Environmental Management in Proactive Commercial Firms: Lessons for Central Logistics Activities in the Department of Defense, Issue 1308
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.
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