Environmental Sustainability

Topics: Sustainability, ISO 14000, ISO standards Pages: 9 (2639 words) Published: August 11, 2013
Essay: Environmental sustainability

Table of contents
1.Abstract and Abbreviations…………………………………………………..2 2.Environmental Management System………………………………………...3-4 3.Voluntary certification……………………………………………………….4 3.1.International Organization for Standardization……………………...4-6 3.2.United Nations Global Compact……………………………………..6-7 3.3.Forest Stewardship Council………………………………………….8-9 4.Conclusion…………………………………………………………………...9 5.References……………………………………………………………………10-11

Abstract
Recent years the phenomenon of sustainability became very popular among companies from different industries. A widely accepted definition of sustainability is to "...meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987). The concept of sustainable development spread all over the World since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. The new role that companies should perform in the construction of sustainable development has generated a range of strains on the relationship between the companies and the environmental dimension (Hoffman 2005). In the essay I`d like to concentrate on the following things which I consider as the right steps toward the environmental sustainability: Establishing Environmental Management System in companies and Voluntary certification as significant part of it.

Abbreviations
CSR-Corporate Social Responsibility
EMS-Environmental Management System
FM-Forest Management
FSC-Forest Stewardship Council
ISO-International Organization for Standardization
UNGC- United Nations Global Compact

Environmental Management System
The increasing attention to environmental problems has forced companies to implement environmental management systems. The core idea of it is to minimize environmental impacts of a firm's operations during the whole life-cycle. Michael Porter proposed his own framework for environmental management activities based on ‘value-chain model’. The study uses several methods to clarify the critical activities and develop the system of environmental management and green product. (Porter,1996)."Environmental management is the planning, implementation and control of strategic, tactical and operational measures for prevention, reduction and elimination of damage caused to the environment as well as purposing usage of market advantages gained there of". (Tambovceva, 2008). According to Coglianese and Nash EMS consists of a collection of internal policies, assessments, plans, and implementation actions (Coglianese & Nash, 2001). Environmental management system traditionally is created by several steps by the Deming continuously improvement cycle: Planning/Implementing/Evaluating/Improving (Darnall, 2006). Continual improvement processes benefit organizations by embedding environmental considerations deep within the firm so that they become an integral element of the business strategy (Shireman, 2003). Before adopting EMS in a company it`s also important to get support from top-management and involve all employees in the process. By implementing the system companies gain core benefits as improvement product quality and reduction both expenses and liabilities. Companies become more competitive on the market and would like to attract more potential investors as well as qualified employees. Moreover, EMS systems have some additional benefits to the companies adopting them. Positive market effects, better contact with the authorities, and internal systematization and documentation of competencies that ensure compliance with environmental rules become also significant benefits of EMS (Freimann & Walther, 2001). At the same time public pressure is an important motivation for companies to adopt the system. Both official and unofficial bodies (media, NGO`s) reflect socially approved expectations and norms and articulate them in a...

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Child, J. and Tsai, T., “The dynamic between firms’ environmental strategies and institutional constraints in emerging economies: Evidence from China and Taiwan”, Journal of Management Studies, 2005. 42 (1). pp. 95-125.
Christmann, Petra, “Multinational companies and the natural environment: Determinants of global environmental policy standardization”, Academy of Management Journal. 2004. 47(5). pp. 747-760.
Freimann, J., & Walther, M. The Impacts of Corporate Environmental Management Systems: A Comparison of EMAS and ISO 14001. Greener Management International, 36, 2001. pp. 91-103.
FSC, 2009. Registered Certificates Database. FSC, Bonn. Available from URL: http://www.fsc-info.org/.
Hoffman, A.J. Climate change strategy: the business logic behind voluntary greenhouse gas reduction. California Management Review, 47 (3), 2005. pp. 21–46.
(Available at: http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/39160/1/905.pdf).
ISO. 2004. The ISO survey of ISO 14001 certificates. Geneva: International
Standard Organization.
ISO. 2011. The ISO survey of ISO 14001 certificates. Geneva: International
Standard Organization.
Mark A, Cuypers D. Forest certification as a global environmental governance tool: What is the macro-effectiveness of the Forest Stewardship Council. Regulation & Governance. 2010. 4, pp. 408–434.
Porter, M. E. What is strategy? Harvard Business Review, November–December, 1996. pp. 61-78.
Shireman, W. A measurement guide to productivity: 50 powerful tools to grow your triple bottom line. Tokyo: Asian Productivity Organization. 2003.
Tay, E. (2011) How IKEA embraces sustainability globally and in Singapore.
Tollefson, C., F. Gale and D. Haley. 2009. Setting the Standard: Certification, Governance, and the Forest Stewardship Council. Vancouver: UBC Press. 2009, p. 10.
World Commission on Environment and Development. Our Common Future. Oxford University Press. 1987.
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