EMAS and ISO 14001 in the German industry – complements or substitutes?

Friederike Neugebauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)
709 Downloads (Pure)


The two environmental management system (EMS) standards EMAS and ISO 14001 have been available in Europe for the last 15 years. ISO 14001 has been taken up at a much larger scale but many firms in the German automotive and engineering industry have certified their EMSs according to both standards. Two research questions are addressed: (i) What explains why companies adopt both EMAS and ISO 14001? (ii) Are EMAS and ISO 14001 complements or substitutes? Based on 21 interviews with industrial and institutional representatives, this study finds that, first, the two standards are adopted for completely different reasons: while ISO 14001 is often done as a response to external pressure, EMAS tends to be motivated internally. Second, it is argued that EMAS and ISO 14001 are likely in a situation of direct competition at present which may well turn into complementarity in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249–256
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management


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