Going for the Green: ISO 14001 Delivers Profits

By Fielding, Stanley | Industrial Management, March/April 1999 | Go to article overview

Going for the Green: ISO 14001 Delivers Profits


Fielding, Stanley, Industrial Management


Executive Summary

The myth that a green-friendly environmental policy doesn't translate into extra "green" at the bottom line is withering fast. A good environmental management system such as ISO 14001 can actually help pump up profits while controlling environmental hazards. By following the steps outlined here, most companies can achieve ISO 14001 registration within 12 to 18 months.

In the United States, environmental management is typically considered a hindrance to business rather than an asset. This is especially true in the electronics industry, in which the need to reduce costs has traditionally meant moving production to countries that have low labor costs and little or no environmental protection requirements. Thus electronics businesses have gotten the reputation of exporting environmental problems rather than developing solutions. Today, many companies are realizing that instituting a sound environmental management system (EMS) like ISO 14001 actually leads to higher profits, produces a positive public relations image, and results in a cleaner world. In fact, one company with an ISO 14001 EMS learned how to recycle 94 percent of its waste and created a profit center in the process.

Environmental awareness is important to success

Every electronics manufacturing facility, no matter the location, has environmental impacts on its neighbors. Companies must manage a variety of chemicals, energy use, air and water discharges, solid waste from scrap and packaging, and disposal of hazardous waste. Companies must have procedures to unload chemicals at the receiving dock, store them appropriately and in accordance with regulations, use them safely, and treat and dispose of them correctly

The electronics and computer industries use a wide variety of chemicals in their manufacturing processes. The processes within the electronics industry that use chemicals and generate the most waste are the manufacturing of semiconductors, printed circuit boards, and cathode ray tubes.

The most common chemicals used and released in semiconductor manufacturing are sulfuric and hydrochloric acids, which are used in etching and cleaning, and solvents such as acetone and glycols, which are used in photolithography and cleaning. Printed circuit board manufacturing uses and generates sulfuric, hydrochloric, and nitric acids for plating and etching, and metals such as lead and copper. Glycol ethers and solvents, such as acetone, are used in image application and cleaning. Ammonia solutions are used in electroplating, imaging, and etching. Production of cathode ray tubes involves a variety of metals, acids, and solvents.

Management of these hazardous wastes is of particular concern to most companies, whether large or small. Hazardous waste includes concentrated acids and bases, organic solvents, metallic salts, epoxy resins and catalysts, and gases, some of which are highly toxic. In addition to following Resource Conservation and Recovery Act regulations, companies must track all materials in accordance with local fire regulations. Off-site recycling and disposal of hazardous wastes are expensive and have potential liabilities associated with them, especially if wastes are buried in a landfill. Recently, one small company was almost bankrupted by the amount of money it had to pay when records showed its waste had been disposed at a Superfund site.

An effective EMS considers all aspects of a facility's environmental impact. Consider the amount of energy it takes to make electronic components, operate lights and computers, and air-condition the building. Energy production uses natural resources and either emits greenhouse gases or has other serious environmental effects. Becoming more energy-efficient not only helps the environment, but it adds directly to a company's profits.

Management of solid waste from scrap and packaging can also have significant financial potential. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Going for the Green: ISO 14001 Delivers Profits
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.