Chandrashekar, A., Dougless, T. & Avery, G.C.  1999.

The environment is free: The quality analogy.

Journal of Quality Management, 4(1), 123-143.

This paper argues that quality improvement approaches can be applied in the environmental context. Although environmental issues can occasionally negatively impact an organization’s core business, most environmental programs, if properly channeled, can lead to both improved profitability and increased social responsibility. It is argued that time-proven techniques that have helped reduce quality costs and improve market share can provide similar results when applied to many environmental problems.

Techniques based on the Total Quality Environmental Management (TQEM) philosophy (which is based on integrating Total Quality Management (TQM) methods and environmental management methods) are already being used by many organizations. This paper builds upon the TQEM concept (which emphasizes four basic elements: customer identification, continuous improvement, do the job right the first time and a systems approach to work) by showing how other principles used in quality management can also be applied to environmental management. The issues are then illustrated through a case study of a leading German manufacturer, Bosch-Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH.

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