Explaining environmental management system development: A stakeholder approach

H.J. Bremmers, S.W.F. Omta, D.J. Haverkamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Managerial changes are necessary for companies in the Dutch food industry and agribusiness to lessen the environmental impact of their activities. To identify the opportunities or limits of environmental management systems (EMSs), it is important to first understand what influence stakeholders have on EMS development. In an empirical research we found that developmental levels of internally oriented EMSs, which primarily aim at internal administrative procedures, are explained mainly by the frequency of contacts with governmental authorities. For this kind of EMSs, non-commercial stakeholder groups have a major influence on the corporate environmental policy. Externally oriented EMSs, which focus on joint efforts in supply chains, are influenced by commercial groups in the business network (like suppliers, clients and competitors). The development of externally oriented EMSs requires adjustments in the composition of and interaction with the stakeholder environment by governmental agencies as well as managers in the agri-food sector. Opening up towards the stakeholder environment, by (among others) an adjustment of the information system, integrated (supply-chain wide) auditing and licensing, can enhance cost-efficiency, transparency and sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
JournalInternational Food and Agribusiness Management Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Environmental management
  • Environmental policy
  • Information system
  • Stakeholders


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