Whereas it is observed that the other car washing companies spend 55 to 60 liters of water per car. This is almost half of the water used by Sparkles. So much of water wastage could be a threat to the environment and it would restrain Sparkles to get the 5star rating under Australian Car Wash Water Saving Rating Scheme.
On the other hand, it is noticed that Sparkles uses four large generators for their vacuum cleaners. These high power generators cost a large amount of power consumption. However, though the cleaner is eco-friendly, it uses a cheap detergent which is bio-degradable but contains phosphate. This inorganic chemical could harm the environment if it comes into contact with oceans as it stimulates the growth of plankton and aquatic plants. Overproduction of this plankton and plants could cause imbalances for the aquatic ecosystem. Again this is a threat to environmental sustainability. So Environmental Protection Regulations 2008 is applicable to Sparkles. The main aim of this regulation is to protect the environment from pollution (Horbach, Rammer & Rennings,2012). In this case, it is observed that Sparkles is responsible for contamination of ocean water. The detergent used by the company releases phosphate which could cause ecological imbalances in aquatic life. Again the company uses four generators for their vacuum cleaner which causes a large amount of electric consumption. This regulation is concerned with inappropriate resource use as well which is also a core issue in this case.
3. Create a table with three (3) columns, the environmental risk, the risk assessment and the risk control. Identify three (3) environmental risks to Sparkles, assess the risk to the environment using the risk assessment matrix and apply one control option using the hierarchy of controls to control the risk.
Wastage of water
Develop a plan which would reduce water usage
Change the detergent and use standard biodegradable product to prevent the hazardous effect of phosphate
High level of Electricity Consumption
It is observed that the cleaner needs 4 generators to work properly. So it is advisable that the cleaner could be substituted or upgraded to a certain level that it does not need too much of electricity.
4. Identify three (3) recommendations that you could make to Sparkles to help them become an environmentally-friendly sustainable business. Include a statement for each one to explain how they will help Sparkles.
Sparkles a small car wash business company has some basic problems that cause damage to the environment. First of all, the company needs to check its water wastage aspect. It is noticed that compared to other car washing company, Sparkles uses more water in every car wash. Over usage of water could be reduced if a proper plan is made (Gomiero, Pimentel & Paoletti, 2011). Firstly, the owner of the company needs to train their staff and convey sustainability messages to them. A workshop could be planned where the company could bring an environmentalist who would give a speech on the importance of water saving. Then a proper plan could be drawn to train the staff how to use less water without compromising the quality of work. For utmost utilization of water, the owner could purchase water-use appliances or equipment that has five or six-star rating (Wahab, Mamun & Ongkunaruk, 2011).
Sparkles use a detergent for the cleaning of cars that contains phosphate. This phosphate enhances the growth of planktons and aquatic plants which are the food source for organisms, fish, humans and other mammals (Mueller et al. 2012). But the excessive growth of these aquatic plants would affect the biological diversity of the system and ecosystem of water will be affected (Gregory, Vidic & Dzombak, 2011 ). Sparkles should check this issue by changing this cheap detergent with a standard one. It would reduce the release of phosphate and so would be less harmful to the environment. Again, the company could take strict measures so that the phosphate would not release in the water body.
Another issue that should be taken care of is the excessive use of electricity. Sparkles use a cleaner which needs four high power generators to work. Too much of electricity consumption is also a threat to the environment (Pahl et al. 2011). So to reduce this consumption, the company should use a more eco-friendly cleaner which could give the same amount of service but will consume low electricity. It must be ensured by Sparkles that all of the equipment used by them possess energy star. In fact, the company could use solar power to generate energy and use it for their cleaner as well as for office use. Solar energy would reduce the risk of excessive electricity consumption significantly (Voss et al. 2013). Again regular maintenance of water pipes, hose nozzles, and drums would reduce the water loss from leaking.
5. Write three (3) environmental S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measureable, achievable, relevant and timely) targets for Sparkles to aim for to become an environmentally-friendly sustainable business.
Reduce In Wastage Of Water
Proper water usage plan to be implemented. Purchasing water-use appliances for maximum usage of water.
When the usage of water reduces significantly, it would be measured when per wash water usage will be reduced.
It is achievable with owner and employees’ effort
As per current environmental situation, it is totally relevant to save water and restore it for the future.
This initiative will take some time to achieve. It would be achieved in one year.
Reduce Water Contamination
Usage of eco-friendly detergent, proper water, and waste recycling method should be adopted.
When the usage of a harmful detergent reduces the contamination will go down automatically. It could be measured by sample survey of used water
It is definitely achievable with owner and employees’ effort and proper awareness program.
As per current environmental situation, it is totally relevant to maintain the ecological balance of the system.
This initiative will take some time to achieve. It would be achieved in six months.
Reduce Electricity Consumption
Usage of energy saving generators for the cleaner. Usage of Solar energy for business operation.
When the electricity bill will reduce significantly, the effect will be measured.
It is definitely achievable with owner and employees’ effort and proper awareness program by the management
As per current environmental situation, it is totally relevant to save electricity and increase the use of solar power
This initiative will take some time to achieve. It would be achieved in one and half years.
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