Environmental Management in Proactive Commercial Firms

Lessons for Central Logistics Activites in the Department of Defense

by Frank Camm

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Like many innovative commercial firms, the Department of Defense (DoD) has sought to take a proactive approach to environmental issues. However, it has found it difficult to implement proactive policies in ways that affect decisions made throughout the department. This study focuses on how commercial firms recognized as having the best environmental management practices in the country have implemented those practices, specifically addressing practices relevant to DoD's central logistics activities. Lessons from these firms should help DoD implement a proactive approach. Among study findings: DoD can learn a great deal from commercial firms, in areas ranging from fuel consumption and packaging to hazardous-waste generation. A broad consensus is emerging from the many commercial-sector experiments in environmental management presently under way; DoD's policy is broadly compatible with this consensus. DoD should integrate environmental management with its core mission concerns and should develop a formal environmental management program to increase the likelihood that implementation will succeed. Finally, DoD can use Total Quality Management (TQM) to verify its implementation approach, particularly in the area of pollution prevention; if effective in central logistics activities, this could help lead DoD toward broad acceptance of TQM.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Environmental Issues in Central Logistics Activities

  • Chapter Three

    Approaches to Environmental Management in Proactive Commercial Firms

  • Chapter Four

    Using ISO 14001 to Enhance an Environmental Management System

  • Chapter Five

    Conclusions

The research described in this report was sponsored by the Office of the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Environmental Security. The research was conducted in RAND's National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center supported by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the unified commands, and the defense agencies.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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