The Oman Environmental Services Holding Company (OESHCO) or Be’ah has been known as the first privatize waste management company in Oman. Previously the government of the Sultanate was responsible in the implementation of waste management systems and environmental projects of the country but come 2007, such responsibility was given to Be’ah.
The primary objective of the firms is to privatize the waste management sector of the Sultanate. It provides waste management solutions to organizations because it aims to preserve the environment. This paper evaluates the environmental sustainability of the company as a firm working under the waste management sector.
The company’s key target market will be discussed in this paper as well as the strategies of the company in operating in the market. Through an in-depth analysis, the planning, gathering of information, organizational response mechanism will be discussed in this report. The bulk of the literature will focus on auditing the company’s environmental sustainability.
As a firm in the waste management sector, Be’ah’s nature and types of environmental safety actions will be also be discussed. On the last part of this paper recommendations will be provided with regards to the improvement of the company’s processes as well as the technologies needed in order for the firm to operate efficiently.
The Oman Environmental Services Holding Company (OESHCO) also known as Be’ah was founded on July 2007. Its legal status was granted on August 8, 2009 through the Royal Decree No. 46/2009. The company was established through the recommendations of the National Solid Waste Management Strategy Report which was commissioned by the Ministry of National Economy.
The company’s objective is to streamline and privatize the waste management and environmental protection activities of the Sultanate. OESHCO or Be’ah is gradually taking over the waste management sector of individual municipalities and privatizing them (OESHC: About Us 2011).
There are six (6) members of OESHCO’s board of directors namely He.Sultan Hamdoon Al-Harthy, Engineer Said Darwish Al-Alwai, Dr. Salim Said Al-Wahaibi, Mrs. Awattiff Mohammed Al-Hikmani, Engineer Abdulqader Ahmed Alawi Al-Haddad, and Engineer Suliman Nasser Al-Akhzami (OESHC: About Us 2011).
The strengths of the company can be attributed to its presence in the market through its key projects. Be’ah is known as the first company to conduct sanitary landfills throughout the Sultanate thus it is expected that the company will serve as an example for future sanitary landfills (Health Ministry and Oman Environmental Services Holding Company).
It is also known for the waste management systems it has created in the Sultanate. Through these activities Be’ah has helped expanded waste storage facilities, improved existing waste management systems; drafted out improved waste management plans and engaged in waste sector emergency projects.
Major projects of Be’ah include the expansion of Al Amerat landfill, the development of Al Batinah temporary hazardous waste storage facility in 2011, the designing, contraction and operation of Barka landfill in 2010 and the Dhofar medical waste facility in early 2011, the creation of Dhofar integrated waste management system in 2011, Duqm waste management plan in 2011, used tyres recycling facility in 2010, national medical waste plan in 2010, electronic waste plan and national hazardous waste facility (OESHC: Projects 2011).
Definition of the company’s key target market
The Oman Environmental Services Holding Company’s target market is the whole waste management sector of the Oman Empire. The government used to handle the task of waste management in the Sultanate but with the establishment and legalization of Be’ah, the task of such is delegated to the said company.
Forms of transpiration used by Be’ah in implementing projects include the use of bulldozers, cranes and big trucks. These are used by Be’ah in projects including the engineering of landfills and establisment of waste facilities, waste transfer stations and waste plants (Moving Oman towards Zero Waste).
In terms of communication the company has relied heavily on the power of the internet where it posts its announcements of activities in their website. They are also open for comments and suggestions for further improvements. There is a portion in the website where outsiders are able to air out their concerns and ideas on how the company can further progress the development of the waste management sector of the Sultanate.
The company also partner up with other organizations in making its activities known to the general public. It leverages resources with partner firms to have a bigger scope of audience. In the waste management sector the customers of Be’ah are different organizations which need seek Be’ah’s services in developing processes on how to reduce wastage, improve nearby sewages and reuse and recycle materials.
In terms of distribution, Be’ah’s core strategy involves their close cooperation with the existing waste management sector of the government. Since the company is in the process of taking over waste management responsibilities of the government, the former is introduced to projects previously lead by the government. In marketing services Be’ah uses the internet in reaching out to its target market.
