Environmental management S4
Food + Fibre EcoStrategies208, 4515-45th Street SW, Calgary, Canada T3E 6K7
|Now that Environmental Auditing is a significant
tool for evaluating the environmental performance of a facility, it is pertinent to
re-evaluate the Organic Certification Process and to examine whether it should evolve in
the same direction as Environmental Audits, for the benefit of farmers, of consumers, and
of the environment.
The objectives of this presentation are to: 1)identify the degree to which the Organic Certification Process already contributes to higher environmental management by farmers 2) ,review the similarities and differences between Organic Certification and Environmental Auditing 3) consider whether changes in the Organic Certification Process would enable this process to better fulfill its role as an environmental management tool.
The presentation is based on a master's thesis which examined the applicability of
environmental auditing to Canadian Prairie farms, and which reviewed organic certification
as a possible model for auditing. Findings from this thesis are tailored more specifically
to the organic industry here.
Aside from these structural adjustments, it is recommended that the Organic
Certification Process adopt two key features of Environmental Audits: 1) The first
inspection should be much more thorough. 2)The information from an inspection or audit can
serve additional purposes, beyond certification.
Riddle, J. and J. Ford (1995): Organic inspection manual. Independent Organic Inspectors Association, Winona, Minnesota, U.S. 121 pages.
Thierrin, R. (1996): Environmental auditing of Prairie farms. A Master'sDegree Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for thedegree of Master of Environmental Design (Environmental Science). 196pages.
Thompson, D. and M. Wilson (1994): Environmental auditing: Theory andapplications. In: Environmental Management, Vol. 18, no. 4, p. 605-615.