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Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and learning in small and medium size establishments (SME) : a case study from the beverage industry

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posted on 22.05.2021, 13:19 by Maureen Cooper
For businesses that are internally motivated to incorporate environmental management into daily practice, an environmental management system (EMS) is an effective tool to address environmental impacts. Yet, certification to formal EMS standards such as ISO 14001 may pose challenges for the unique needs of a small and medium-sized establishment (SME) such as Company Y, who seeks systematized environmental management while maintaining flexibility and openness. The researcher explores the proposition that EMS implementation and performance of an SME in the position of Company Y can be optimized by incorporating key tenets of Organizational Learning theory (OLT) into decision making and operations. Primary questioning, observation and literature research are used to characterize Company Y’s environmental decision-making and communication structure. For growing SMEs that are not comfortable with the formal requirements of third party EMS certification, this thesis suggests that OLT can be an effective approach to integrate environmental management into their business.





Master of Applied Science


Environmental Applied Science and Management

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


Thesis Advisor

Kernaghan Webb