With the help of government connections it has managed to be granted previous projects handled by the former. Be’ah has been working on previous projects assigned to the government. Its main focus is the privatization of public waste management sectors.
In terms of pricing, the company tries to provide better quality services compared to the government but with prices similar to if not near that quoted by the government. Be’ahs biggest competitor is its predecessor, the government. Comparing and contrasting both organizations, we can see that the privatized waste management system of Be’ah has better facilities compared to that of the government.
Whereas the government encountered problems in terms of its focus on the waste management sector because of its broad scope in terms of environmental preservation and waste management, Be’ah has no problem of such because it was specifically established to manage systems concerning wastage.
Prices of services on the other hand are the same as Be’ah’s concern in taking over the responsibilities of the government was to provide the same quality if not better services than its predecessor but the price range of services would be near to that of the government’s. Be’ah uses the internet in promoting its events and activities.
Its partnership with different organizations also enables the company to use its partners’ resources thus its saves costs. The budget allocation of the company in terms of marketing its services is not as big as that of its competitor.
In promoting its activities and services in general, government waste management companies need to make budget proposals in order for them to be given funding to run the program. Funds would be coming from taxes of people thus it is difficult for the company to implement strategies efficiently because of budget constraints and delays.
At the end of every year, when all the reports with regards to the previous projects have been compiled, top managers together with the board of directors set up a meeting to discuss the direction of the company for the following year. All activities implemented in the previous year are being evaluated. Thorough studies are being conducted by respective teams to learn from the successes and failures of projects.
What have worked in the implementation of the project is being noted. Information is shared among team members in order for each team member to grow and learn from past experiences. Project failures are also evaluated. What did not work or what have contributed to the failure of the projects are being detected in order to avoid a repeat of such mistakes.
The board of directors together with the top managers bases the company’s direction for the follow year through the compilation of reports about previous projects. Also researches forecasting the latest trends in waste management and sectors of Oman which need attention are taken into consideration.
In corporate planning, both the shareholders and the management team discuss the company’s objectives and goals for the following year. The decisions enable the different teams of the company to focus on goals with quotas thus there is direction among each team.
Cooperation in all position levels play an important role in corporate planning especially since the implementation of strategies in order to lay out strategic plan will be done not by one but all employees of the company. Strategic plans involving teams such as the manufacturing, marketing, human resource, finance, logistic and service teams play crucial roles in the operation of the company.
Once corporate plans have been decided by the top level management and the board of directors, each team is assigned tasks that may help in the achievement of the company’s goals. Be’ah’s mission and vision involves zero waste in Oman through the privatization of waste management systems of organizations. This has been the general goal of the company. The more specific goals and decisions are left for each team to decide.
Be’ah has a list of key projects which they focus on throughout the year but each year the company has been innovative in adding new projects to expand the company’s scope in waste management. The aim of the company is to become an all around solutions provider of waste management systems for the Sultanate thus the goals of the company each year have been patterned to fulfill such objectives.
The Current Environmental Information Gathering System
Since Be’ah’s predecessor is the government collecting information has never been a problem. Be’ah’s information about waste management in the Sultanate come from the government’s achieves (Oman Waste Management Strategy). Information is readily available to the company. The research and development team compile such information in reports for managers and board members to view.
The nature of information collected by the R&D team is mostly about the environmental issues of the Sultanate. Other information collected is about the success of other waste management systems of other countries for example that of India. Be’ah’s employees are taught to learn from others in order to provide the best quality of service to clients.
Employees are required to be knowledgeable about issues concerning the environment and how to conserve it thus information collected are readily available to managers in order for them to have an idea and overview of the current events in the environmental and waste management sector. When the R&D team has finished compiling information gathered they conduct a meeting with all departments.
In the meeting they report the information they have gathered for a period of time. Team leaders are invited to attend the meeting in order to guide them in their decision making processes. Once the meeting has finished each manager is given a hard copy of the report.
Organizational Response Mechanism
Decisions are made by hierarchy. Usually the people with top level positions make the broadest and most general decisions. As the information passes through from top to the bottom levels of the hierarchy the decisions made become more specific. An example is the board members decision to have a zero waste Oman. Such decision is too broad with no specifics.
Team leaders of each team (i.e. manufacturing, finance, marketing, HR, etc.) are left alone to decide the best way in their fields to achieve such goal.
The manufacturing leader may inform his team that they would need to come up with designs of a recycling machine which convert garbage to paper the finance team lead would inform his teammates that they need to tighten up their belts by lessening the costs for the year, the marketing manager may need to inform his team members to create programs to make noise in the market and the human resource manager may start conducting interviews in search for the best qualified individuals to be assigned in different teams.
Each individual in the company has a voice in terms of contributing to the success of the company. Teams are formed in order to classify individuals. The strength of the team lies in the ideas contributed by each team member. All employees are encouraged to participate in brain storming activities. Employees of Be’ah are considered part of the environment task force because most are environmentalist.
Almost all the employees of the company are passionate about saving the environment thus it is very easy to extract creative inputs from team members because they actually care about salvaging Oman’s environment and implementing waste management in all organizational sectors of the Sultanate. The speed of response to the environment related information received can be considered efficient.
Team members are updated and alert about new information going around and actions are taken immediately. Though the company’s strategies are considered more aggressive rather than reactive, each team ensures that they do not overlook the current events. The company implements projects that are viewed as pioneer in Oman but it also tries to continue and improve its predecessor’s works.
Be’ah is an environmentalist company thus the company conserves energy. Its consumption of such is very minimal where the administration department had carefully checked the wattages of appliances. Most individuals are disciplined to conserve energy. Office rules also stipulate the strict implementation of rules with regards to energy conservation.
For example, desk lamps, electrical appliances and the like must be unplug when employees leave the office premises. Meeting rooms and rest room lights must be turned off when such are not in used. The energy consumption of the company is very minimal since conservative rules with regards to its consumption are strictly imposed on employees.
Materials used in the engineering of projects for waste management are usually recyclable goods or materials that are environmental friendly. The establishment of recycling factories for example is a product of materials considered by most as junk. As much as possible materials used in projects must conform to the environmental safety criteria of the company.
For example the use of freshly chopped logs is not permitted since the cutting of trees promotes deforestation in the region. Suppliers of materials are usually those who are accredited by the government. They must also support the environmental campaign of Be’ah. Illegal loggers, miners and the like are disqualified in bidding for projects of the company since the ethics and values clash.
Methods of transportation used from suppliers to the company are trucks by suppliers. Upon the purchase of materials, suppliers deliver the needed raw materials to the warehouse of Be’ah where the logistics team will receive such goods. When implementing projects materials delivered to the warehouse by the supplier will be transported to the project sites.
It is important that materials go through the warehouse first for checking and inventory. On the issue of how emission level targets are identified the company uses a device to track down the harm each target may bring about to the environment. For example a factory that dumps its chemicals in the forest may spread the toxin and kill the trees in the forest. Be’ah uses a device to track down the level of toxicity.
Such device may inform the researchers how hazardous such practices may be. In order to control such emission levels teams assigned to do field work usually record organizational activities. They compare such data with existing studies in order for them to recommend needed actions to be implemented in order to salvage the environment through waste management.
The process of recording such measures is a tedious one but teams work hard to fulfill the needed requirements. Once a hazardous activity has been spotted by teams assigned to do field work, information regarding the activities and history of the said target is researched. Existing studies by the company indicate the standard level of harmful activities thus this is used by teams to measure the dangers of given events.
The R&D team does all the data collection activities but further evidences are being gathered by teams working in the field. A compiled report is produced after 48 hours. This report is being discussed to the team heads in order gather additional information, comments and suggestions from the different teams on how to provide a solution to the given problem.
Top managers hold a meeting regarding the said issue and they decide if they would call on a stakeholders meeting.
