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Framework for environmental performance measurement in a Swedish public sector organization
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering, Environmental Management and Assessment. (Miljöbedömning och förvaltning)
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering, Environmental Management and Assessment. (Miljöbedömning och förvaltning)
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering, Environmental Management and Assessment. (Miljöbedömning och förvaltning)
2009 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, Vol. 17, no 11, 1017-1024 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Environmental performance measurements are an important component in strategies for achieving ecologically sustainable development. However, models and frameworks for performance measurement are primarily developed for business and may not be directly applicable to public organizations. This study aimed to contribute to the development of environmental performance measurement tools for public sector organizations by developing an appropriate framework. The study is based on a case study of the Swedish Rail Administration. The main method for data collection was focus group interviews. The proposed framework presents important features of an environmental performance measurement for the public sector and is illustrated by results from the case organization. The framework was constructed using the causal-chain framework pressure-state-response (PSR) and the management system management-by-objectives (MBO), respectively measuring and managing performance towards both strategic and operational objectives. An environmental management system serves as a toolbox, encompassing and coordinating the environmental objectives and the tools for performance measurement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2009. Vol. 17, no 11, 1017-1024 p.
Keyword [en]
Performance measurement; PSR framework; Management-by-objectives (MBO); Environmental management system (EMS); Indicators; Environmental performance evaluation; Railway
National Category
Civil Engineering Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-10114DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2009.01.011ISI: 000272672800006Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-67349182613OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-10114DiVA: diva2:209084
Note
QC 20100729Available from: 2009-03-23 Created: 2009-03-23 Last updated: 2012-02-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Monitoring as an instrument for improving environmental performance in public authorities: Experience from Swedish Infrastructure Management
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Monitoring as an instrument for improving environmental performance in public authorities: Experience from Swedish Infrastructure Management
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
: Experience from Swedish Infrastructure Management
Abstract [en]

Monitoring is an important tool for gaining insight into an organisation’s environmental performance and for learning about the environmental condition and the effectiveness of environmental management measures. Development of environmental monitoring has generally relied on research aiming at improving monitoring methodology, technique or practice within a particular management tool. Little empirical research has taken into account the organisation’s reality where several management tools are used in parallel. This thesis analyses the practice of environmental monitoring in public authorities with the aim of identifying barriers and possibilities for environmental monitoring as an instrument for improving environmental performance, using the Swedish Rail Administration as a case organisation. The study identified two different types of environmental monitoring: environmental performance measurement (EPM) and activity monitoring, both important for achieving environmental improvements. EPM involves gathering and evaluating data to determine whether the organisation is meeting the criteria for environmental performance set by the management of the organisation. EPM can further be used for judging the success and failure of environmental objectives and strategies. Activity monitoring provides each project of the organisation with information to minimise the negative effects on the natural environment or human health and to ensure that the organisation’s operations conform with regulations.

Problems encountered comprised a variety of little co-ordinated monitoring activities, poor utilization of the monitoring results as well as limited internal feedback on monitoring results. Some of the problems identified seem to be an effect of the management transition from a traditional ‘command and control’ system to a self-administered organisation managed by economic incentives and voluntary management systems.

This thesis suggests several improvements to make monitoring more efficient. Primarily, the monitoring systems must have a clear structure and be adapted to its specific function. The EPE system would benefit from being integrated with the organisation’s central performance measurement, presenting progress towards organisational strategic objectives as well as operational objectives. The system for activity monitoring must not only focus on inputs and outputs to the system but must also include the environmental condition of the system. In order to improve communication and learning, monitoring data within both EPE and activity monitoring must be better transmitted and utilised within the structure of the permanent organisation. Experience from all monitoring activities that now is scattered and inaccessible to the individuals of the organisation could beneficially be stored within a well-structured organisational ‘memory‘. Such a system would facilitate an iterative management process where the monitoring results and the knowledge gained are used for making future plans and projects more adaptive, thereby improving the environmental performance of the organisation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2009. xiv,36 p.
Series
Trita-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 1048
Keyword
Environmental Management System (EMS); Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) follow-up; Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA); Environmental Performance Evaluation (EPE); organisational learning; Railway
National Category
Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-10117 (URN)978-91-7415-265-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-04-17, F3, Lindstedtsväg 26, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100729Available from: 2009-03-24 Created: 2009-03-23 Last updated: 2010-07-29Bibliographically approved

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