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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2001

Staffan Laestadius and Lennart Karlson

Increasing demand for sustainable development during the last decades has expanded the scope of corporate responsibility to include environmental issues in all levels of…

Abstract

Increasing demand for sustainable development during the last decades has expanded the scope of corporate responsibility to include environmental issues in all levels of operations. A number of different environmental management tools have been developed and implemented in companies. One important question is whether the resources spent in environmental management tools are used in an optimal way. Another question is if these resources give more eco‐efficient products as well as increased competitiveness. The aim of this paper is to analyse whether, and to what extent, the environmental management tool LCA is perceived as efficient within ABB. The conclusions to be drawn from this study are somewhat contradictory. On the one hand the technical, economic and environmental benefits from current use of the LCA tool seem to be very modest and LCA activities seem not to be integrated in normal operational activities, nor have they been used frequently in product development projects. On the other hand, there is a very positive opinion about the applicability and future use of the LCA tool. In fact a majority of the respondents believe that the LCA tool will stay and can be useful in the future.

Details

Environmental Management and Health, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-6163

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Article
Publication date: 30 July 2018

Moez Essid and Nicolas Berland

This paper aims to analyze the organizational capabilities involved in the adoption of environmental management tools in eight large French firms. The analysis also…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze the organizational capabilities involved in the adoption of environmental management tools in eight large French firms. The analysis also examines the antecedents that contributed to the emergence of those capabilities and the consequences of their involvement in terms of environmental management.

Design/methodology/approach

To analyze the organizational capabilities deployed when environmental management tools are adopted, this paper takes an exploratory approach based on a qualitative study of eight large French firms.

Findings

The findings show how organizational capabilities, dynamic and ordinary, are operationalized in the adoption of environmental management tools. This operationalization is made possible by internal and external antecedents and simple and complex routines. The findings also identify two possible configurations of organizational capabilities, each one leading to a specific form of environmental management. The first configuration leads to stand-alone environmental management systems, while the second succeeds in engendering integrated management systems. This study shows that this difference is explained by heterogeneous endowments in terms of antecedents across firms.

Practical implications

The study provides useful information for managers about the conditions that favor and facilitate adoption of environmental management tools and the ways these conditions operate.

Social implications

The study illustrates the impact of society on large firms’ adoption of certain environmental management practices. It shows that external visibility – which has created strong societal pressure – is one of the external antecedents that led eight large French firms to develop specific organizational capabilities.

Originality/value

In analyzing the antecedents, routines and capabilities involved in the adoption of environmental management tools, the study adds some original, innovative contributions to current knowledge on the conditions for adoption of such tools.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Book part
Publication date: 10 December 2013

Giovanni Battista Derchi, Michael Burkert and Daniel Oyon

Organizations’ increasing concern for environment shows the interest in appropriate mechanisms that account for relevant flows of environment-related information. Today…

Abstract

Purpose

Organizations’ increasing concern for environment shows the interest in appropriate mechanisms that account for relevant flows of environment-related information. Today managers and researchers are promoting environmental management accounting (EMA) systems mechanisms as a means to incorporate the full spectrum of ecological data into day-to-day business decisions and foster green management execution. However implementation remains a challenge and many of the difficulties are associated with conceptual and practical problems in integrating ‘green’ information and providing guidance on effective implementation. In this context academics might investigate on further explanations on how to achieve excellence in both environmental and financial performance. Hence this chapter substantiates the need for more theoretical and empirical studies on EMA practices and proposes avenues for future research.

Approach

We review the growing body of EMA research to inform the reader of what has been studied to date and indicate the necessity for further investigation. In addition, we suggest areas for future research.

Findings

Our synthesis highlights the relevant aspects of EMA examined in prior studies. The review reveals unexplored facets that need to be investigated to complement existing knowledge. In particular researchers might explore the concept of environmental performance and the application of different forms of EMA within organizations. Moreover academics have the opportunity to further examine the role of EMA mechanisms in companies that do not pursue environmental results for economic benefits.

Value

The chapter sheds some light on EMA literature and emphasizes the opportunities that new theoretical developments and appropriate research designs offer in the investigation of the remaining gaps in the literature.

Details

Accounting and Control for Sustainability
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-766-6

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2017

Marta Ormazabal, Jose M. Sarriegi and Elisabeth Viles

Despite significant amounts of environmental management tools that are available for companies to use, no model guides them toward environmental excellence. As a…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite significant amounts of environmental management tools that are available for companies to use, no model guides them toward environmental excellence. As a consequence, the purpose of this paper is to develop an environmental management maturity (EMM) model that helps companies that are on the path toward environmental excellence.