If situations and problems are very minor and they are included in the strategic plans of the company then such topic will only be included in the weekly reports to the stakeholders in passing but if the issue being discussed is a unique one and may require a huge amount of funding then a stakeholders’ meeting will be called upon as soon as possible.
Issues are considered problematic when the top level management can no longer handle things on their own and may need the decision making powers of the stakeholders. Each stakeholder was is part of the group because of their strong concern to the environment. Be’ah’s board of directors is in some way involved with the campaign to promote the environment through waste management.
All of them believe in a healthy environment where there is zero waste thus the vision of the company. In terms of the environment each member of the board has his or her own personal opinion in protecting the environment thus their agreement to take on a challenging task to be part of the decision making body of a waste management company.
Be’ah offers waste management services to organizations while promoting the privatization of waste management in the Sultanate. The process of the company in rendering their services is quite simple. They conduct studies and survey after which they provide recommendations to the clients. If the clients are satisfied with the given recommendations, Be’ah starts to implement such.
For example, when landfills are needed in certain areas of Oman, the company conducted a study whether to expand existing ones or create new ones. Different teams of the company had conducted studies to produce solutions and alternatives to such problems. Once recommendations have been drafted out the company coordinates with different authorities to have projects approved then they proceed to the implementation part.
So far the company has been efficient in implementing its processes. Reviews from different organizations have been quite impressive (Proposed Recycling of Used Tyres 2010). In terms of the facilities, equipments and technology used by the company in implementing projects, the company is still lagging behind (Action plan to curb medical waste scourge cards).
Since the company is fairly new in the waste management sector its facilities, equipments and technology are not as advanced as that of other countries such as India. Though the company has a very proactive group of employees and the processes are quite ideal since they have modeled such from its predecessors the tools used needs improvement.
It is understandable though that such would be expected since the company is new and budget is tight especially since there is no return of investments yet.
The board of directors has already decided to improve the weaknesses of the company thus Be’ah has been aggressively hiring new employees to further gain knowledge in uplifting the processes of the company in terms of problem identification, networking to gain more clients and the implementation of cost effective strategies.
The company has also started talks about purchasing new equipments, facilities and technology abroad in order to complement the newly improved process but the final decision has not yet been decided due to budget constraints (Project Engineer 2011). The waste levels and controls of the company itself have been closely observed by the company itself (Recycling Poised to Boost Oman’s Private Sector).
Since Be’ah is concerned with the environment and waste management in general, its own waste levels are being monitored and controlled by the waste management team. It is highly recommended for any waste management company to have an ideal waste management system and control themselves before they go off promoting to other organizations the proper ways of waste disposal.
The chief executive officer of Be’ah is very concerned with the environment. In his message via the company’s website the CEO highlighted the importance of waste management. He is very happy that the responsibility of managing waste of Oman will be handled by Be’ah.
The support of the government is very helpful to the company especially since it is the first time in history to have a private waste management sector in the Sultanate.
“Waste management is an issue that has to be dealt with daily in order to control the huge amounts of waste currently passing through the country. At the moment the waste management in Oman is managed by the government.
It is managed by not one government organisation but by a number of them like the Muscat Municipality, Dhofar Municipality, Regional Municipality and Ministry of Health (medical waste) among others.
The government’s strategy is to restructure and privatise the sector” (OESHC: About Us 2011). The acting CEO of Be’ah is Mr. Azhar Hariun Al Kindi. Mr. Azhar Hariun Al Kindi has been actively participating in the decision making process of the company.
He is always attending conferences and events that promote the waste management sector of Oman. One time he even conducted a workshop in order for people to be aware of the waste management strategy in Oman.
He was willing to provide information of possible business opportunities in the waste management sector during the workshop last year (Oman Waste Management Workshop 2011). Mr. Azhar Hariun Al Kindi has been a very influential and inspirational leader not only to Be’ah employees but to environmentalist all over the world.
Analysis of the nature and types of environmental safety actions being undertaken
Since the establishment and legalization of Be’ah, the company has been aggressively proactive in the implementation of programs that promote waste management in the Sultanate.
