In ‘A study of compliance with environmental regulations of ISO 14001 certified companies in Korea’ (Kwon, D.M., Seo, M.S., Seo, Y.C., 2002) research is aimed at understanding if variations exist in firms’ regulatory compliance depending if they are ISO 14000 certified or not. The research was based on a survey questionnaires received from Korean companies, 138 companies not certified to ISO 14001 and 28 ISO 14001 certified firms. The main environmental parameter used is the rate of violation against environmental regulation.
The results give a clear demarcation in performance for the two years measured, 1997 and 1998: ‘Certified and non-certified companies’ regulation violation rates were 3.5% and 11.6% respectively in 1997. In 1998, company ERV (environmental violation rates) were 1.0% and 8.5% certified and non-certified companies respectively’.
The research goes on to suggest three reasons why the certified companies have such a markedly better performance than those non-certified companies:
(1) The compliance with the ISO 14001 process encompasses various aspects of environmental policy, planning, implementation and operation, checking and corrective action and management review;
(2) The systematic approach to managing environmental risk to prevent accidents and environmental regulations violations; and
(3) The establishment of monitoring and measurement systems for implementing ISO 14001 for continual improvement’.
‘In conclusion, the number of ISO 14001 certified companies has increased and the environmental performance of these companies is demonstrably better than non-certified companies’.
Yonsei University, South Korea (Kwon, Seo, Seo)