Implementation of ISO 14001 in Leather Industry in Ethiopia: The case of Ethiopian Tannery Share Company

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Addis Ababa University


The study managed to investigate the ISO 14001 implementation process and its implication on environmental performance of organization, the management and equipments of ETSC. The study focused on examining selected issues such as: opportunity and motivation to implement EMS based on ISO 14001; obstacles during system designing that impeded a good judgment, systematic planning and cultural building; the role of environmental training to create personnel that is competent to handle the work and believe as part of the EMS; operational control mechanism in order to prevent, control and avoid adverse effects; and interactions and relationships with stakeholders to support and influence environmental stewardship of tanneries. To achieve this 0 bjective, a multifaceted methods are e mployed that include content and progressive analysis of the tannery EMS and stakeholder document, observation, interview with key informants, community survey and FGD. Accordingly, the study identified that the mainforces behind the adoption of ISO 14001 in the tannery were external drives such as ECPC free consultation service and advantage of ISO 14001 certificate as green passport to developed world market. However, the tal1l7ely's EMS lacked motivation from stringent government command and control action and social responsibility of the tannery. The study also highlighted the benefits of environmental considerations as a result of resources utilization of byproduct (glue making and hair saving) and source reduction of Chromium. The result has shown the difficulties of linking and interpreting of environmental policy to the tannery's activities environmental aspects identification, prediction, evaluation and EMP preparation. The study also revealed the lack of objectivity (measuring) and system approach (integration) of the designing part of the tannery's EMS by focusing on pollution prevention, regulatolY requirement, the concern of interested parties and feedback mechanism to maintain and obtain a continual improvement of environmental performance spiral. Implementation of the system has not caused the tannery to focus and build environmentally conscious workers as well as operation control for virtually working system that should go beyond compliant performances. The result also highlighted that the tannelY 's EMS has had little effect to consider the concern of nearby community. The stakes of stakeholders have been synthesized and resulted in primaly (EPA, MTI and EPa), Intermedialy(ELIA) and secondary(QSAE, LLPTI and ECPC) scale even though stakeholder gave very little attention to influence and support the implementation of ISO 14001 in the countly's leather sector. In conclusion, there are strong demands for government support to build more reliable and continually improving EMS. This includes stakeholders to be integrated, ISO 14001 related research, more positive incentive (tax exemption, elongated tax holiday, facilitation of knowledge and technology transfel) for firms performing sustainable environmental behavior and disincentives (denying benefits, negative publicity and strict follow up) for those who are not. Keywords: designing phase; environmental policy; environmental training; ETSC; EMS based on ISO 14001; operational control; stakeholders



designing phase, environmental policy, environmental training, ETSC, EMS, based on ISO 14001, operational control, stakeholders