Date of Award

Spring 1997

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Policy Studies - (M.S.)

Department

Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Glenn-Marie Lange

Second Advisor

Peter B. Lederman

Third Advisor

Bruce Kirchhoff

Abstract

Environmental management is an important aspect of strategic planning and competitiveness for many businesses. Environmental management systems (EMS) are operating policies that are established to help a company measure progress towards goals set forth in a strategic environmental plan. A growing number of EMS models are being used by countries and industry groups, so the International Standards Organization (ISO) developed one model to prevent duplicate efforts which can result when companies try to meet the import requirements of different countries.

The ISO-EMS model is a series of standards, and ISO 14001 is the first to be published. Companies will be driven to implement the standard by two factors. One is external, such as meeting customer demand or import requirements. The other factor is acknowledgment of internal benefits reaped, such as cost reductions, increased understanding of the environmental impacts, reduced hazardous emissions, implementation of pollution prevention activities, better regulatory compliance record, and an improved relationship with community members. The purpose of this study was to determine if the study population would benefit from implementing an ISO-EMS, and the findings were that these companies would not.

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