Achieving sustainability through attention to human resource factors in environmental management

Bonnie F. Daily (Management Department, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA)
Su‐chun Huang (Management Department, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Publication date: 1 December 2001

Abstract

Currently, many businesses are implementing a proactive, strategic tool known as an environmental management system (EMS) to gain a competitive advantage. Companies can no longer simply use compliance plans to deal with environmental concerns; consumer demands for greener products and services, and operational efficiencies require long term strategic and sustainable approaches for environmental management. An EMS includes documentation of: commitment and policy; planning; implementation; measurement and evaluation; and review and improvement. Establishment and maintenance of an EMS can be costly and time consuming, therefore implementation should be carefully structured to assure success. This paper identifies human resource (HR) factors such as top management support, environmental training, employee empowerment, teamwork, and rewards systems as key elements of the implementation process of an EMS. Furthermore, the interaction of these factors is examined in terms of the five categories of an EMS mentioned above. Finally, a conceptual model of the EMS‐HR factors is proposed to assist in proper facilitation of the environmental management program.

Keywords

Citation

Bonnie F. Daily and Su‐chun Huang (2001) "Achieving sustainability through attention to human resource factors in environmental management", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 21 No. 12, pp. 1539-1552

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DOI

: https://doi.org/10.1108/01443570110410892

Publisher

:

MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited

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