Polin Saha; Salman Ahmad; Ashfaq Abbasi; Masood Khan , pp. 90. ING/School of Engineering, 2009.
To check rapidly deteriorating environmental conditions, many management tools are being used by different industries. In order to address environmental issues the corporate sector has seen a drastic increase in the use of environmental management systems. There is strong need to check how these environmental management systems are rendering environmental management services. Research shows that environmental management systems are mistakenly expected to prescribe technical and environmental objectives. Without describing what goals an organization must achieve, they lay out a system for management of numerous environmental obligations. Hence environmental management systems are not strategic; they tend to reactively fix issues contingent upon their occurrence and may miss opportunities to avoid problems before they occur. Further, environmental management itself is seen in isolation of a socio-ecological context, which makes environmental management lose ground and operate in a virtual vacuum. Mostly environmental management is identified as an ’agenda’ which runs counter to the overall development of an organization. Provided, environmental management systems can be integrated with basic principles of sustainable development these management systems can be utilized as a launching pad to move organizations towards sustainability. Built to render the administrative services only through a mechanism of self regulation and continuous improvement, these management systems can be used to deliver sustainable product planning. The present study illustrates the possibilities for integration of sustainability objectives into environmental management systems. In our effort to integrate sustainability in environment management systems extensive literature reviews, interviews and a case study (Hammarplast AB) have been used. For the analysis of the current reality, a framework for strategic sustainable development and methods incorporating “backcasting from principles of sustainability” – i.e. templates for sustainable product development and strategic life cycle management – has been used. The use of tools not only illustrates contemporary sustainability gaps but also gives a concrete set of guidance to integrate sustainability in environmental management systems.