Providing assurance to both external regulatory or best-practice standards, and to internal company standards presents a special set of challenges when an organization operates across a wide range of countries, business environments, and regulatory regimes. This paper describes a management system that has been developed, and implemented at five hundred sites in one hundred countries, over a one-year period to address this diverse set of assurance challenges.
A review in 2003 of the existing globally implemented environmental management system identified a number of requirements for improvement. These included a more robust system of assessment and assurance of external legal compliance; an improved internal audit and self-assessment process, and a clearer demonstration of alignment of the management system with established external best-practice standards.
Implementation of the new management system, together with a self-assessment and audit toolkit began in early 2004. The system was supported by a set of guideline and template documents that gave field users practical support for local implementation of the system. One of the Guidelines provided detailed instructions for the process of assessment of local regulatory requirements, and for the development of compliance procedures, at a site- or country-specific level in the organization.
An aggressive set of implementation objectives were set for the twelve-month period in which the system was globally implemented. Of the approximately five hundred sites that were required to use the system, 95% were required to conduct a self-assessment, and 60% were required to conduct an independent internal (company) audit by the end of 2004. Progress towards these objectives was measured via the established on-line QHSE database system. With a year's experience of system implementation, a review was conducted at the end of 2004 and was used to develop new objectives, and to identify requirements for further system improvements in 2005.
The Schlumberger organization employs approximately 52,000 people in some 80 countries around the globe. These people work in approximately 600 sites, and about 500 of these sites are considered to have the potential for a significant environmental impact: either on the site itself, or as a consequence of operations performed for customers by personnel from the site. More than 80% of the environmentally significant sites are providing services to the company's customers, and therefore are located close to customer activities. This global distribution of sites requires a management system (with supporting tools) that can be implemented, supported, and measured in a wide variety of legal, business, and technical environments.
The company's environmental management system (EMS) has been in development for several years. A series of corporate standards, describing critical aspects of the company's environmental program, evolved throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, in parallel with the integrated quality, health, safety & environmental (QHSE) management system.
These standards were eventually merged into a single document, which was subject to an extensive strategic review on 2003. The result of this review was a heavily revised standard, which was designed with several objectives:
Full integration with the corporate QHSE management system
Improve the internal and external compliance process
Incorporate the requirements of the ISO14001 standard
Ensure the creation and maintenance of document environmental management plans at all (applicable) sites
Improvement the process of environmental hazard and risk identification and assessment
Provide a robust system of environmental performance measurement and performance management