Environmental Management Systems (EMSs) are relatively new and rather innovative management practices that provide firms with additional sources of information and leverage over their environmental and business processes and performance. This article reports the results of a survey of manufacturing plants that have adopted EMSs. It finds that EMSs are associated with factories that are larger, more committed to total quality management, and more innovative in general. EMSs are also a useful tool for managing community relationships and dealing with key stakeholder groups on potentially controversial environmental issues. Furthermore, EMS plants appear to pose less environmental risk for communities and report that their adoption and use of an EMS is an important factor in achieving this result. In the end, EMSs are an effective tool for managing environmental costs and risks inside and outside the factory in ways that add to, rather than detract from, the bottom-line.
- Copyright ©2001 The Regents of the University of California