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Certified Success: Integrating Sustainability into Corporate Management Systems

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Abstract:

Environmental certification is a costly proposal if it is merely added to a company's existing practices to appease consumer sentiment. In the forest products industry, this add-on approach to sustainability has not produced financially successful companies. If sustainability goals are integrated into the core business values, however, they can generate savings that can offset the increased costs of conforming to standards. Drawing from the organizational management literature and two examples in the forest industry, we find that senior managers must assume leadership in making sustainable practices a core business value, then establish a rigorous environmental management system and confirm the company's commitment by implementing training and reward programs for employees. Unlike quick fixes, which do not generate consistent results throughout the organization, full integration is the best way to achieve sustainability.

Keywords: certification; environmental management; environmental management systems; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; industry; natural resource management; natural resources; sustainable forestry

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor of Operations Management School of Business and Economics Michigan Technological University 1400 Townsend Drive Houghton MI 49931-1295, Email: dana@mtu.edu 2: Professor of Organizational Behavior School of Business and Economics Michigan Technological University 1400 Townsend Drive Houghton MI 49931-1295

Publication date: July 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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