Environmental management system and electronic communication : Is it the need of the hour?
Zutshi, Ambika and Creed, Andrew 2007, Environmental management system and electronic communication : Is it the need of the hour?, in EMS 2007 : Practical approaches : exploring the future of EMS in Australia Proceedings of the 1st National EMS Forum Toowoomba, Queensland, Regional Institute Ltd, Gosford, N.S.W., pp. 1-6.
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Implementation and certification of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) is a reality for many businesses. Communication with an organisation’s stakeholders is a required element of any EMS. In the last five years companies have steadily moved towards integrating their different management systems, such as quality, environmental, and occupational health and safety, in an attempt to reduce their costs and increase efficiency. Legislation requires extensive reporting in each of these areas, so compliance is another important driver. During this period, communication by digital technology, or electronic communication, has gained prominence and acceptance amongst all groups of people including businesses primarily as a means to disseminate crucial EMS information to geographically diverse employees in a cost effective and instantaneous manner. Some perspectives have emerged to suggest that change processes in organisations may be hindered or helped in various ways through the application of digital technology in EMS. There are, however, gaps in the literature that document the impact and effectiveness of electronic communication amongst EMS stakeholders. In this paper we will discuss employees as one of the major stakeholders and whether the move to electronic communication has been assisting or hindering transformations in awareness and understanding of issues amongst employees. We highlight opportunities and challenges presented by an increased use of electronic communication in light of the environmental and climate change debates, which underpin EMS.
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