Evolución de la gestión ambiental a través de estados de madurez

Marta Ormazábal, Jose Mª. Sarriegi

Resumen


A primera vista, la gestión ambiental puede parecer diferente en cada empresa. Sin embargo, esta investigación ha demostrado que la evolución de la gestión ambiental es similar en todas las organizaciones; es decir, cada compañía pasa por análogos estados de madurez. A través de entrevistas y workshops con expertos en gestión ambiental, se ha definido esta evolución y se ha desarrollado una clasificación de estos estados de madurez: Cumplimiento de la Legislación, Formación, Sistematización, ECO2, Eco-Innovación y Empresa Líder en Gestión Ambiental. Esta clasificación ayuda a comprender con mayor precisión la evolución de la gestión del medio ambiente y la estructura que representa a esta evolución.

Palabras Clave: gestión ambiental, factores, estados de madurez, diagramas causales.


Environmental management evolution through maturity states

Abstract: Nowadays, society is demanding more environmental measures to companies due to the environmental deterioration that has been provoked by some enterprises during previous years. Never theless, regulation does not provide enterprises with incentives to innovate and to go beyond legislative compliance. At a first sight, environmental management implementation seems different in each company. This research has demonstrated that the evolution of the environmental management in every company is similar ; what means that each company goes through the same maturity states. The methodology has been based on several interviews and workshops. The interviews have been conducted with environmental managers from nineteen enterprises among different industrial sectors in the Basque Country. These firms have been selected as a convenience sample, taking into account their self-assessed level of environmental management. The study has included firms from different sectors such as chemical, automotive, railway, elevators, and electrical equipment. The average face-to-face interview lasted on average around 75 minutes. The main objective of each interview has been to understand how the environmental management within the company has been over time, to know the different states that each one has taken and to identify in what maturity state they were in. As a result of these interviews, a classification of the different factors that affect every environmental management has been done: Environmental Legislation, Society Environmental Awareness, Company Green Image, Formalization, Competitors Evaluation, Resources applied to Environmental Management, Use of Natural/Energy Resources, Top Management Commitment, Workers Commitment and External Communication. The workshops have been conducted using the Group Model Building (GMB) methodology with a panel of environmental experts. The participants included environmental managers of different enterprises, environmental consultants and academics with experience in environmental projects. Through different exercises, this collaborative methodology has helped researchers to capture information from a group of experts in the matter. Once all the information has been gathered and analyzed, the previous factors have been interrelated creating the structure of the environmental management in a company. Afterwards, the evolution of the environmental management has been defined and a classification of the different maturity states has been developed: Legislation fulfilment, Training, Systematization, ECO2, Eco-Innovation and Leading Green Company. For each maturity state, a causal loop diagram (CLD) has been defined with the factors that affect the corresponding state, as not all the factors are involved in all the maturity states. Consequently, the different variables have been connected among them with arrows denoting the causal influences. This model helps companies to more accurately understand the environmental management evolution and the structure of this evolution. It is shown that not only environmental measures are necessary but also other actions such as the Top Management commitment. Moreover, enterprises can check in what maturity state they are, and they can identify the steps that they have to follow to gradually improve their environmental management.

Keywords: environmental management, factors, maturity states, causal loop diagrams.

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