Developing TQEM in SMEs : Management Systems Approach

Abstract: Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) play an important role in all economies today and although their individual environmental impact is often limited, their total impact can be said to be significant due to their sheer number. Environmental management is a way to reduce the impact, but the results obtained by implementing ISO 14001 vary. The point of departure for this dissertation is the hypothesis that, the way SME's differ from the larger companies can be advantageous, defined as the SME potential, and not merely a disadvantage for them. Different approaches to management system implementation are the indentified and discussed; the approach chosen is assumed to play an important role in the implementation process. It is concluded that a company can choose an approach to the management systems implementation, where much of its SME potential can be used, and in that way do a reat deal with its limited resources. What is essential is creating a more holistic view in the company, which can lead to development of Total Quality Environmental Management (TQEM) and sustainable business practices in the future