Aside from implementing key projects which serve as the company’s standard projects in promoting waste management in Oman namely the expansion of Al Amerat landfill and Al Batnah Temporary Hazardous Waste storage facility, the designing, construction and operation of Barka landfill and Dhofar Medical Waste, the establishment of Dhofar integrated waste management system, Duqm waste management plan, used tires recycling facility, waste sector emergency projects, national medical waste plan, electronic waste plan and national hazardous waste facility.
It has aggressively promoted its cause to the public through the internet and by hosting a series of activities such as the earth hour in 2010 and earth day. Be’ah has conducted a succession of feasibility studies in order to improve its programs as well as be more competent as a company in the implementation and recommendation of waste management and environmental advices.
On the other hand the company has been reactive to changes brought about by the everyday challenges. The different teams of the company are very much alert in receiving information about the new waste management systems from other countries, environmental problems experienced worldwide and other event that may affect the ecosystem.
The management has prepared teams in reacting to unexpected events and it is a protocol among teams to device immediate plans of action to counteract unexpected problems.
Reporting has been the considered as a standard operating procedure for any company. In Be’ah each team is required to present a weekly report updating their pending works and status of projects.
Each team has their own weekly internal meeting. In this meeting team members present to the team leader updates of what they have been working on for the past week. Sometimes in weekly meetings new information is shared in the group to stimulate creative ideas which may be of great essence to the company’s objectives. On a greater note, a weekly status update is also help together with the managing director.
This meeting is attended by group leaders who update the managing director about the status of projects from each team. Projects that have been completed are also discussed during this meeting. Concerns from each team are aired out during this meeting. Managers are also encouraged to participate in the said meeting attentively and their suggestions as well as their comments are highly encouraged.
During this time each group reports on the outcome of their previous projects, what they are currently working on and future projects they have in mind. During this meeting, team leaders usually ask for help from other team leaders in projects they are currently working on. Aside from the weekly meetings, the management also conducts quarterly meetings to evaluate the performances of each group.
In the quarterly meeting the topic usually involves numbers where previous projects are being analyzed and evaluated. Lastly the company conducts annual reporting every end of the year to evaluate the annual performance of the company. Teams prepare reports for the past 12 months they have worked on.
The main topics of this meeting are amount of budget spent, return of investments and profits generated. This is the most stressful meeting because all the activities of each team are being analyzed and compared to the activities and performance of the previous year.
The Oman Environmental Services Holding Company (OESHCO) or Be’ah is a fairly new company. It is the first private sector waste management company in Oman. Previously the waste management sector of the Sultanate was controlled by the government but the decision to privatize such sector has resulted to the establishment of Be’ah.
Since the company is fairly new it is understandable that its processes and technology are not of the best quality thus I would really recommend a strong focus on the improvement of the company’s processes and innovation of technology. It is understandable that Be’ah relies heavily on its predecessor for information and knowhow in running the firm but it’s time that the company stands up on its own.
The research and development sector of the company must be developed to produce the best and highly skilled individuals. R&D is very important because it is the one of the crucial departments that conducts studies on how to improve waste management sector of Oman. By funding the growth of the company’s R&D department, Be’ah would be able to provide the best quality of services to the organizations of the Sultanate.
A good research and development department serves as a backbone of a firm in innovation. Another improvement worth noting is the facilities, equipments and technology used by the firm. It must be updated to fully measure data. Be’ah’s lacks necessary tools that may help the company in efficiently providing and delivering services to its clients.
Be’ah still relies on the old equipments provided by its predecessors which are outdated already. In order to save time and money in terms of gathering data and information as well as implementing projects, Be’ah should invest in top of the line technology to ensure the efficient and cost effective way of conducting and implementing waste management and environmental projects.
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Moving Oman towards Zero Waste, <http://www.oeshc.co.om/Downloads/BeahProfile.pdf>.
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OESHC: Projects 2011, <http://www.oeshc.co.om/Projects/>.
Oman Waste Management Workshop 2011, <http://www.oeshc.co.om/news/newsDetails.aspx?newsID=75>.
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