Impact of ISO 14001on Perceived Service Quality Delivered to the Energy Sector Essay


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Despite the rapid growth of ISO 14001, academic research in this field is still very limited. One question has been given most attention: what impacts does ISO 14001 have on a company’s environmental performance? Sad to say, research has shown ambiguous results on the impact of ISO 14001 on a company’s performance.

A research team at the University of North Carolina surveyed 87 facilities to test the effects of implementing formal Environmental Management System (EMS) (University of North Carolina, 2003). This study showed that a firm adopting a formal EMS usually improved its environmental outcome. However, the environmental performance of firms that certified their EMS to ISO 14001 was not significantly different from firms without such certifications. A firm could improve its environmental performance by implementing a formalized EMS,  it didn’t gain additional improvement by being ISO14001 certified.

Dahlstorm, Howes, Leinster, and Skea (2003) studied the impact of ISO 14001 and EMAS registration in the UK. They used the Operator Performance Appraisal (OPA) from the UK Environment Agency to measure and compare facilities’ performances. The OPA score is an evaluation ranged from 1 to 5 by a regulatory officer who surveys the facility. By studying about 800 sites regulated under the UK`s Integrated Pollution Control Regime from 1999-2006, the researchers showed that sites having an externally validated EMS, such as ISO 14001 registration and EMAS, are not significantly superior to those without such certifications.

The above two studies both found that ISO 140001 certification might not have positive impact on a facility’s environmental performance. In contrast, Melnyk, Sroufe, and Calantone (2003) showed that a formal EMS improved a firm’s overall performance based on a survey study of North American managers` attitudes toward EMS and ISO 14001. Moreover, they found that by certifying its EMS, such as ISO 14001 registration, a firm can receive even greater benefits than without such certification.

Research Questions

The researcher will conduct this study in order to examine the following research questions:

1). What are the drivers of ISO 14001?

2). what are the impacts of ISO 14001on a facility’s environmental



This study will use a case study methodology that could validate the findings within the literature. An EMS is a way for management to deal with aspects that impact on the environment. It allows an organization to control the impact of its activities, products or services on the natural environment.

Implementation of an EMS, should also include certification to ISO 14001. This international standard, for EMSs, takes the view that establishment and implementation of an organization’s EMS is of central importance in determining the organization’s environmental policy, objectives and targets.

This research aims to document the means and benefits of proactively managing environmental issues, which will lead to the company being recognized for its high ESD performance by both its clients and the wider community.

The researcher will conduct a quantitative research study in order to answer the aforementioned two research questions:


The hypotheses that will be tested in this study are the following:

Hypothesis 1:

ISO 14001 certification has a positive impact on facilities`

environmental performances.

Hypothesis 2:

The positive impact of ISO 14001 certification is at its highest one year after the certification is granted but may decrease over time.

Participants and Setting
The researcher will collect data from an oil and gas company. It has been shown that the extent of a facility’s toxic releases may be a good way to measure the facility’s environmental performance (Hart and Ahuja, 1996; King and Lenox, 2000, 2001). The researcher will collect data reported by the participating company as a measure of facilities` environmental performance and test its relationship with ISO 14001 certification.

Data Collecting Instruments

Data Analysis

The researcher will analyze the collected data to examine if there is an impact of ISO certification on firms` environmental performance. The researcher will use model specification. Specifically, Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression will be used to examine the impact of ISO 14001 on environmental performance.


Dahlstorm, E.A., Howes, L.G. Leinster, K.F. and Skea, O.H. (2003). Certifying
environmental management systems by the ISO 14001 standards. International
Journal of Production Research, 40(18), 4743-4764.

Hart, B.D. and Ahuja, A.S. (1996). The promises and pitfalls of ISO 14001 for
competitiveness and sustainability [Electronic version]. Greener Management
International, 44, 59-74.

King, F.C and Lenox, S.H. (2000, 2001). ISO 14001 environmental systems handbook
(2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Elsevier Ltd.

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