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VOLUME 1 (1999), ISSUE 2 (WINTER)

 

INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS CERTIFICATION: THE NEXT PASSPORT TO THE GLOBAL MARKET ?

OLIVIER BOIRAL AND ISABELLE DOSTALER

 

SUMMARY

Launched in 1996, the ISO 14 001 Standard is undergoing rapid growth and is apt to impose itself as a new standard of reference in matters of environmental management, especially in Europe and in Asia. Like the ISO 9 000 series of quality standards, ISO 14 001 tends to be used increasingly as a supplier-selection criterion, particularly in the case of transborder trade. To what extent is ISO 14 001, as the result of a lengthy international concertation and negotiation process, going to really impose itself as an unavoidable step which corporations must take, thereby transforming the Standard into a kind of " passport " to the global market? This article is an attempt at answering this question by examining the Standard’s underlying principles as well as the main forces contributing to its international development. Besides a global analysis of the number of certified firms throughout the world, we shall analyze a number of factors which contribute to making the Standard a new requirement of international markets: the demand from international clients, the amelioration of a firm’s competitiveness due to the implementation of an environmental management system, anticipation of local pressures and the joint development of ISO 9 000 and 14 001 standards.

KEYWORDS

ISO 14001 Certification - International Standardization - Globalization - Environmental Management System.

AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION

Olivier BOIRAL is a lecturer in Management at Laval University in Canada. He holds a MBA from Laval University and a Ph.D. from Montreal Business School. His thesis concentrated on the human and preventive dimensions of environmental management. He has published extensively on this subject and is regularly called upon as a consultant and guest speaker on environmental management systems and on the implementation of ISO Standards.

Isabelle DOSTALER s a lecturer in Management at Laval University in Canada. She holds a M.Sc. from Montreal Business School and a Ph.D. in Management Studies from the University of Cambridge. Her Ph.D. focused on competitive strategy and manufacturing performance in the electronics industry.Her research interests include new product development, manufacturing and environmental performance and the implementation of ISO 9 000 Standards.

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