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What is an Environmental Management System EMS?

by Doug

Over the years, we've found many facilities need a way to keep their environmental program in check, while continually improving their operations as per investor, staff, customer, and community demands. We suggest for most facilities they look into an EMS, and here we discuss what they are, and why they could be useful at many different types of facilities.

Chances are, if you're reading this post, you're in two types of categories. You've either heard about an EMS and want to develop one, or you've never heard of one, and have to develop one.

Either way, we're setting out to answer clearly what one is, and what they mean to you.

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Topics: ISO 14001 EMS, Environmental Management Systems

5 Tips to Become NRMCA Green-Star EMS Certified

by Doug

If you're a member of the concrete industry, you probably already know about the NRMCA Green-Star certification program. If you're ready to pursue it, here are our top 5 steps to becoming Green-Star Certified.

A lot of folks in the concrete industry turn to us for help with the NRMCA Green-Star EMS program. They want to know things like if it's hard, expensive, what the benefits are, etc.

Good questions! And folks, you've come to the right place. Not to toot my own horn, but I did create most of the program, so you're asking the right guy.

When I was working on developing the NRMCA Green-Star Environmental Management System with NRMCA, I wanted to create a program that would be easy to use, understand, and help get concrete producers onto a better path environmentally. I envisioned a system that could get folks into environmental compliance and start thinking about tomorrow.

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Topics: Environmental Management System Training, Environmental Management Systems, NRMCA Green-Star EMS

Do I need an Environmental Management System - A Review of the Top 7 Reasons You Do!

by Doug

It seems like there's a renewed push for organizations to develop and follow an Environmental Management System (EMS) more than ever. I feel like it's a good way for companies to really lock down their environmental program, and help segue way them into a brighter, more sustainable future. Here's the top 7 reasons why you should look into getting an EMS at your facility.

We've gotten some very serious inquiries lately about them. It seems like I am hearing more interest within the past few months than I have heard in the past few years! Maybe much of this may be driven by changes coming about in the updated ISO 14001 EMS standards and the potential interaction of these standards within the larger world of sustainability.

No matter what the cause, it’s nice to know that the environmental community doesn’t treat them as a passing fad, and they recognize the importance and usefulness of an EMS in today’s corporate world.

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Topics: Environmental Compliance, Environmental Management System Training, ISO 14001 EMS, Environmental Management Systems

Environmental Aspects & Environmental Impacts - Necessary for an Environmental Management System (EMS)

by Doug

Our website returns an awful lot of search results regarding environmental aspects and impacts, mainly dealing with what they are. While the idea of impacts is pretty intuitive, the idea of what is meant by aspects may not be. Considering that any Environmental Management System (EMS) – or really any good environmental program – needs to consider and reduce their environmental aspects and associated environmental impacts, it’s worthwhile to have a clear understanding of what this means.

The ISO 14001 EMS standard refers to an environmental aspect as “an element of an organization’s activities, products or services that can interact with the environment”, and further notes that a significant aspect is one that has or can have a significant environmental impact. The ISO 14001 EMS standard then refers to an environmental impact as “any change to the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from an organization’s activities, products or services”.

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Topics: Environmental Management System Training, ISO 14001 EMS, Environmental Management Systems

Concrete Environmental Issues & The Ideal Concrete Plant

by Doug

About a month ago, I was talking to a precast producer about his new environmental management system, and how it was impacting his operation. He said his costs had dropped slightly, his regulators and their inspections went a lot easier, and his employees seemed to actually understand and buy into the whole program. He's the first to say "I'm not perfect" but he's working on it.

It got me thinking... what would the ideal concrete plant (precast, ready mix, brick, etc.) be? What issues, environmental or otherwise, would they have to overcome?

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Topics: Sustainability, Environmental Compliance, Stormwater Permits, ISO 14001 EMS, Environmental Audits, Sustainable Supply Chain Management, Environmental Management Systems, Environmental Speaking & Training, NRMCA Green-Star EMS

Doug Ruhlin on What is Possibly The Most Environmentally Friendly Concrete Plant on THE PLANET

by Doug

Last month I again had the privilege of traveling to Saudi Arabia. What an interesting and unique place! This was my second trip to Saudi Arabia, and I was fortunate enough to be able to share this experience with my son Dennis.

Even though we were far from home, our hosts made us feel welcomed as if we were old friends. Saudi’s are friendly people who want you to enjoy yourself and their country. Like us, they enjoy shopping, a good meal, and family and friends.

And, just like us, there’s a strong demand for concrete in their markets. In fact, there’s probably a stronger demand for concrete there than anywhere here in the US. Being a country made up of primarily desert, some natural resources, such as timber, are a rare commodity. So in turn, concrete is widely used as a reliable, cost effective, and strong building material.

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Topics: Environmental Management Systems