The contribution of the ERA to the selection of the environmental indicators and to the allowance of the environmental objectives

Publication Date05 January 2015
Date05 January 2015
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/WJSTSD-08-2014-0022
Pages61-78
AuthorSaadia Saadi,Mébarek Djebabra
SubjectPublic policy & environmental management,Environmental technology & innovation
The contribution of the ERA
to the selection of the
environmental indicators and
to the allowance of the
environmental objectives
Saadia Saadi and Mébarek Djebabra
LRPI Laboratory, Health and Safety Institute, University of Hadj-Lakhdar,
Batna, Algeria
Abstract
Purpose This paper is interested to assist organizations in the task of selecting and use appropriate
indicators for their environmental evaluation procedure (EPE). This maximizes the successful
deployment of the EPE process and as a consequence the introduction of good environmental
practices. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
Design/methodology/approach It consists of a proposal for a combined methodology based on
the simultaneous use of environmental risk (ER) approach and RPN-based allocation method.
Findings In the developed methodology, the authors use the principles of risk assessment and
purpose a new formulation of weight allowance with reference to the severity of ERs and significance
of environmental aspects.
Practical implications Methodology suggested constitutes an invaluable help to implementation
EPE process and as a consequence the introduction of good environmental practices.
Originality/value Methodology suggested facilitates the process of environmental performance
evaluation providing substantial assistance to one of the most important stages that is to decide which
particular indicators will be considered.
Keywords Sustainable environment, Risk, Indicator, Development policies, Goal, Allocation
Paper type Research paper
World Journal of Science,
Technology and Sustainable
Development
Vol. 12 No. 1, 2015
pp. 61-78
©Emerald Group Publis hing Limited
2042-5945
DOI 10.1108/WJSTSD-08-2014-0022
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/2042-5945.htm
Nomenclature
EI
ji
Environmental indicator
PEI
ji
Prioritized environmental
indicator
ER
ji
Environmental risk of indicator
EI
ji
SEA
i
Significance of environmental
aspect i
EG
i
Environmental goal related to the
environmental aspect i
NI
EA
i
Importance level of the
environmental aspect i
NM
EA
i
Control level of the environmental
aspect i
SS
EA
i
Sensibility of the site and its
surrounding at this environmental
aspect i
F
ji
Frequency of failure to achieve
the related goal
M
ji
Magnitude of the negative
impacts in case of failure to
achieve the related goal
S
i
*Tolerated significance for SEA
i
S
i
Real significance for SEA
i
W
S
i
Weight of allocation related to the
significance S
i
ER
ji
*Sub-goals related to
environmental risk ER
ji
W
PEI
ji
Weight of allocation related
to the prioritized indicator
PEI
ji
N
PEI/SEA
i
Number of prioritized indicators
related to a SEA
i
61
The
contribution
of the ERA
1. Introduction
In the environmental management, the environmental performance evaluation (EPE) is
defined as (ISO 14031, 1999): a process to facilitate management decisions regarding
an organizations environmental performance by selecting indicators, collecting and
analyzing data, assessing information against environmental performance criteria ,
reporting and communicating, and periodic review and improvement of this.
Although EPE has been considered to be both significant and useful, it is an
area still susceptible for further research and development work (Diakaki et al., 2006;
Myhre et al., 2013; Hua et al., 2014; Zhang et al., 2014). This is partly due to the fact
that an evaluation is not an easy task, given the resources and efforts that are required,
and partly due to the fact that the adoption of EPE procedures is still an optional
task (Retief, 2007; Boatemaa et al., 2013). This fact in combination with the difficulties
that arise when an organization tries to implement EPE, reduce its extensive
use. Diakaki et al. (2006) recall that a first problem relates to the resources necessary
for such a task and the second problem concerns the choice of environmental
indicators (EI).
According to Diakaki et al. (2006), the environmental performance indicators
(EPIs) used by EPE are as defined by Bartolomeo (1995) the quantitative and
qualitative information that allow the evaluation, from an environmental poi nt of view,
of company effectiveness and efficiency in the consumption of resources.
The indicators depend on (Barrie, 1990; Rhys et al., 2005): the objectives defined by
the organizations, interests of the stakeholders which decide to take into account and
the situation of the organizations in terms of size, geographical implantation, and
branch of industry. As a consequence, it is really difficult for an organization to decide
which particular indicators should be included in the EPE procedure.
The aim of the method proposed in this paper is to assist organizations in
the difficult task of selecting appropriate indicators for their EPE procedures. This
maximizes the successful deployment of the EPE process and as a consequence
the introduction of good environmental practices.
The proposed methodology is based on the environmental risk assessment (ERA)
approach (Eduljee, 1998; Llewellyn, 1998) which is a process for estimating the
likelihood or probability of an adverse outcome or event due to pressures or changes in
environmental conditions resulting from human activities (Topuz et al., 2011). ERA is
complementary to methods used in: state of environment reporting (Fairman et al.,
1999), environmental impact assessment and risk management ( Arslan, 2009;
Marcelino-Sádaba et al., 2014).
The ERA approach involves identification, analysis and presentation of information
in terms of risk to environmental values to inform planning and decision-making
processes (Kolluru et al., 1996; Aven and Kristensen, 2005).
ERA is a flexible tool that can be applied in many fields and has extensively been
used in a variety of environmental issues (Tixier et al., 2002; Darbra et al., 2008), since
the 1970s when it was initially developed as a technique and a profession under the
general term ERA (Ball, 2002).
In this study, ERA is mainly used as an identification and prioritization tool to
assist decision- making on the selection and the use of appropriate indicators for EPE
by a proposal method of allowance of the environmental objectives which we have
coupled with ERA method.
In this context, this paper includes five more sections. The next one describes
the background of the presented study including a short state-of-the-art review on the
62
WJSTSD
12,1

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT