Environmental Management Systems Making Firms More Competitive

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Introduction
In the rat race for more power and money, a lot of organizations forget about the negative impact they have on the environment. The concept of ‘environmental sustainability’ was conceived over a general consensus and need to protect the environment. This has led to a never-ending debate between the financial viability for an organization to adopt Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and the “pays to be green” notion. In most cases of effective environmental management systems, the organization adopts the right policy depending on the circumstances confronting the company and adopts a sophisticated strategic planning technique that has full potential to enhance competitiveness. This report will try to answer the question posed above by explaining the meaning of EMS and its types and giving examples of various firms that have adopted EMS.

Definition- An environmental management system (EMS) refers to the practices of an organization that enable it to systematically manage, evaluate, correct and enhance its operations resulting in a more eco-friendly or environmentally safe approach to business. It basically follows a four-step model: The Plan-Do-Check-Act methodology, which aims at continuous improvement. Types of EMS: ISO 14001, EMAS and BS 8555 are among the various types of EMS Observation: In the past, before the concept of environment management came into existence, firms usually used strategies such as cost leadership, product differentiation, innovation, customer satisfaction etc. to win a competitive advantage over its rivals. However, with increasing competition and the enhancing ability of firms to compete with one other, these dimensions seem to offer only momentary advantages. What could be the next source of competitive advantage for firms? Could firms invest in something that gave them an edge without compromising on the company’s business goals? The solution to these questions is Environment Management Systems.

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