Effective and economical development and implementation of environmental performance evaluation in small and medium size enterprises

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Title: Effective and economical development and implementation of environmental performance evaluation in small and medium size enterprises
Author: Bae, Hyunkee
Abstract: Nowadays, diverse interested parties - non-governmental organizations (NGOs), regulators, investors, customers, and other stakeholders are demanding more meaningful information about organizations' environmental performances. Regardless of whether or not many companies have a certified Environmental Management System (EMS) inplace, they are becoming increasingly interested in Environmental Performance Evaluation (EPE) as an effective decision-making tool for managing the environmental aspects of their activities, products and services. While large companies have created diverse procedures, methods, and criteria depending on each organization's unique situation, Small and medium size Enterprises (SMEs) typically do not have enough resources to create and develop the evaluation procedures, criteria, and indicators by themselves. Accordingly, most SMEs around the world not only do not actively carry out environmental performance evaluations like large enterprises, but also do not establish environmental management systems. This paper will help SMEs to identify and develop economical methodologies and systems for effectively evaluating environmental performance and to develop appropriate environmental performance indicators. In order to complete these objectives, several Environmental Performance Evaluation systems such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, the Environmental Self-Assessment Program of the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI), the International Network for Environmental Management (INEM) Sustainability Reporting Guide, and ISO 14031, are compared and researched to identify and perform appropriate environmental performance evaluation and diverse environmental performance indicators which SMEs can implement. Among 1 5 industry groups participated in this survey, the six industry groups, Utilities, Food Manufacturing, Beverage and Tobacco Product Manufacturing, Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing, Chemical Manufacturing, Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing industries are actively assessing and reporting their environmental performance related to their activities, product, and service. Therefore, the SMEs in the six industries above and their subcontractors and contractors should seriously consider establishing and implementing an EMS, like ISO 14001 and EPE, because it will assist them in gathering relevant information and assessing their respective performance. Although an organization is a small or medium enterprise, it should not only consider following the trend of environmental management systems in use by many companies in around the world, but also try to promote sustainable development by evaluating their performance managing business aspects as well as environmental aspects. To fulfill effective and substantial performance evaluation in SMEs, they should have systematic and functional management elements in place such as organizational structures and assignment of responsibilities. The P-D-C-A cycle and EMS like ISO 14001 will help them to effectively evaluate their environmental performance. Since SMEs may not have enough resources and capability to evaluate and analyze their performance, they should select and use comparative simple type of indicators such as Management Performance Indicators (MPIs) and Operational Performance Indicators (OPIs) according to ISO 14031 rather than economic and social performance indicators in terms of the GRI and INEM. SMEs can receive several benefits if they use effective and substantial environmental performance; determine any necessary actions to accomplish its environmental performance indicator; identify significant environmental aspects; identify opportunities for better management of its environmental aspects; identify trends in its environmental performance; saving environmental costs through increasing the organization efficiency effectiveness;////ln rapid competitive global markets, the values of companies' environmental activities have swiftly and widely been increasing as significant economical and social dimensions as well as environmental dimension. Accordingly, SMEs should response and follow the global trends and needs on environmentally friendly activities such as environmental management system and environmental performance evaluation so that they continuously develop and survive in swiftly powerfully competitive global markets.
Record URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1850/14721
Date: 2003

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