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Determining a quantifiable pollution management model (QPM)

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Purpose - The aim of this research is to develop a model for environmental management from which quantifiable indication of overall environmental performance for an organisation may be derived. Design/methodology/approach - The links between environmental performance and financial performance are considered. Several research methods are described which consider pollution performance. However, it is clear that no single method wholly reflects quantitative pollution management (QPM). The initial model for QPM is derived, and the weightings that should be allocated for the individual and combined categories in achieving the indicator of pollution performance are established. Findings - The paper establishes a methodology for the derivation of a QPM indicator that provides a numeric variable, by using numerical values that have been obtained from a set of linguistic values evaluated against determinations of prescribed events. The robust nature of the developed QPM indicator is provided by means of a prescribed methodology where the outcome indicator is constructed from the results of the audit and the inter-relationship of the individual components. This inter-relationship of numeric and linguistic variables encourages the use of modified set theory in which an individual could have a degree of membership ranged over a continuum of values. Practical implications - The development of a quantifiable pollution indicator enables customers/consumers to make a purchase decision that takes into account environmental concerns. These unique QPM indicators will assist in promoting a sustainable management strategy with preventative approaches to pollution. Under these circumstances, a QPM indicator would allow industrial and regulatory strategies to be implemented beyond the traditional boundaries of pollution control and waste management. It would give a broader perspective on performance, and encourage application of preventive technologies to reduce pollutant and waste loads, while also promoting environment-friendly products and services through openly available quantitative indicators. The derived indicator will be limited to the state of a particular process at a given point in time, and as such will need recalculation over given time intervals. This methodology enables the organisation to demonstrate improvement, if applicable. Monitoring tools should in any case be an aid to strategy formulation, not a determinant of it. Originality/value - This study will assist in allowing environmental performance to become a strategic factor in business planning. Direct comparisons may be made between the operational characteristics of organisations, and how those organisations impact on the environment via pollution, providing direct business benefits to organisations that manage their business and protect the environment.
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Keywords: Environmental Management; Organizational Performance; Quantitative Methods

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 May 2005

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