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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Survey Questionnaire on Environmental Management Practices: Summary of Results by Industry and practices


This document provides a summary of the results of a survey on Environmental Management Practices (EMP) conducted by the University of California at Santa Barbara during October and November 2003. The survey was sent to 3255 facilities in 8 industrial sectors: pulp, paper and paperboard mills, chemical and allied products, refining, primary metals, machinery, electronics /electrical, automotive, and utilities. The survey yielded 562 responses, which constitutes a 17.2% response rate. This summary includes a general description of the sample, a profile of the respondents, and summary statistics of facilities' environmental management practices, relations with stakeholders, and environmental performance measures. In addition, we report the factors that respondents noted were influencing them to improve their environmental performance and adopt particular environmental management practices. In many cases, these results are categorized by industry to facilitate comparisons.

The environmental management practices we inquired about include the adoption of an environmental policy and its communication, the number of internal and external audits performed at the facility, the proportion of employees in various departments receiving environmental training, "green purchasing" policies, the adoption of the ISO 14001 international standard, participation in industry and governments voluntary programs, and solicitation of opinions from environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Overall, we identified important differences between industrial sectors in terms of the level of adoption of these environmental management practices. Companies can employ these survey results to benchmark their practices to facilities in their own industry as well as to other industries. In addition, government, NGOs, and local communities can employ this information to learn the prevalence of different environmental management practices across various industries, and to better understand how firms are motivated - and influenced - to adopt environmental management practices.

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