Recent public policy trends and new consumer demands are redirecting the attention of management outside the traditional focus of customers, suppliers and internal operations. However, little research has focused on the perspective that operations management and the growing body of literature on total quality management can offer much on the environmental management of operations. Investigates the potential link between the concept, approach, methodology and benefits of total quality management (TQM) and environmental excellence in operations management. Proposes a hierarchical model for the development of environmental excellence. Environmental management has become strategic and the integration of the design, production, delivery, circulation, use and disposal of products is necessary to achieve improved environmental performance. Second, by including environmental factors in the integrated training of the workforce and the reward structure of the firm, long‐term continuous improvement is possible. Like quality goals, environmental improvement goals must become part of the annual business plan, with performance reviews to track progress and to encourage environmental excellence.
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