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Environmental Care Strategies and Ecosystem Health: Case Study of the Manufacturing Firms in Langat River Basin, Malaysia

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Author(s): Er Ah Choy

Journal: Journal of Sustainability Science and Management
ISSN 1823-8556

Volume: 5;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 68;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: environmental care | systems theory | ecosystem health | market-driven needs | profit maximization

ABSTRACT
The aim of this paper is to analyze the adoption of environmental care strategies by manufacturing firms and their impacts on ecosystem health A conceptual framework based on the core concepts of environmental care, systems theory and ecosystem health is formulated The chosen area of study is manufacturing firms located within the Langat River Basin, Malaysia. The findings of this study indicate that in terms of inputs, the major forces driving the adoption of environmental care strategies are meeting market-driven needs via product quality and profit maximization via cost efficiency for vendor selection and the R&D focus on product development. As a result, ecosystem health has become the indirect beneficiary. The lack of R&D effort on the usage of new materials can have detrimental effect on ecosystem health if there is a faster draw-down on non-renewable resources. For the transformation process, investing in the best available technology is highly dependent on deep financial pockets, which in turn underpinned by the overarching concerns of market-driven needs and in tandem profit maximization. Energy conservation in the production process has not met with much success and as such has an adverse impact on ecosystem health. Compliance with the various certifications has morphed into standard operating procedures. These certifications, containing ecological characteristics, helped gain access to developed markets and in turn bring about direct and indirect positive impacts on ecosystem health. However, the lack of continuous upgrading of waste management system has an adverse impact on ecosystem health. For outputs, environmental care in the form of product standards especially eco-standards to fulfil the demands of developed markets has a positive impact on ecosystem health. Likewise, waste disposal methods abiding to environmental regulations also help in sustaining ecosystem health.
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