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Potential Drivers, Limitations, and Benefits in Implementing ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems for Organizations in Sri Lanka

Author(s): Perera PLAP, Weerasinghe TK and Narangoda SU

The rate of complying for ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) certification has been generally slow in Sri Lankan Organizations compared to the adoption of other popular management systems certifications like ISO 9001 Quality Management System and ISO 22000 Food Safety Management System. Further, the awareness on the benefits of having this certification for an organization is also at very low level. The present study is focusing to get some research data on the potential drivers that could be used to adopt ISO 14001. At the same time the benefits gained by implementing the ISO 14001 and limitations faced by the organizations in implementing and maintaining this certification were also evaluated to get a better understanding on this problem. A questionnaire based survey was carried out among seventy nine organizations certified for ISO 14001 Environmental Management System by Sri Lanka Standards Institution which is a member body of International Organization for Standardization (ISO).The data were analyzed using Friedman test, Wilcoxon signed rank test and Spearman’s rank correlation and Cronbach’s alpha test specifically for internal consistency of data. Most of the organizations certified are in large and medium scale business ventures. The results clearly indicated that the most significant potential driver to implement ISO 14001 EMS, is to improve the image of the organization. Results further showed that ISO 14001 could be used as a marketing tool that intends to reduce environmental impacts while enhancing regulatory compliance. The greatest limitation that the organizations faced was to change the attitudes and practices of workers. High design cost is ranked as the next highest limitation.

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