ISO 14001 is the most widespread international standard that supports organizations in the implementation and maintenance of their Environmental Management Systems (EMS) defining a list of requirements to improve environmental performance. The investigation of the drivers of EMS adoption is still relevant today in the scientific debate. To upgrade the knowledge in this context, a research at national level has been designed with the aim to explore the benefits and the limits of ISO 14001 requirements. This paper presents the results derived from four national surveys conducted from 2008 to 2015 that involved the Italian ISO 14001 certified organizations to explore their difficulties and advantages of complying with the ISO 14001 requirements. The surveys were conducted through an on-line questionnaire with multiple-choice questions and a Likert four-point scale; they involved numerous Italian certified organizations, both public and private in different industrial and services sectors, collecting the opinions of managers and practitioners of Environmental Management Systems. The surveys' results demonstrate a growing consciousness over the years within the Italian organizations regarding the pros and cons of the ISO 14001 certification. The main usefulness of a certified environmental management system is related to compliance with legal requirements, competence and awareness, operational control and environmental performance assessment. Italian organizations also recognize that these are the most complex ones in which to ensure compliance with the standard's requirements. From a theoretical perspective, these considerations confirm but also outdo what is already known in the literature and open new research pathways emphasizing the more demanding requirements for Italian organizations. Furthermore, the main findings that can guide the managers and practitioners in applying ISO 14001 are revealed, in order to address their efforts toward the more challenging and helpful requirements.

What are the benefits and difficulties in adopting an environmental management system? The opinion of Italian organizations

TONIOLO, SARA;
2016

Abstract

ISO 14001 is the most widespread international standard that supports organizations in the implementation and maintenance of their Environmental Management Systems (EMS) defining a list of requirements to improve environmental performance. The investigation of the drivers of EMS adoption is still relevant today in the scientific debate. To upgrade the knowledge in this context, a research at national level has been designed with the aim to explore the benefits and the limits of ISO 14001 requirements. This paper presents the results derived from four national surveys conducted from 2008 to 2015 that involved the Italian ISO 14001 certified organizations to explore their difficulties and advantages of complying with the ISO 14001 requirements. The surveys were conducted through an on-line questionnaire with multiple-choice questions and a Likert four-point scale; they involved numerous Italian certified organizations, both public and private in different industrial and services sectors, collecting the opinions of managers and practitioners of Environmental Management Systems. The surveys' results demonstrate a growing consciousness over the years within the Italian organizations regarding the pros and cons of the ISO 14001 certification. The main usefulness of a certified environmental management system is related to compliance with legal requirements, competence and awareness, operational control and environmental performance assessment. Italian organizations also recognize that these are the most complex ones in which to ensure compliance with the standard's requirements. From a theoretical perspective, these considerations confirm but also outdo what is already known in the literature and open new research pathways emphasizing the more demanding requirements for Italian organizations. Furthermore, the main findings that can guide the managers and practitioners in applying ISO 14001 are revealed, in order to address their efforts toward the more challenging and helpful requirements.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1055736
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