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Carl Dalhammar

Carl Dalhammar

Senior lecturer

Carl Dalhammar

Implementation and certification of environmental management systems in small enterprises: Approches and limitations


  • Carl Dalhammar

Summary, in English

Many small enterprises that are planning to implement environmental management systems (EMSs) and get certified according to the ISO 14001 standard or EMAS regulation have experienced a lot of barriers on the road towards certification. The standards are perceived as bureaucratic and represent a way of working that often fits poorly into the organizational culture and decision-making structure of many small companies. It is usually more expensive, when related to turnover, to implement and certify an EMS in small enterprises than in bigger ones, and a lot of internal man-hours and expensive consulting are usually required. This thesis outlines the problems that small enterprises experience when they want to implement and certify EMSs, examines the approaches that are used to overcome the different barriers, and looks at how different actors are working in order to facilitate the uptake and certification of EMSs in small enterprises. The main focus of the study is on Sweden, but sometimes data has been collected from sources outside Sweden when this is regarded as relevant.

The main outcomes of the thesis are:

-- a description of the different models that are used in order to facilitate the

implementation and certification of EMSs in small enterprises, and an analysis of the positive and negative

aspects of these models,

-- an analysis of what impact the certification bodies and other actors have on the EMSs in small enterprises,

-- the conclusions of the study, and recommendations on how the issue of EMS in small enterprises should be approached by the different actors


  • The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics

Publishing year




Document type



[Publisher information missing]


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Small and medium sized enterprises
  • Environmental management systems




  • ISSN: 1650-1675