Conclusions and recommendations
In this chapter 7, we present our general findings and main conclusions. The results are summarises in section 7.1. Section 7.2 summarises the main findings. Recommendations are presented in section 7.3.
KeywordsLife Cycle Assessment Institutionalisation Theory Environmental Management System Institutionalisation Process Life Cycle Assessment Result
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- 15.This statement is also valid for the state of institutionalisation of these different tools in companies (see also section 7.3 “Recommendations”).Google Scholar
- 16.Since 1993, the university of Hannover carries out panel surveys. In 1995 and 1997, several questions examined the state of environmental business management. One question asked for the application of different environmental instruments; as a result it became clear that the instrument “quality system” dominates. Checklists are used by 1/3 of the answering companies. The application of eco-balancing was also asked for; however, the term did not clarify whether LCA or company environmental reporting was meant (cp. Steinle et al. 1998).Google Scholar
- 17.See Rubik/Teichert (1997), Wrisberg/Gameson (1998) and de Smet et al. (1996) for a short description and characterisation of different tools.Google Scholar
- 22.The survey was carried out in summer 1996 by SustainAbility on behalf of the European Environmental Agency. SustainAbility interviewed 43 LCA “opinion leaders” from different stakeholder groups all over Europe: companies. research institutes, eco-labelling boards, NGOs, practitioners, financial institutions. The number of companies interviewed was 13: they were selected from among the most active in the LCA field (e.g. Dow, Fiat, Procter & Gamble, Body Shop). More information on the survey is available on the EEA web site.Google Scholar
- 23.Berkhout (1996) and Smith et al. (1998) followed Dosi’s (1988) characterisation of innovations and listed three main factors which generate innovation: technological opportunities, market demand and appropriability. Based on these factors, they analysed the influence of LCAs. From their interviews, they observe: “Few firms interviewed (…) could identify clear-cut examples of innovative or competitive impacts of the application of LCA” (Smith et. al. 1998, p. 43 ). The focus of this book is not oriented towards an analysis of competitive advantages due to the application of LCA. As a consequence, we are not able to check Smith’s findings.Google Scholar
- 31.However, some months ago, the situation changed when it was decided to found an Italian association for LCA by the end of 1998. Its members are researchers, employees of different Italian companies and representatives of the Ministry of the Environment and of the Environmental Agency (ANPA).Google Scholar