محصولات در سیستم های مدیریت زیست محیطی : محرک ها، موانع و تجارب
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|6455||2005||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 13, Issue 4, March 2005, Pages 405–415
Do standardised environmental management systems (EMS) lead to improved environmental performance? This depends on to what extent these systems lead to changes in important flows of material and energy, which for manufacturing companies, in turn, mean that the product development process is important. Consequently, it appears vital to investigate the connection between EMS and ‘Design for the Environment’ (DFE), i.e. the connection between these management systems and concepts that deal with environmental issues in product development. This paper presents product-oriented environmental management systems (POEMS), including characteristics of existing models, experiences from projects where these models have been tested and experiences concerning the product connection in ‘normal’ EMS. It includes a discussion of important factors influencing to what extent DFE activities are integrated into EMS and/or the outcome of such integration. There are many motives for integrating the two concepts. Firstly, DFE thinking might enrich EMS by contributing with a life-cycle perspective. If EMS encompassed products' life cycles to a greater extent, they would be a better complement to the often facility-oriented legal requirements and authority control. Secondly, EMS might remove the pilot project character of DFE activities and lead to continuous improvement. Thirdly, integration could lead to successful co-operation, both internally and externally. However, existing studies show that there is a mixed picture concerning the extent ‘normal’ EMS currently encompass products.
Today, more than 57,000 companies are using standardised environmental management systems1 (EMS) in the world2 and this number is expected to continue to grow steadily . Therefore, it is interesting to study if and how standardised EMS's affect companies' environmental impact. It is the authors' experience that many companies, authorities and individuals regard a certification in accordance with ISO 14001 as a guarantee for good environmental performance. However, it appears to be too early to draw any general conclusions on the connection between standardised EMS and environmental performance, because there are research findings pointing in both positive and negative directions . Since environmental impacts are intimately connected to flows of materials and energy, and the most important flows, at least for manufacturing companies, are closely linked to products (cf.  and ) it seems urgent for management systems to encompass products and product development. Consequently, it is of great interest to illuminate how standardised EMS are related to Design for the Environment3 (DFE), i.e. to what extent they encompass the products and product development procedures. To deal with these issues, this paper aims to elucidate the following topics: • What are the incentives to strengthen the connection between EMS and DFE? • How can DFE activities be incorporated into standardised EMS? • How common is it that EMS encompass DFE activities? • What are the experiences from projects where EMS and DFE activities have been integrated? • Which important factors influence to what extent EMS and DFE activities are integrated and/or the outcome of such integration?
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper has shown that from a theoretical and environmental standpoint there are strong incentives to integrate DFE principles into standardised EMS. DFE thinking could enrich EMS by contributing a life-cycle perspective, helping the organisation to identify the most important flows of materials and energy upon which to focus. Seen from a societal environmental perspective, many pollution problems related to specific sites (point sources) have been solved or clearly reduced. Instead, environmental impact caused by the consumer market, e.g. in the form of diffuse emissions, stands out as vital. Consequently, from an environmental point of view EMS covering a wider scope would be preferable and make EMS a more useful tool when striving for a sustainable development. On an organisational level, integration of EMS and DFE activities could foster better relations with stakeholders, at least those actively involved in the supply chain. It could also improve internal co-operation among members of different departments. At the same time, EMS may be useful to make DFE efforts become more permanent, i.e. lead to consistent and systematic DFE activities. Based on today's situation, it seems appropriate to picture the integration as divided into two parts. The first part concerns the integration of environmental aspects into the product development process, while the second part relates to the integration of the product development process into the management system of a company. For companies developing POEMS, there is a common trend to develop these systems based on the PDCA cycle, which facilitates the integration of DFE activities into such frequently used management standards as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and EMAS. To be able to adapt the models to the individual needs of firms, POEMS models must be flexible. Hence, they normally only include an overall level of the systems, while details have to be addressed in accordance with the conditions for each individual company. However, some general advice for each of the steps in the PDCA cycle could be found in the literature and have been listed in the paper. Rocha and Silvester  mention four different categories of activities that are included in their POEMS model, which are of a general character: • Activities that lead to the concrete definition of environmental objectives and performance criteria for the product, as well as activities aimed for tracking progress; • operational activities for the improvement of products' eco-efficiency and innovation; • activities to ensure needed capabilities; • activities to establish control and routinisation. It is far too early to draw any general conclusions on the outcomes of POEMS. However, important factors affecting this outcome can be identified on four levels, in accordance with Fig. 2. In short, legislation, incentives (e.g. stakeholder interests), resources, competence, availability of supportive tools and the amount of available information can be mentioned (cf. ). It should be stressed that companies need sufficient drivers to engage with POEMS and the outcome greatly depends on to what extent environmental problems and challenges can be transformed into business opportunities. The literature shows that the theoretical potential for integrating EMS and DFE concepts in some practical applications has been verified. Thus, without doubt, the marriage of the two concepts can be successful. Nevertheless, it is too early for any more general conclusions. It is not known to what degree normal EMS, i.e. systems at companies not participating in a special POEMS project, include products. The literature shows a mixed picture. Some results indicate that normal EMS lead to increased DFE activities, while others show that the link between normal EMS and DFE concepts is weak. Very little is written on how POEMS affect firms' environmental performance. It appears to be likely that the environmental burden from products' life cycles would be reduced if the product connection was strengthened in existing standardised EMS, which consequently would increase the environmental efficiency of EMS. Accordingly, efforts to adjust the standard ISO 14001 and the systems for its application would be advantageous from an environmental point of view. External environmental auditors and environmental consultants have important roles in this arena, since they could function both as a driver and a barrier for the integration of standardised EMS and DFE concepts (, c.f.  and ). However, the paper has pointed out many important factors apart from EMS that must also be adjusted to achieve improvements in environmental performance.