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Eltoum, Sanna, 2010. Environmental certification in a service organization : a case study of SLU. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Economics



In recent years several organizations in Sweden and worldwide are faced with massive practical challenges of transforming today’s organizations into environmentally sustainable organization. Consequently, they have or are implementing Environmental Management Systems (EMS). The most common model used by many organizations implementing an EMS is ISO 14001. In this context, this study investigated and described the perceived challenges, driving forces and opportunities in an environmental certification process for an organization in the public science sector according to ISO 14001 as models for EMS. One particular university has been analysed; the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences SLU) as example of a service organization. In 2009, the Dean of SLU took a formal decision that the entire SLU environmental activities shall be certified according to ISO 14001 standard. Accordingly, this project aims to describe the motivations and challenges in the certification process, and point to the benifits that are expected from certification.

To obtain information and deeper insight into the EMS of the university, a qualitative method with case studies used to study the work with EMS in the SLU`s departments. The empirical material was collected within semi-structured interviews. Theories and previous studies have been used as guidance to the analysis method as well, the methodology of plan–do –check–act (PDCA) used as method of evaluating sustainable development.

The analysis showed that the main drivers at SLU to get the ISO 14001 certification is to create better EMS, meeting legislative requirements, directives from SLU`s headmaster, to be a trustworthy authority, and to be listed in the Environmental Protection Agency ranking list. Moreover, environmental certification consist of many challenges for the study units such as no engagement in the organization, EMS process consists of many detail and needs too much work, difficulty to understand the structure, and have documentation problems.

Major advantages about the SLU’s EMS are: increased efficiency and reduced costs, systematic control over documents, measures and taking care of environmental impact, integrated environmental work in the normal routines, and contribute to a sustainable development

Finally, recommendations on the essential findings that play an important role in the future of ISO 14001 in a service organization are presented.

Main title:Environmental certification in a service organization
Subtitle:a case study of SLU
Authors:Eltoum, Sanna
Supervisor:Mark-Herbert, Cecilia
Examiner:Hakelius, Karin
Series:Thesis / SLU, Department of Economics
Volume/Sequential designation:614
Year of Publication:2010
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM005 Environmental Economics and Management - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Economics
Keywords:certification, environmental management systems, ISO 14001, service organization, SLU, sustainable development
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Energy resources management
Deposited On:14 Sep 2010 11:39
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:15

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