Investigation of Environmental Monitoring Designs for Corporate Management Information Systems

Investigation of Environmental Monitoring Designs for Corporate Management Information Systems

Marina G. Erechtchoukova (York University, Canada), Stephen Y. Chen (York University, Canada) and Peter A. Khaiter (York University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-981-1.ch009

Abstract

The evaluation of an organization’s environmental performance is an integral part of a corporate environmental management information system. This chapter considers an organization’s environmental impact assessment with respect to a water resource. It investigates formal approaches to the development of temporal monitoring designs for producing data sufficient to perform the assessment. In this study, simple random sampling, stratified random sampling, and designs obtained using greedy search have been investigated with respect to their compatibility with a corporate environmental management information system. All three approaches determine temporal monitoring designs with minimal costs and supply data sufficient for estimation of water quality indicators for a given level of uncertainty. It is shown that monitoring designs obtained using the greedy search approach will outperform other designs when the level of uncertainty in the estimate must be low. If high levels of uncertainty are tolerable, simple random designs become preferable due to their simplicity and effectiveness. The proposed approaches lead to automated procedures which can be easily integrated into a corporate environmental management information system.
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Background

An organization’s environmental performance evaluation is a multi-step process. There are several frameworks for an environmental management system. European Union’s Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EC, 2001) and EPA’s Performance Track and the Code of Environmental Management Principles (US EPA, 1997) are among them. One of the most popular frameworks for an environmental management system was described in ISO 14001 standard (ISO, 2004). This framework requires the development of an environmental policy and the assessment of its fulfillment through four steps: (1) planning, (2) implementation and operation, (3) checking and corrective actions, and (4) management reviews. Monitoring and measurements are critical steps of the process since they supply decision makers with data and information on all steps of the performance evaluation (Stapleton et al., 2001).

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