تاثیر انگیزه برای به دنبال صدور گواهینامه ایزو 14001: مطالعه تجربی از ایزو 14001 گواهی امکانات در هنگ کنگ
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 65, Issue 3, July 2002, Pages 223–238
This study proposes a model linking firm motivations for seeking ISO 14001 certification to the effectiveness of three major components of an environmental management system (EMS) – environmental policy, the assessment of environmental aspect and impacts, and management review. The relationship of these EMS components with a self-reported measure of environmental performance is also examined. From a sample of 29 ISO 14001 certified facilities in Hong Kong (of 71 total certifications at the time the data was collected), it was found that motivations to enhance firm reputation are positively related to perceptions of the effectiveness of the policy statement. Motivations for reputation enhancement and cost reduction were positively related to perceptions of EMS effectiveness in assessing environmental aspects and impacts. The effectiveness of the methodology for identifying environmental aspects and impacts was also found to be positively related to improved environmental performance.
Over the past three decades, organizations have come under growing pressure to manage and improve their environmental performance (e.g. Hart, 1997; Gladwin, 1999; Starkey and Welford, 2001). Recently, this shift has been gainingmomentum due to a number of interrelated and reinforcing factors. Among the most important of these are: (1) The relentless deterioration of the environment accompanied by ever clearer and more compelling scientific evidence of dire consequences. 1 In response, most countries have adopted new regulations, although significant differences exist in the quantity and rigor of these measures and in enforcement effectiveness (WRI, 2001). Many other countries havealso implemented various economic instruments, such as environmental taxes, rebate schemes and tradable pollution permits; (2) Firms are becoming increasingly aware of their own negative impact on the environment. This is the result of such policy initiatives as Toxic Release Inventory (TRI).2 Certifications to international standards, such as ISO 14001, also require some investigation into such effects that is often revealing when undertaken. These values also serve as useful benchmarks for improvement in line with the management adage, ‘What gets measured, gets done’; (3) An increased incidence of lawsuits, criminal penalties, and jail sentences has also greatly elevated anxiety among top management in many industries about the consequences of violations or industrial accidents;(4) General acceptance among executives that environmental performance need not be costly to the firm and, in some cases, may yield handsome returns (Hart, 1999; Reinhardt, 1999; Hawken, Lovins and Lovins, 2000). This potential has been underscored by numerous anecdotal accounts, case studies, and a growing number of empirical studies; (5) A growing consensus among key stakeholders (e.g. customers, employees, community organizations, green groups) for greater environmental responsiveness. Importantly, the internet and other modern communication technologies have greatly empowered these stakeholders to obtain more information about firms activities, to publicize it, and to mobilize action campaigns. Given all these developments, it should not be surprising that many firms have responded. Such a generalized shift from relatively reactive postures to more proactive environmental management strategies has been widely noted (Welford, 1996; Berry and Rondinelli, 1998; Brown and Karagozoglu, 1998). At the same time, there remains marked variation both within and between industries– and also within and between countries–in the genuineness of firms’ commitment to environmental performance and in the specific approaches taken. In the ’90s, efforts were made to create generalized statements of good environmental practice, the most well-known being the ‘Eco-Management and Audit Scheme’ of the EU and the ISO 14000 series of documents of the International Organization for Standardization (Geneva).3 As with other Voluntary Consensus Standards (VCSs), the response to ISO 14001 certification has also been highly variable.4 In Dec. 1999, only three years after publication as an international standard, there were already 14106 certified facilities world-wide (http://www.iso.ch/presse/survey9.pdf). These certifications have been highly concentrated in Europe (52%) and Japan (22%).This pattern of variation is especially pronounced in Asia. Japanese firms have clearly embraced ISO 14001, due in large part to the fact that it was perceived as a ‘second license to export’ and because so many government agencies and industry associations promoted it (e.g. the electronic industry). There has also been substantial interest in ISO 14001 certifications in Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand (each having over 200 certifications). Elsewhere, however, there has been relatively less interest. Singapore and Hong Kong each have about 100 certifications, while in countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam ISO 14001 certification would be much less relevant for most