Matt Atkinson, Ranch Manager at Benziger Family Winery, was overseeing the development of the winery’s environmental management system (EMS). Matt was working with Chris Benziger, Partner and National Sales Representative to ensure that development of the EMS was consistent with Benziger’s operational and strategic direction. It was February, 2003 and Matt and Chris had already invested countless hours in the EMS. Matt believed that considerable progress had been made on Benziger’s EMS. They had developed a formal environmental policy, identified and prioritized their environmental aspects and established objectives and targets. However, there were still many steps to be carried out in establishing a full-fledged EMS.
Further development would require time consuming efforts in writing ‘standardised operating procedures’ and in establishing document control and record keeping procedures. The rest of the organisation would have to become more involved. Staff training would be required. In light of the time that would be required from management and employees, Matt and Chris had to decide how fast to proceed and how to involve others. In addition, there was the question as to whether to continue to pursue ISO 14000 certification. ISO 14000 was an internationally recognised standard for environmental management systems, and it had both internal organisational benefits and could potentially provide competitive marketplace opportunities. The EMS was currently being developed to be consistent with ISO 14000.