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Defining objectives and targets

The management functions of planning, leading, organising and controlling will be most effective if they take the form of a multi-instrument and a multi-target approach. This means that the many instruments for management such as planning, reporting, auditing, impact assessment and life-cycle analysis to name only a few, should be used in mining operations. Moreover, such instruments for management need to be adopted in different ways and combinations, depending on many factors.

Here environmental protection and occupational safety (third grid effects) probably play a role. Better ventilation and more tunnel supports are required to protect underground miners. As a consequence, more hours of work are necessary to mine a ton of coal. However, considering fewer accidents or a cleaner environment, the measured productivity problem is less of a problem than it seems. The air is better to breathe. There is also less environmental damage.

Thus, although UK COAL, UK’s biggest producer of coal, has been in continuous decline in terms of numbers of collieries and labour force levels since nationalisation in 1995, the company has defined objectives and targets in areas such new surface mines in planning/application. Clearly, this has implications for economic regeneration. UK COAL has consultation with both the relevant planning authority and many other organisations concerning the likely environmental impacts (Future Developments). A scoping exercise is carried out and the likely potential environmental impacts are defined.

The company also defines objectives and targets for environmental performance. This paper will use a case study of a mining operation in WELBECK, one of the UK COAL’ mines (Figure 1), to illustrate the management functions of planning, leading, organising and controlling in the company. WELBECK defines objectives and targets in areas such as environmental performance. It is through the process of defining and achieving objectives and targets that WELBECK improves its performance. The company ensures the commitments specified in its policies and strategies are met.

Objectives and targets are established by senior managers (at general manager and operating manager level). These objectives are also supported by the chief executive officer (CEO) and the board of directors. The CEO, board and general manager ensure the objectives and targets are met and take an active interest in the WELBECK’s progress towards achieving the objectives and targets. The goal of this active interest is twofold. At first, undoubtly, the company ensures that the objectives and targets are actually met.

Second, the company provides a tangible demonstration of senior management’s commitment to the overall goals of management. Objectives of the company are defined as long term goals in regard to the environmental performance UK COAL sets itself to achieve (McVeigh 89). To meet these objectives managers set a series of targets. Targets are defined as specific performance requirements that arise from the environmental objectives. These targets need to be met in order to achieve the environmental objectives. That is, targets measure progress in order to achieve a defined objective.

In defining its objectives and targets, UK COAL took into account the significant environmental impacts of its operations, activities, products, and services in WELBECK. Objectives of the company included reducing the quantity of waste sent to landfill by a defined percentage over a defined timeframe, dust suppression (Figure 2), or achieving certification of the environmental management system within five years. Targets enable performance towards overall objectives to be assessed and help identify, at an early stage, potential problems in meeting these goals (Turner 34).

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