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Finding a common ground : which implications does the introduction of Environmental Management Systems have for the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises in Baden-Württemberg, Germany?

Fischer, Cecilia LU (2013) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM01 20131
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
The objectives of this thesis are to find a common ground for business and environmental interests and to evaluate the potential of Environmental Management Systems (EMSs) as transition tools to lead towards a greener economic paradigm. For these purposes it was assessed, which implications
EMSs have for the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) within the first three years after their introduction. As representatives, the International Organization [sic!] for
Standardization [sic!] (ISO) 14001 and the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) were chosen. The research site was the county of Baden-Württemberg in Germany. A survey, which contained quantitative and qualitative elements, was sent to 73 SMEs of the metal... (More)
The objectives of this thesis are to find a common ground for business and environmental interests and to evaluate the potential of Environmental Management Systems (EMSs) as transition tools to lead towards a greener economic paradigm. For these purposes it was assessed, which implications
EMSs have for the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) within the first three years after their introduction. As representatives, the International Organization [sic!] for
Standardization [sic!] (ISO) 14001 and the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) were chosen. The research site was the county of Baden-Württemberg in Germany. A survey, which contained quantitative and qualitative elements, was sent to 73 SMEs of the metal sector.

Competitiveness was defined by the business and environmental performance. The aim of this approach was to determine if the EMSs improved the status quo of the firm and which Environmental Management System (EMS) performed better in the separate categories. Therefore, each performance set was assessed and then combined in Porter’s Diamond (PsD) to evaluate the overall competitiveness.

EMAS outperformed ISO14001 in 10 of 12 business variables, improved five variables and satisfied two of three improvement goals. ISO14001 outperformed EMAS in two of 12 business variables, improved one variable and reached one of three improvement goals. Thus, the business performance
was better for EMAS certified SMEs. For the environmental indicators, EMAS performed better in six of 11 variables, improved five and impaired two indicators, and satisfied one of four improvement goals. The two impaired variables were Waste reduction and Energy efficiency. ISO14001 performed
better in five of 11 environmental variables, also improved five indicators and reached two of four improvement goals. This concludes that for the environmental indicators, the results were mixed. Regarding the overall competitiveness, EMAS scored in five of six categories and thus enhanced the competitiveness of SMEs significantly more than ISO14001 did.

Although EMAS seemed to create a win-win situation, no clear answer could be provided when discussing the potential of EMSs leading towards a greener economic paradigm. This was mainly due to the probability of a negative correlation between business and environmental indicators being the result of an EMS implementation. Furthermore, although PsD was combined with environmental indicators, its inherent framework adheres to the principles of modernity and is therefore probably not suited for an integration of environmental aspects. (Less)
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author
Fischer, Cecilia LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM01 20131
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
ISO14001, Porter’s Diamond, sustainability science, environmental management system, EMAS, small and medium sized enterprise
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2013:025
language
English
id
4023097
date added to LUP
2013-09-11 15:08:54
date last changed
2013-09-11 15:08:54
@misc{4023097,
  abstract     = {The objectives of this thesis are to find a common ground for business and environmental interests and to evaluate the potential of Environmental Management Systems (EMSs) as transition tools to lead towards a greener economic paradigm. For these purposes it was assessed, which implications
EMSs have for the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) within the first three years after their introduction. As representatives, the International Organization [sic!] for
Standardization [sic!] (ISO) 14001 and the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) were chosen. The research site was the county of Baden-Württemberg in Germany. A survey, which contained quantitative and qualitative elements, was sent to 73 SMEs of the metal sector.

Competitiveness was defined by the business and environmental performance. The aim of this approach was to determine if the EMSs improved the status quo of the firm and which Environmental Management System (EMS) performed better in the separate categories. Therefore, each performance set was assessed and then combined in Porter’s Diamond (PsD) to evaluate the overall competitiveness.

EMAS outperformed ISO14001 in 10 of 12 business variables, improved five variables and satisfied two of three improvement goals. ISO14001 outperformed EMAS in two of 12 business variables, improved one variable and reached one of three improvement goals. Thus, the business performance
was better for EMAS certified SMEs. For the environmental indicators, EMAS performed better in six of 11 variables, improved five and impaired two indicators, and satisfied one of four improvement goals. The two impaired variables were Waste reduction and Energy efficiency. ISO14001 performed
better in five of 11 environmental variables, also improved five indicators and reached two of four improvement goals. This concludes that for the environmental indicators, the results were mixed. Regarding the overall competitiveness, EMAS scored in five of six categories and thus enhanced the competitiveness of SMEs significantly more than ISO14001 did.

Although EMAS seemed to create a win-win situation, no clear answer could be provided when discussing the potential of EMSs leading towards a greener economic paradigm. This was mainly due to the probability of a negative correlation between business and environmental indicators being the result of an EMS implementation. Furthermore, although PsD was combined with environmental indicators, its inherent framework adheres to the principles of modernity and is therefore probably not suited for an integration of environmental aspects.},
  author       = {Fischer, Cecilia},
  keyword      = {ISO14001,Porter’s Diamond,sustainability science,environmental management system,EMAS,small and medium sized enterprise},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Finding a common ground : which implications does the introduction of Environmental Management Systems have for the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises in Baden-Württemberg, Germany?},
  year         = {2013},
}