Exploring the linkage between investment in manufacturing and environmental technologies

Exploring the linkage between investment in manufacturing and environmental technologies The popular business press, government regulators, environmentalists and the public are calling on operations managers to shift away from their traditional emphasis on pollution control toward pollution prevention when improving environmental performance. Yet, any managerial decision about the level and form of investment in these environmental technologies cannot be made in isolation, but instead must be implemented within the context of other manufacturing investments in process technologies and organizational systems. A survey of two Canadian industries – small machine tools and non‐fashion textiles – revealed evidence that environmental technologies have been regarded as ancillary investments; as investment in manufacturing increased, so did the proportion of that investment directed toward environmental technologies. Further, increased investment in advanced process technologies actually shifted investment away from pollution prevention. In contrast, increased investment in quality‐related organizational systems favored concurrent investment in recycling programs, along with pollution prevention and management systems. Thus, increased investment in quality management offered an important route to expand the implementation of pollution prevention. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Operations & Production Management Emerald Publishing

Exploring the linkage between investment in manufacturing and environmental technologies

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0144-3577
DOI
10.1108/01443570010304224
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The popular business press, government regulators, environmentalists and the public are calling on operations managers to shift away from their traditional emphasis on pollution control toward pollution prevention when improving environmental performance. Yet, any managerial decision about the level and form of investment in these environmental technologies cannot be made in isolation, but instead must be implemented within the context of other manufacturing investments in process technologies and organizational systems. A survey of two Canadian industries – small machine tools and non‐fashion textiles – revealed evidence that environmental technologies have been regarded as ancillary investments; as investment in manufacturing increased, so did the proportion of that investment directed toward environmental technologies. Further, increased investment in advanced process technologies actually shifted investment away from pollution prevention. In contrast, increased investment in quality‐related organizational systems favored concurrent investment in recycling programs, along with pollution prevention and management systems. Thus, increased investment in quality management offered an important route to expand the implementation of pollution prevention.

Journal

International Journal of Operations & Production ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 1, 2000

Keywords: Environment; Operations management; Quality management; Pollution; Process management

References

  • Academy of Management Review
  • Industry, Science and Technology Canada
  • Industry, Science and Technology Canada
  • TQM and Environmental Management
  • Changing Course: A Global Business Perspective on Development and the Environment
  • Journal of Environmental Education
  • Academy of Management Review

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