Modes of environmental management in transnational product chains
Michael Søgaard Jørgensen*, Ulrik Jørgensen, Kåre Hendriksen, Stig Hirsbak, Nils Thorsen

* Corresponding author: E-mail: msj@ipl.dtu.dk Phone: +45 4525 6024 Fax: +45 4593 3435

Many companies in industrialised countries are outsourcing production or sourcing materials and products in countries with lower environmental protection than the companies’ countries of origin. The background is access to special materials and/or lower costs, but some times also the market opportunities by being present in the country where the sourcing takes place. The paper discusses different modes of environmental management in such transnational product chains based on a number of cases, and explores the links to the business strategy of the companies and national and international regulation and standards. The roles of the involved nation states are often limited. In some cases international regulatory initiatives may shape the environmental management in product chains. The interpretative elements in ISO 14001 imply that some companies are sceptical about this kind of management in supply chains and practice in stead direct control based on more specific demands. More analyses of environmental management in transnational product chains is needed, including the role of general and more specific international guidelines and standards in combination with initiatives like customers’ own control, facilitating stakeholders etc.

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8:00 AM-8:00 PM, Friday, June 15, 2007, Oral

The Ontario, Canada 2007 Meeting