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Business and environmental impact of ISO 14001

Henk J. de Vries (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Deniz K. Bayramoglu (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Ton van der Wiele (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management

ISSN: 0265-671X

Article publication date: 13 April 2012

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Abstract

Purpose

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed the ISO 14000 series of standards for environmental management as a response to the concerns about sustainable development expressed at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. The most important standard is ISO 14001, published in 1996 and slightly modified in 2004, which specifies requirements for environmental management systems. Worldwide, 188,815 organisations have obtained a certificate for their environmental management system based on this standard (figures December 2008). This paper aims to address the extent to which implementation of this standard has contributed to sustainability and also whether implementation is not only an expenditure, but also a source of business benefits.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to answer these questions, the existing literature on the impact of ISO 14001 has been reviewed.

Findings

Literature shows evidence for environmental and/or business improvements of organisations that have implemented the standard, however, the opposite can also be found. The performance indicators have been identified from which this evidence could be found. Also the literature shows some moderating variables for the impact of ISO 14001.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the insights in the effects of ISO14001.

Keywords

Citation

de Vries, H.J., Bayramoglu, D.K. and van der Wiele, T. (2012), "Business and environmental impact of ISO 14001", International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 425-435. https://doi.org/10.1108/02656711211224866

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited