Utilizing environmental management system in a new market area : barriers and benefits; case WWF's green office in Vietnam
Companies and different kinds of organizations see responsibility and moreover environmental issues increasingly important part of their business strategy especially in developed western markets, and emerging and developing markets are following their lead. In the world where competitiveness increases in different business sectors and natural resources decrease, mastering environmental management is a competitive advantage. Environmental Management Systems (EMS) are a tool for focusing on environmental issues as part of corporate responsibility making it part of the business operations and daily routines. In this research the focus is on WWF’s Green Office EMS, which some authors considers a “simplified” and WWF itself as a “practical” EMS. The aim of the research was to find the main barriers and benefits of utilizing the WWF’s Green Office EMS in its rather new market area, Vietnam. The research was qualitative and the data of the case was collected via semi-structured interviews with 12 relevant Green Office EMS organizations in Vietnam, and also some key persons from WWF were interviewed. The research turned out to be very interesting and useful yet challenging, because this field of business had very little if any former research in the research topic. The research task was fulfilled by answering the research question and mapping out the main barriers and benefits from utilizing the WWF’s Green Office EMS in Vietnam. Also, some ideas to improve the EMS work in Vietnam were able to give. The research shows that there are clear benefits from utilizing the WWF’s Green Office EMS and the main benefits can be mentioned as motivating staff for environmental actions in their daily work, as well as clear financial and material savings. Regarding financial issues one of the main barriers seemed to be quite hard economic situation in Asia, leading to costs of the EMS can form a barrier for the utilization. Also WWF’s Green Office EMS is rather new in Vietnam which forms a barrier to its wider utilization because it is not well-known EMS. More EMS promotion and localization is needed to make the EMS utilization more beneficial. ...
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