Environmental Management Is Good Business

By Gupta, Mahesh; Piero, Tim | Industrial Management, September/October 2003 | Go to article overview

Environmental Management Is Good Business


Gupta, Mahesh, Piero, Tim, Industrial Management


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Companies are increasingly investigating environmental management certification - either because their customers demand it or because it promises to offer opportunities for improvement. But what are the real benefits of IS014001 certification? The authors draw from their experience in the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center to detail benefits as well as implementation pointers.

Many firms began environmental management certification efforts in the mid-1990s due to increased global competition, customer awareness, and the potential benefits both in terms of bottom-line performance and operational efficiency. ISO 14001 certification represents a merger of two recent trends in the field of operations management that have shifted management attention from outcome to processes. The two trends are to have the critical processes for delivering quality products properly documented and widely understood and to have a sound environmental policy adhering to international standards.

Within the family of ISO 14000 certification standards, ISO 14001 specifies the structure of an environmental management information system - commonly called an environmental management system or EMS - which builds on and adds to existing environmental efforts such as regulatory compliance, training, records keeping, emergency planning, and preparedness. EMS integrates environmental considerations into and throughout all of an organization's activities, products, and services based on established business principles, allowing operations managers to address and continually improve environmental concerns based on the "plan, do, check, review" philosophy.

Many large corporations such as Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Honda, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, and Xerox are requiring their suppliers to obtain 14001 registration and driving considerable interest in environmental management systems.

However, most facility operations managers have unanswered concerns regarding the proven benefits of an EMS at the facility level. These concerns seem to stem in part from the comprehensive nature of an EMS (compared to the compliance-based, reactive, piecemeal approach to environmental management most companies have taken) as well as managers' relative inexperience with implementing and maintaining an EMS.

Operational benefits of an EMS

The development and use of crossfunctional teams consisting of operations managers is one example of how ISO 14001 promotes greater employee involvement in a facility's environmental efforts. In a fully functioning EMS, employees are knowledgeable about the EMS, why the system is in place, and what their role is in supporting environmental performance.

This was observed most markedly during a three-day ISO 14001 registration audit at an electrical motor manufacturing facility. The auditors devoted one of three days to speaking with employees in all departments. The auditors asked employees about the environmental policy, environmental objectives, and targets in their work area, such as what they did on a daily basis to meet their objectives, why it was important to meet them, what kind of emergencies might happen in their area, and what they would do if these happened. All employees knew the answers to auditor questions. Never before in nearly five years of experience have we seen this breadth and depth of environmental knowledge and awareness in employees at a facility.

The benefits of this kind of employee awareness are many. One manager indicated that greater employee involvement allowed him to focus less on tactical, day-to-day environmental issues and more on strategic environmental issues such as continual improvement of goals and awareness of new environmental compliance regulations. Knowing what new regulations are coming down the pike, for example, helps appropriate planning and budgeting, staying in compliance, and avoidance of monetary fines and plant shutdowns imposed by regulatory agencies. …

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

Environmental Management Is Good Business
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

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.