Implementation of the ISO 14001 environmental management system can be feasible at small US chemical companies

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Title: Implementation of the ISO 14001 environmental management system can be feasible at small US chemical companies
Author: Barmasse, Matthew
Abstract: Small US Chemical companies are faced with a new conundrum, Is it feasible to implement ISO 14001 in addition to existing commitments to implement Responsible Care? This paper studies this question by reviewing the available literature sources, conducting industry trade association interviews, and through limited interviewing of small US chemical companies. The chemical industry currently faces many challenges including increasing demands by society and customers for improved environmental performance. Staffs and budgets are very tight in a small company. Upper management fears the addition of one more program to their already overworked staff. Significant agreement was found in the literary references, trade association interviews and literature, and interviewed companies that ISO 14001 has significant drivers for implementation and that the benefits outweigh the barriers of implementation. The findings from this research also show that small US chemical companies have adopted the "wait & see" attitude towards implementation. Small companies are aware of the looming need to implement ISO 14001. Most are waiting until that need for implementation becomes more compelling. Companies that want to be proactive but are not currently prepared to commit to full ISO 14001 implementation should conduct a GAP analysis between ISO 14001 and the already existing Responsible Care programs in place and become "ISO 14001 ready" in the event of the need for implementation. This will significantly reduce the amount of time and effort needed for implementation when and if the need arises.
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Date: 2002

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