Environmental Management (EM)
The Environmental Management (EM) Tool Box includes a range of decision support tools that can assist decision makers to improve the environmental outcomes of their management decisions. Understanding the differences between the different decision support tools can help you decide which tool you should use, or recommend in a particular situation. For example, while an EIA is typically undertaken to gain regulatory approval for a project, an ERA is voluntary and can be carried out at any time.

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Scoping Stage
The initial phase of policy making, planning and project design, when the broad dimensions of the initiative, critical success factors and sources of significant risk are identified and elaborated through a consultative process with stakeholders, and used subsequently to make recommendations and decisions as to the conceptual design and overall economic viability, social acceptability and environmental sustainability of the proposed activity.

  • Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  • Environmental Technology Assessment (ETA)
Design and Approval Stage
The phase of policy making, planning and project design and approval when the specific details of the proposed activity, including the desired end results, are developed and described, taking into account the objectives, stakeholder views, regulatory and other requirements and best practices in design and implementation.

  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  • Social Impact Asessment (SIA)
  • Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA)
  • Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA)
Operational Stage
The implementation stage, when policy is made, plans are developed and projects are undertaken. Throughout this stage monitoring and review procedures are used to foster a process of continual improvement, by identifying and reinforcing successful activities and actions, and by identifying and revising or halting unsuccessful activities and actions.

  • Environmental Management Systems (EMS)
  • Environmental Reporting (ER)
  • Environmental Audit (EA)
Source: UNEP-International Environmental Technology Center

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