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Identifying critical enablers to high performance environmental management: an empirical study of Chinese firms

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The aim of this paper is to identify the critical enablers to high performance environmental management (EM). Using empirical data, we explore green operational practices associated with both self-regulatory and voluntary environmental standards and their impacts on firms’ performances in China under different operating conditions (i.e. with Internal EM Programmes or Supply-Chain-Wide EM Programmes). Our data show that both self-regulatory (e.g. adopting environmentally conscious operations) and voluntary environmental standard (e.g. adopting ISO 14001 guidelines) approaches positively related to the overall performance of the firm. Voluntary environmental standards seem to be more highly associated with the overall performance of the firm. A major reason for this is the awareness and understanding of environmental sustainability. Applications of voluntary environmental standards, such as ISO 14001, thus offer and open up continuous improvement opportunities to impose greener standards for organisations in China. By focusing on the critical enablers, firms in China could become more environmentally responsible while improving their economic and operational performance.
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Keywords: environmental management; environmentally conscious operations; structural equation model; voluntary environmental standards

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Management and Management Science, Lubin School of Business, Pace University, 1 Pace Plaza New York, NY, 10038, USA 2: Department of Finance and Decision Sciences, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong 3: HSBC School of Business, Peking University, Shenzhen, P. R. China

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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