local manufacturers as exports are low, enforcement of regulations is a problem, and stakeholders pressures are weak. In mainland China, although interest in the standard is rapidly growing, the response has been more sectorial, with managers of state-owned firms and joint ventures being more sensitive to government interests in the standard (Cheng, 1999; Chen and Wong; 2000). Interestingly, these examples also serve to suggest that relatively few firms seek ISO 14001 certification primarily to improve their environmental performance. Instead, the majority of firms in Asia seek EMS certifications primarily for economic reasons, such as to ensure compliance with existing regulations, to curry favor with major customers or officials, or more generally to enhance their reputation. Should a firm’s environmental performance also improve, of course that’s a welcome, albeit secondary, outcome from the firm’s perspective.6 Of course, such priorities are not unique to Asian firms and would be expected from all economic organizations (Reinhardt, 1999). Indeed, it would be na¨ıve to think otherwise and it is this secondary environmental effect that is the main selling point of such standards to government policymakers and other stakeholder groups. Assuming that ISO 14001 actually provides a useful framework for an effective EMS, even a relatively widespread disinterest in the environment by the business community should not in theory undermine its potential contribution to the environment. In granting ISO 14001 certification, a registrar is attesting that all the basiccomponents of a workable EMS are in place. Thus, even an environmentally rapacious facility that is certified to the standard should improve over time in the presence of such a system and the standard’s underlying ‘PDCA’ logic.7 For example, ISO 14001 requires methodologies for assessing environmental aspects and impacts (i.e. how the firm may potentially or actually is affecting the environmental through its operations) as well as for stakeholders’ expectations. These assessments are presumed to inform a policy statement (required and available to the public) where top management prioritizes environmental performance and promises to comply with all relevant legal requirements. This policy statement is to lead to objectives and targets for improvement, and periodic management reviews at the end of the cycle are intended to critically review progress in the spirit of continual improvement. Should all, or even most of these elements be put in place, it can be hoped that a skeptical top management group would develop a more genuine interest in environmental performance improvement over time. Accordingly, there are two key sets of relationships that underpin the success of this framework in environmental terms. First, that a workable EMS will, in turn, promote environmental protection. Second, that effective third party certification will ensure a workable EMS (i.e. based on the standard). Although the first relationship is generic in that it speaks to the value of an EMS as specified in the ISO 14001, the second is more equivocal in that the system of accreditation is more regionally dependent. Thus, a firm may opt for an internationally renowned registrar in order to strengthen stakeholder perceptions; however, it may just as easily choose ‘the path of least resistance’ by seeking a lenient, or even corruptible, registrar. The prospect of easy certification eats at the very foundations of the framework. The purpose of this study is to empirically examine these relationships using a sample of certified facilities in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Although the HKSAR is now part of China, it is governed largely autonomously under the ‘one country – two systems’ framework. Thus, within Asia the HKSAR provides an interesting relatively ‘free market’ context where pollution problems and their costs are becoming increasingly evident, many firms depend on access to foreignmarkets, and the rule of law is well established and respected.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In conclusion, this study examined the relationships between motivations for seeking ISO 14001 certification to the effectiveness of three major components of the implemented environmental management system (EMS). Using a sample of 29 certified facilities in Hong Kong (41% of certifications in the HKSAR), it was found that firms seeking certification to enhance their reputation have somewhat more effective policy statements and methodologies for the assessment of environmental aspects and impacts. On the other hand, firms seeking certification for cost reductions had more effective methodologies for assessing environmental aspects and impacts. No evidence was found, however, that firms that adopted ISO 14001 for the purpose of environmental performance improvement realized any additional improvement to their system. This study also found a link between the effectiveness of the methodology for assessing aspect and impact with improved environmental performance. Thus, this particular EMS component also appears to be a mediating variable between these two motivations for seeking certification and improvements in the environmental performance of the firm.