Miljöledningssystem som verktyg för att bidra till en hållbar utveckling
Sammanfattning: Humankind has always had a changing impact on its natural environment. With an ever increasing population and an ever increasing consumption of natural resources, the impact of human activity on the natural environment have become larger and larger. Nature has in turn responded with global warming and deteriorating biodiversity and all natures signals combined have created a wake-up call for society to act. The so called Brundtland report of 1987, “Our Common Future”, introduced the concept of sustainable development. Corporations have been identified as vital to bring about the necessary solutions to the complexity of environmental problems. This thesis concentrates on small sized businesses in Sweden and their ability and possibilities to contribute to sustainable development, by using the tool of environmental management systems. The thesis deals with both obstacles to successful environmental management systems and the potential advantages of successful performance leading to environmental, financial and social benefits. The thesis also discusses the criticism of the environmental management systems and the international ISO 14001-standard. The outcome of this thesis shows that environmental management is an important stepping stone to contribute to sustainable development. The level of positive impact that environmental management systems can generate is entirely dependent upon the level of corporate responsibility and ambition of each company. The benefits of proactive environmental management presented in this bachelor thesis are based on both literature studies and a case study of a Swedish manufacturing company.
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