Design/methodology/approach

An iterative process was used to develop this model, starting with some semi-structured interviews with 19 companies within the Basque Country and two workshops with environmental experts. Following these steps, the initial version of the model was developed. Data from subsequent surveys carried out in Spanish and Italian companies, and a survey and semi-structured interviews in companies in the UK were incorporated into the model, yielding the final, more robust version of the EMM model.

Findings

The EMM model proposes six maturity stages: legal requirements, responsibility assignment and training, systematization, ECO2, eco-innovative products and services, and leading green company. Each stage details a series of elements: description, agents involved, policies, tools, indicators, structure, and behavior over time graphs. This research confirms that a company’s environmental management evolves through several distinctive stages, regardless of the industrial sector.

Originality/value

The proposed model concludes that the defined maturity stages provide valuable guidance for industrial firms as it helps them identify their maturity stage as well as the steps they should follow to move to the next stage.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2005

Zhen Chen, Heng Li, Stephen C.W. Kong and Qian Xu

This paper aims to introduce a knowledge‐based managemental prototype entitled E+ for environmental‐conscious construction relied on an integration of current environmental

Abstract

This paper aims to introduce a knowledge‐based managemental prototype entitled E+ for environmental‐conscious construction relied on an integration of current environmental management tools in construction area. The overall objective of developing the E+ prototype is to facilitate selectively reusing the retrievable knowledge in construction engineering and management areas assembled from previous projects for the best practice in environmental‐conscious construction. The methodologies adopted in previous and ongoing research related to the development of the E+ belong to the operations research area and the information technology area, including literature review, questionnaire survey and interview, statistical analysis, system analysis and development, experimental research and simulation, and so on. The content presented in this paper includes an advanced E+ prototype, a comprehensive review of environmental management tools integrated to the E+ prototype, and an experimental case study of the implementation of the E+ prototype. It is expected that the adoption and implementation of the E+ prototype can effectively facilitate contractors to improve their environmental performance in the lifecycle of projectbased construction and to reduce adverse environmental impacts due to the deployment of various engineering and management processes at each construction stage.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Peter Lund-Thomsen, Dima Jamali and Antonio Vives

This paper aims to analyze the potential and limitations of donor-financed management tools that seek to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) in small and…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze the potential and limitations of donor-financed management tools that seek to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries. Drawing on key insights from three streams of literature relating to institutional theory, critical perspectives on CSR in developing countries and the literature on CSR and SMEs in the developing world, the potential and limits of donor-financed management tools aimed at promoting CSR in developing country SMEs are analyzed.

Design/methodology/approach

Using official UN and Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development lists of all multilateral and bilateral donor agencies, 38 donors that might have produced such CSR tools were identified. The authors contacted them via e-mail and/or telephone, and conducted an extensive Internet search with the aim of identifying whether they had developed management tools aimed at promoting CSR in SMEs in developing countries. The authors then scrutinized the contents of the 11 tools identified and examined the extent to which these tools accord attention to contextual differences and specific peculiarities of institutional environments in developing countries; the extent to which these tools account for the silent or sunken aspects of CSR which have been prominently highlighted in the SME – CSR literature; and the extent to which these tools accord attention to the paramount concern for poverty alleviation in developing countries.

Findings

Overall, the analysis testifies to the continued predominant orientation of these tools to the context of larger firms in developed countries, with insufficient tailoring or customization to the specific realities of SMEs in the South.

Research limitations/implications

In-depth interviews with aid agency personnel, SMEs, workers or community members were not conducted. Hence, this study should be seen as an initial, exploratory desk study of the potential and limits of management tools aimed at promoting CSR in SMEs in the developing world.

Practical implications

It is suggested that donor agencies could develop such tools in a bottom-up fashion by first mapping the silent CSR practices of SMEs in developing countries and then use this as a basis for strengthening existing CSR activities in SMEs instead of trying to impose new priorities from the outside. This might enhance the local relevance and applicability of these management tools.

Originality/value

The study is likely to be the first analysis of the potential and limits of management tools that are developed by donor agencies with the aim of promoting CSR in SMEs in developing countries.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

Kusnikamal Taygashinova and Alfiya Akhmetova

The purpose of this paper is study the peculiarities of environmental controlling in the context of the implementation of the sustainable development strategy and the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is study the peculiarities of environmental controlling in the context of the implementation of the sustainable development strategy and the systematization of methods, functions and tools, as well as consideration of the possibility of applying environmental controlling methods in the organization through the consideration of environmental costs.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors solved the following problems. The authors defined the essence of the concept of “environmental controlling;” conducted an analysis of methods, functions and instruments of environmental controlling; investigated the possibility of accounting for environmental costs as an instrument of environmental controlling; and systematized approaches of using the tool of accounting for environmental costs at enterprises.

