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Published by: University of California, Berkeley
Published in: "California Management Review", 2001

Abstract

Environmental Management Systems (EMS''s) are relatively new and rather innovative management practices that provide firms with additional sources of information and leverage over their environmental and business processes and performance. This article reports the results of a survey of manufacturing plants that have adopted EMS''s. It finds that EMS''s are associated with factories that are larger, more committed to total quality management, and more innovative in general. EMS''s are also a useful tool for managing community relationships and dealing with key stakeholder groups with respect to potentially controversial environmental issues. Furthermore, EMS plants appear to pose less environmental risk for communities and report that their adoption and use of an EMS is an important factor in achieving this result. In the end, EMS''s are an effective tool for managing environmental costs and risks inside and outside the factory in ways that add to, rather than detract from, the bottom line.

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Abstract

Environmental Management Systems (EMS''s) are relatively new and rather innovative management practices that provide firms with additional sources of information and leverage over their environmental and business processes and performance. This article reports the results of a survey of manufacturing plants that have adopted EMS''s. It finds that EMS''s are associated with factories that are larger, more committed to total quality management, and more innovative in general. EMS''s are also a useful tool for managing community relationships and dealing with key stakeholder groups with respect to potentially controversial environmental issues. Furthermore, EMS plants appear to pose less environmental risk for communities and report that their adoption and use of an EMS is an important factor in achieving this result. In the end, EMS''s are an effective tool for managing environmental costs and risks inside and outside the factory in ways that add to, rather than detract from, the bottom line.

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