The last decade has seen increasing awareness of the importance of understanding corporate environmental management systems (EMSs) and their relationships with sustainability, competitiveness and institutional practice.
It is now assumed that most large companies have some version of an EMS in place with systems ranging from informal policies and practices to formalised third-party certified systems that are widely publicized by companies and are now integral to their strategic direction.
No matter what level and type of system a firm chooses, both practitioners and researchers wish to examine and better understand the extent to which these systems are cross-functional, how they impact on performance evaluation, their capability to monitor supply chains and the life-cycles of products and services and, most importantly, whether these systems actually make a contribution to better environmental performance. This book provides intriguing insights into strategic and sustainable EMSs.
It provides clear evidence of benefits that should exceed the costs (tangible and otherwise), and help practitioners understand the attributes of well-developed and strategically focused EMSs.
It also demonstrates the link to performance measures such as reputation, improved position in the marketplace, cost, quality, waste reduction and numerous sustainable development-based metrics and issues.
The comprehensive scope of topics spans several industries and provides environmental systems insight involving sustainable management systems, strategic and operational impacts of environmental systems, cross-country comparisons of EMS design processes and results, product-based environmental systems, EMS impacts at innovative organisations and environmental systems integration within specific industries. The book is split into three sections. First, the book covers the broad issues of planning and designing an EMS and includes topics such as performance evaluation, comparisons between multinational environmental systems, sustainable development and links between already established quality systems and an EMS.
The second section focuses on EMS implementation and operation and incorporates some corporate or industry-specific case studies.
The third and final category of the book highlights the use of an EMS to evaluate business processes. Strategic Sustainability will be essential reading for both managers faced with decisions regarding their own EMSs and to researchers seeking additional insights from state-of-the-art examples for further theoretical development and testing.