M.INC.ERST.620: Advanced Environmental Management Systems

Learning outcome

Businesses and associated organisations contribute to a wide range of major environmental problems. Regulation has to date had limited success in reversing some of the major adverse environmental trends. Increasingly businesses are using a wide range of voluntary approaches to accepting their own responsibility for these problems. In this paper we look at the basis of environmental management systems, contexts for development and application, types, uses and limitations of EMS and applications of EMS in New Zealand and elsewhere.


Section 1: The Big Picture – organisations and the environment

  • Global environmental changes
  • Impacts on business and other organisations
  • Organisational responses

Section 2: Implementing environmental management systems

  • Setting directions
  • Taking stock – where are you at now?
  • Risk assessment and management
  • Where to and how?

Section 3: The organisation and the community

  • Managing stakeholder relationships

Section 4: The government response: Carrots and Sticks

  • The government toolkit
  • NZ Environmental legislation

Section 5: The future

  • Sustainable environmental management in the 21st century.


  • Exam: Individual assignments (reports & presentations) (60 %), Major Group Project (30 %), Participation and Feedback (10%)
  • Prerequisite for examination: To give students the knowledge , skills and critical appraisal tob e able to contextualise and apply EMS to any organisation within variety of management and policy contexts. This course examines a wide range of types of EMS, from sector specific EMS focused in a few aspects of environmental impact, to broader approaches aimed at creating sustainable organisations, and will include assessing why they are needed, what they achieve and how to get buy-in.

Further details

  • Admission requirements: None
  • Recommended previous knowledge: None
  • Language: English
  • Person responsible for module: Lin Roberts
  • Course frequency: Each winter semester
  • Duration: One semester
  • Number of repeat examinations permitted: Twice
  • Recommended Semester: First to third semester
  • Maximum number of students: 10