All entries for Sunday 06 July 2014

July 06, 2014

KM and the Environment

It is said that knowledge is tantamount to achieving organisational goals so also is it equally to achieving an effective environmental management system (EMS) in an organisation. Working on EM, I have come to realise that it has so much roots in the idea of concurrent engineering i.e. the design for environment etc. whose effectiveness is also how organisation manages its Lessons learned and uses its knowledge. I have overall learnt that to achieve excellence in a business EMS, One have to view employees as key strategic partner because it’s within them lies the knowledge to improve processes to achieve efficiency in operation. Even from the concept of Lean to TQM, it is the continuous effort put into knowledge management and training of staff that helps to achieve continuous improvement of processes and product designed to suit the environment.

Managing knowledge would enable organisation to tackle its environmental problems at the source instead of putting much effort in a reactive problem solving means.

Befriending the Environment

I was wondering why organisation engage in environmental management, is it for ethical reasons or financial gains. Any time I have my coffee, I could see on the cup the eco labelling: ‘ethically sourced’ to show that their activities are inclined towards environmental sustainability. Sometimes I believe that organisations do engage in environmental sustainability to boost their brand image and financial gains and not because they actually care about managing the environment.

Looking at SME’s who have limited financial resources to play with, one could say they are the least fans when it comes to ‘befriending’ the environment and who can blame them. Aristotle once said “we can know what ought to be done, we can even desire to do it and yet we find ourselves giving in to temptation”. why invest so much in ensuring your suppliers are environmentally responsible or in cleaner technologies when the consumers of your product don’t even know whether you telling the truth or lie when an organisation eco-brand itself.

But one thing I have learnt in my life is that the cost of not doing something right do outweigh the cost of engaging in wrong practices in the long run. Being environmental friendly shouldn’t be a means to an end of financial gains but rather a genuine act of giving back to the society in every possible way. Just like the idea of knowledge sharing. For most organisations in my country, environmental management is usually a challenging task to achieve no matter their size .This idea of giving something and expecting nothing in return is the key to any successful environmental practices and this starts by setting out to do the right thing from the onset of an organisation and not for the purpose of the fancy recognition of ISO14001 certification but for the genuine sake of the world and the people living in it.

July 2014

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