Monitoring environmental management at primary schools in South Africa
JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION
Free University of Brussels, Siemens AG, Tshwane University of Technology, Flemish Govt, Museum Pk Enviro Ctr
With the aid of universities Environmental Management Systems (EMSs) were developed and implemented in 39 primary schools in Northern Gauteng and Southern Limpopo Provinces, South Africa in 2005. Between 2006 and 2008, the assisting universities monitored the implementation process to evaluate the progress the schools made in environmental management and performance. The monitoring results exposed the main parameters, which lead to an improvement of the environmental performance of the schools. These results can be used to improve the process of EMS implementation in the future.
This paper presents the monitoring results and discusses the correlations between the different managerial aspects on the one hand and the environmental performances on the other hand. The major observations were:
a) The elaboration of the managerial aspects seems to evolve in a similar way at the different schools, independent from the social-economic type of the schools (urban, rural or township).
b) Successful implementation of the EMS starts with the implementation of managerial instruments: The integration of environmental aspects in the management of the school is positively correlated with the environmental performance of the schools (water, waste and greening), but not with energy-related environmental performances.
c) The implementation of managerial instruments starts with good planning, followed by communication and co-operation, where the whole school team has to be involved.
d) Universities have important opportunities to take the lead in this hardly explored area of research.
The results open interesting opportunities for further research on how to optimize the functioning of the EMS in primary schools in the Northern part of South Africa. A model that relates the determinants of a successful EMS might be a first step. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.