Currently, many businesses are implementing a proactive, strategic tool known as an environmental management system (EMS) to gain a competitive advantage. Companies can no longer simply use compliance plans to deal with environmental concerns; consumer demands for greener products and services, and operational efficiencies require long term strategic and sustainable approaches for environmental management. An EMS includes documentation of: commitment and policy; planning; implementation; measurement and evaluation; and review and improvement. Establishment and maintenance of an EMS can be costly and time consuming, therefore implementation should be carefully structured to assure success. This paper identifies human resource (HR) factors such as top management support, environmental training, employee empowerment, teamwork, and rewards systems as key elements of the implementation process of an EMS. Furthermore, the interaction of these factors is examined in terms of the five categories of an EMS mentioned above. Finally, a conceptual model of the EMS‐HR factors is proposed to assist in proper facilitation of the environmental management program.
International Journal of Operations & Production Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 1, 2001
Keywords: Environment; Sustainable development; Human resource management; International standards
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