Findings

The approaches to accounting for environmental costs differ in the degree of integration into the existing accounting system and in the frequency of accounts handling (one-time or regular). One-time solutions to accounting for environmental costs (e.g. environmental design calculations) are calculations conducted independently of traditional accounting. Their advantage lies in the fact that they can be formed and used without affecting the existing cost accounting system. However, they generate additional costs and generally receive less recognition than integrated solutions. Accounting for environmental costs is an integrated part of the existing and regularly conducted accounting system.

Research limitations/implications

Accounting of environmental costs has broad prospects for use in enterprises as an environmental controlling instrument for the improvement of management efficiency and quality.

Originality/value

Accounting for environmental costs is necessary as an instrument of environmental controlling in order to obtain information on the enterprise interdependencies between costs, revenues, consumption of raw materials and energy as well as environmental protection measures. In addition, the consideration of environmental costs can serve companies as a source for the identification of the potential to reduce the cost of output products.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2015

Philip Beske-Janssen, Matthew Phillip Johnson and Stefan Schaltegger

The purpose of this paper is to systematically review the academic literature on sustainability performance measurement for sustainable supply chain management (SSCM…

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7586

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to systematically review the academic literature on sustainability performance measurement for sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) published over the past 20 years. The development and current state of instruments, concepts and systems to measure and manage sustainability performance are examined and research gaps are identified.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic literature review is conducted spanning two decades of publications in peer-reviewed academic journals. The publications are analyzed with regard to frequency and bibliometrical metrics and research content.

Findings

The research examines the development of the field over 20 years, which has witnessed a steep rise in related publications only for the past five years, indicating a late interest in the area compared to other sustainability topics. Social performance measures entered the discussion particularly late, whereas economic and environmental measurement almost exclusively dominated the field for the first few years.

Research limitations/implications

The authors identify research gaps and discuss future directions for research. The analysis shows how the research area develops from a topic dealt with by a small group of interested researchers into a broader research field acknowledged in the scientific community.

Practical implications

Findings underline the importance of measuring performance for sustainability management of supply chains. The review identifies what measurement and management tools are discussed in the literature over time.

Originality/value

This is the first literature review on sustainability performance measurement for SSCM summarizing the development over the time span of 20 years.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 20 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Book part
Publication date: 13 August 2018

Chaminda Wijethilake and Athula Ekanayake

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework which sheds new light on how sustainability control systems (SCS) can be used in proactive strategic

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework which sheds new light on how sustainability control systems (SCS) can be used in proactive strategic responses to corporate sustainability pressures.

Design/Methodology/Approach – Corporate sustainability pressures are identified using insights from institutional theory and the resource-based view of the firm.

Findings – The paper presents an integrated framework showing the corporate sustainability pressures, proactive strategic responses to these pressures, and how organizations might use SCS in their responses to the corporate sustainability pressures they face.

Practical Implications – The proposed framework shows how organizations can use SCS in proactive strategic responses to corporate sustainability pressures.

Originality/Value – The paper suggests that instead of using traditional financial-oriented management control systems, organizations need more focus on emerging SCS as a means of achieving sustainability objectives. In particular, the paper proposes different SCS tools that can be used in proactive strategic responses to sustainability pressures in terms of (i) specifying and communicating sustainability objectives, (ii) monitoring sustainability performance, and (iii) providing motivation by linking sustainability rewards to performance.

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Article
Publication date: 19 February 2018

Thanh Nguyet Phan, Kevin Baird and Sophia Su

The study provides an insight into the application and usefulness of activity management (AM) principles in an environmental context. Specifically, the purpose of this…

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1608

Abstract

Purpose

The study provides an insight into the application and usefulness of activity management (AM) principles in an environmental context. Specifically, the purpose of this paper is to examine the extent of use of environmental activity management (EAM) utilising Gosselin’s (1997) three levels of AM (namely, environmental activity analysis (EAA), environmental activity cost analysis (EACA), and environmental activity-based costing (EABC)). The study also examines the association between EAM and environmental performance, and the role of decision quality as a mediator in this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 208 Australian organisations across different industries using a mail survey questionnaire.

Findings

The results indicate a relatively high extent of EAA use but a low extent of use of EACA and EABC. In addition, organisations using each level of EAM to a greater extent were found to experience higher levels of environmental performance. Furthermore, the relationship between EAA and EABC with environmental performance was found to be mediated by decision quality.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that organisations should endeavour to increase their use of EAM, and modify their existing costing systems to consider the drivers and costs of environmental activities.

Originality/value

This is the first study to empirically examine the extent of use of EAM and its association with environmental performance.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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