Products in environmental management systems: the role of auditors
2005 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, Vol. 13, no 4, 417-431 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
For standardized environmental management systems (EMS) to be environmentally effective tools, they should affect important environmental aspects related to flows of materials and energy, which for manufacturing companies are closely connected to their products. This paper presents how external environmental auditors interpret and apply important product-related requirements of ISO 14001 at manufacturing companies in Sweden.
The results indicate that the link between EMS and products is rather weak. Products are seldom regarded as significant environmental aspects and are therefore not within the main scope of many EMS, which are mainly focused on sites. However, all of the interviewed auditors require that some kind of environmental considerations be incorporated into product development, but these considerations are to large extent site oriented; how they are prioritized in relation to other factors such as economics and other customer priorities appears to be up to the companies.
The paper includes some recommendations to strengthen the role of products within the framework of standardized EMS.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 13, no 4, 417-431 p.
Design for environment; DFE; Environmental management systems; EMS; ISO 14001; EMAS; Auditors
Engineering and Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13542DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2003.12.006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-13542DiVA: diva2:20931