P3 Projects in Ontario require an EMS or EMIS and Compliance Register

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Public Private Partnerships have grown in popularity over the past 30 years. For a variety of reasons, governments prefer to offload the management (and risk) of large infrastructure projects to the private sector. In this transfer of responsibility, the government is also try to assure a certain level of quality, safety and environmental performance. In the past few years, more and more P3 projects in Ontario are requiring projects to build and maintain a robust Environmental Management System (EMS) or an Environmental Management Information System (EMIS). They are defined as follows:

Environmental Management System (EMS)

An environmental management system (EMS) is “a system and database which integrates procedures and processes for training of personnel, monitoring, summarizing, and reporting of specialized environmental performance information to internal and external stakeholders of a firm”.

The most common system for this would be ISO 14001, which is widely followed around the world.

Environmental Management Information System (EMIS)

Environmental management information systems (EMIS) is defined as ‘organizational-technical systems for systematically obtaining, processing, and making available relevant environmental information available in companies’.

This can be a wide ranging system that connects to various other systems.

Both an EMIS and an EMS are big undertakings for any project and in the construction industry, where costs are tight and timelines are challenging there can be a tension between the project management and the environmental issues. That being said, any good project manager will know that a hold up due to environmental issues is highly undesirable. It is therefore critical to invest in a streamlined and easy to manage system that can be built, deployed and used with minimal interruption to the construction and planning teams.

Both an EMS and an EMIS require a company to develop a Compliance Obligations Register (formerly called a Legal Register, Law List or Legal and Other Requirements). The term Compliance Obligations refers to anything that the organization must comply to – including, but not limited to laws and regulations, corporate requirements, contractual agreements in your Project Agreement, and stakeholder engagements. Getting all of this information is a big challenge.

Nimonik offers a series of tools to help you quickly identify your Compliance Obligations in Regulations and a set of tools to Parse and extract Obligations in your contracts, permits, certificates of authorization and Project Agreements. To learn more about aligning your Compliance Obligations registers with your operations, contact us at info@nimonik.com