The study on the implementation of environmental management systems in multinational companies in the Asia Pacific region

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The study on the implementation of environmental management systems in multinational companies in the Asia Pacific region


Author: Lam, Wan-choi
Title: The study on the implementation of environmental management systems in multinational companies in the Asia Pacific region
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1998
Subject: Environmental management -- Asia
Environmental management -- Pacific Area
International business enterprises -- Asia -- Management -- Data processing
International business enterprises -- Pacific Area -- Management -- Data processing
Management information systems -- Asia
Management information systems -- Pacific Area
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Civil and Structural Engineering
Pages: vi, 129 leaves : ill. ; 31 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: The present study have reviewed the roots, development, implementation and deficiencies of environmental management systems (EMS) for multinational companies (MNCs) operating in the Asia Pacific region. The study have collected data and facts through seminars and a questionnaire survey conducted in Shanghai. More thorough study through detailed review of a typical U.S. based MNC operating in the region has also been carried out. The study shows that as a result of historical development and lessons learned by U.S. based MNCs at home and abroad, MNCs have generally developed and are seriously adopting U.S. based EMS for their facilities in the region. These systems are, in general accepted by their partners in the region. However, local facilities in the region appear to be overly relying on the American born systems, and that deficiencies of the existing systems to track regulatory changes, to control EMS documents and to implement compliance audit programs have been identified. The study also show that the recent ISO14000 standardization movement in the region to a certain extent further strengthen the implementation of the existing EMS. The key driving force appear to be the desire to gain market competitiveness and to obtain the government and the general public's recognition. Despite the general favorable responses, the study indicates that half of the MNCs surveyed perceived the insufficient employee awareness and the different stage of economic/industrial development of the region the main obstructions in the implementation of their EMS. The case study shows that the EMS of the American based MNC is strongly relied upon an extremely effective two-tier relationship of the specialized EH&S department and the legal function, and that the entire EMS of this company in Asia is driven by three key elements: (1) the compliance assurance auditing program, (2) the frequent and top level management reviews and (3) the regular performance measurement effort. The general deficiencies of the existing system of this MNC's Asia operations are: (1) the general less sophisticated workforce to support the EMS, (2) the lack of effective and practical environmental training, (3) the lack of cross-functional and external communication channels of the EMS, and (4) the lack of a standardized EMS document control system. In view of the deficiencies identified in the study, recommendations in the establishment of policy and measurement incentives; network building and training; communication; document control; and provision of complete audit and management review programs are made in order to improve the execution of the existing EMS of MNCs in the region.

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