Development of an Environmental Management System Framework for Hong Kong Higher Education Institutions

  • Yi-Chen LanEmail author
  • Shiu Chuen Lee


This research project aims to develop an Environmental Management System Framework, which is suitable for adoption by the eight publicly funded higher education institutions (HEIs) in Hong Kong. This paper presents the first stage of the research and the findings that examined the practices of the eight HEIs based on the published information and conducted semi-structured interviews with the officers responsible for environmental sustainability (altogether nine interviews from eight HEIs) to verify and confirm the practices of the HEIs, which are matched with the common sustainable practices under the Dynamic Capabilities and the required elements of the ISO 14001:2015. The features of the common sustainable practices under the Dynamic Capabilities are under those in three capabilities: scanning/monitoring capability, sensing/seizing capability, and reconfiguration capability. The required elements of the ISO 14001:2015 are leadership, planning, support, operation, performance evaluation, and improvement process. The research findings show that the gap between the practices of the HEIs on environmental sustainability and those practices featured in the Dynamic Capabilities and ISO 14001 is not significant. The development of an EMS which includes the aforesaid features is feasible. The HEIs are not on the other hand prepared to spend resources to obtain external certification and elaborate documentation. Hence, it would not be included in the proposed EMS framework. However, the research results show that the participation of staff members and students in various processes in the EMS development should be included in the proposed framework. In the next stage of this research, the expectation of the staff members and students for those practices featured in the Dynamic Capabilities and ISO 14001 would be gauged through semi-structured interviews. After this process the research can conclude with a suggested EMS which is feasible and meets with the expectation of stakeholders of the HEIs.


Corporate social responsibility ISO 14001 Dynamic capabilities Dynamic capabilities view Environmental management system Environmental sustainability Higher education institutions Stakeholder engagement 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of BusinessWestern Sydney UniversitySydneyAustralia

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