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IMPLEMENTING ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS IN A CLUSTER OF MUNICIPALITIES: A CASE STUDY

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Author(s): Serena Botta | Claudio Comoglio

Journal: American Journal of Environmental Sciences
ISSN 1553-345X

Volume: 9;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 410;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Environmental Management Systems | ISO 14001 and EMAS | Cluster Approach | Municipality | Local Sustainability

ABSTRACT
Local authorities are showing an increasing interest in implementing Environmental Management Systems (EMS) according to ISO 14001/EMAS as a tool for better dealing with their environmental issues. However, to improve the status of an environmental component or the efficiency of an environmental service often exceeds the boundaries and the competences of a single municipality; furthermore EMS implementation can require significant human and financial resources which could not be faced by small organizations. In order to cope with the above problems a methodology for implementing an EMS in a cluster of municipalities is presented, with the aim of exploiting the possible synergies for sharing knowledge and resources and creating scaleeconomies to better deal with the environmental issues of the whole territory, both at cluster and at single municipality level. The proposed method was tested in a cluster of 33 small municipalities located in NW Italy, leading to the ISO 14001/EMAS certification of each organization. In this study the main methodological steps for implementing the proposed cluster approach and some significant outcomes of its application in the case study are presented.
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