Archer Daniels Midland’s Project GEMINI Launches EMIS to Cultivate Global Compliance Assurance and Efficiency


Courtesy of IHS

In 1902, George A. Archer and John W. Daniels established a small linseed crushing business in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Today, their company – Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) – has grown into a vast, international agribusiness with 30,000 employees working at more than 725 facilities to provide food, feed, fuel and industrial products in 160 countries around the world. ADM’s unmatched assets and global scale give the company a competitive advantage in the marketplace and the company’s growth over the years is attributable in part to the breadth and diversity of its operations. From a small peanut-buying station to a large corn processing facility, ADM provides customers with a matrix of value, a mix of agricultural products, and services that meet their specific needs.

“We play a vitally important role in the agricultural value chain that links the harvest to the home… So we have a vested interest in being good stewards of the environment, in sourcing crops that are responsibly grown and harvested, and in helping our communities around the world thrive economically and socially,” said Patricia A. Woertz, Chairman, CEO and president of ADM.1 Historically, environmental information management was decentralized at ADM. Environmental managers developed their own work processes to meet the needs of their grain elevators, flour mills, corn processing or oilseed processing plants. Their information systems were narrowly scoped and fragmented because they had been built separately by consultants, locations, divisions and departments to comply with only the local, regional and national government regulations applied to their operations.

Eventually, this diverse group of corporate and operations professionals formed an Environmental Leadership Team (ELT) to promote collaboration and enable joint decision-making. In 2009, the ELT responded to proliferating regulations and demands for greater transparency from ADM’s senior management by hiring a third-party consultant to do a formal risk analysis benchmarking study of existing environmental practices and procedures. The ELT also worked with IT to assess the value of legacy environmental information applications – especially the homegrown Regulatory Management Information System (RMIS).

“Both groups concluded that we needed a formalized environmental management system (EMS) supported by a global environmental management information system (EMIS),” said Dan Taylor, Environmental Project Manager for ADM. “We could not expect to keep up with increasing compliance and voluntary reporting requirements using numerous systems, spreadsheets, and an outdated RMIS – it just didn’t have the capabilities we need. A new, unified EMIS would enable us to do tracking, trending, and reporting of environmental data and consolidate that information across all levels of ADM.”

The Challenge

  • Standardize corporate environmental processes and reporting
  • Create one unified, global EMIS with access available from anywhere at anytime
  • Enhance compliance with increasing regulatory and permit requirements to reduce risk

The Solution

  • IHS Environmental Performance Solution with Essential Suite

The Results

  • Launched the first enterprise-level information system – a global EMIS to replace numerous local systems, spreadsheets and manual processes
  • Pilot tested EMIS at 7 sites representing a variety of regional processing/purchasing facilities:
    • Demonstrated ability to help European facilities maintain broad variety of permits
    • Demonstrated ability to help U.S. facilities comply with regulations including Title V, TSCA, MACT, etc.
  • Set the stage for full EMIS implementation that will ultimately serve thousands of users, working in 10 languages at more than 700 facilities worldwide

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