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Voluntary Environmental Management for SMEs: Alternatives Models for ISO 14001 Adoption Lisa Greenwood Environmental Management Leadership Symposium VII.

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Presentation on theme: "Voluntary Environmental Management for SMEs: Alternatives Models for ISO 14001 Adoption Lisa Greenwood Environmental Management Leadership Symposium VII."— Presentation transcript:

1 Voluntary Environmental Management for SMEs: Alternatives Models for ISO Adoption Lisa Greenwood Environmental Management Leadership Symposium VII May 2, 2011

2 Outline Background – SMEs – ISO – what and why? Conformity assessment options Alternative Models Future Research Questions

3 Background SMEs: smaller footprints BUT comprise > 95% of employer firms – Significant aggregate impact – Large share of industrial pollution, water and energy consumption – Present an opportunity to reduce global environmental burden

4 Background Voluntary Environmental Programs – Globalization + public pressure  voluntary environmental programs, EMS Environmental Management Systems – Better management  better environmental performance – ISO 14001: most prevalent – Can ISO be useful for SMEs?

5 ISO – What and Why? International environmental management system standard – EMS specification standard – voluntary or integrated in policy Systematic approach to managing environmental impacts – Focused on continual improvement – Deming model Typically involves certification of conformity by an independent third party Functional purpose: - Systematic control of adverse environmental impact - Achievement of objectives and targets Source: EPA/Glover-Stapleton Applied purpose: - signal to external stakeholders that a firm is “Green”

6 ISO – Effective? Not always conclusive, no clear consensus Performance varies considerably among adopters – Variables include motivations/drivers; commitment, available resources, EMS maturity, etc. U.S. –based research suggests at least modest improvements for adopters – Reduced pollutant releases – Reduced Energy use – Increased recycling

7 ISO – Effective for SMEs? ISO is very conscious of low uptake by SMEs – Strategic SME task force – Alternative standard – ISO – Guidance materials aimed at SMEs Intended for use by any type/size organization….. Presents specific challenges and potential barriers for SMEs

8 SMEs – Costs Do costs outweigh benefits? – additional staff /manpower needs – internal education and training – external consulting – internal auditing – environmental control measures – third party certification reviews and audits

9 SMEs - Resources Technical, human resource constraints limited environmental management capabilities – Weak resource and management capacity – Lack of EMS expertise, technical skills, knowledge base

10 Conformity Assessment Depends on: Customer and regulator requirements Consumer expectations Resources and cost Needs of the organization Self-Declaration Internal verification Third-Party Certification Independent verification Second-Party Verification Verification by interested party Verification by external party Independence LOWHIGH

11 Conformity Assessment Depends on: Customer and regulator requirements Consumer expectations Resources and cost Needs of the organization Self-Declaration Internal verification Third-Party Certification Independent verification Second-Party Verification Verification by interested party Verification by external party Independence LOWHIGH

12 AMEMs? Alternative Models for Environmental Management Primary Types: – EMS “lite” – Phased EMS – Joint EMS/Group Certification – Mentor approach

13 AMEMs? - EMS “lite” – Phased EMS – Joint EMS/Group Certification – Mentor approach

14 AMEMs? - EMS “lite” – Phased EMS – Joint EMS/Group Certification – Mentor approach

15 AMEMs? - EMS “lite” – Phased EMS – Joint EMS/Group Certification – Mentor approach

16 AMEMs Alternative Models Cost?EM Capability? Option to Certify? EMS “light” approach – YES*NONO** Phased EMS approach – NO YES Joint/Group approach – YES Mentor Approach YES Key Point: - Effectiveness is not dependent on Certification

17 Conclusions ISO certification – may not be appropriate for most SMEs AMEMs – Potentially more flexible, cost-effective – Credible, 2 nd party process utilization – Can be applied with certification if desired – Focus for SMEs should be on Joint EMS and Mentoring options

18 Future Research Environmental Policy Framework – ISO as policy tool (for organizational policy) – ISO as alternative policy paradigm ecological modernization Position on Baker’s Ladder of SD – Pollution control  weak sustainability

19 Questions?


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