(Dr. Bert Bras, advisor)
"Development and Implementation of an Environmental Impact Assessment Tool for use within Small- to Medium-Sized Enterprises"
In today’s competitive marketplace, manufacturing companies are recognizing the importance of considering their financial, environmental, and social performance when measuring the success of their company. While the need to assess the environmental performance of a company’s operations exists, the availability of specific tools to accomplish this is lacking; especially for Small- to Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). The goal of this work was to develop an Environmental Impact Assessment tool that is appropriate for use by SMEs, which is easy to use yet gives sufficiently accurate environmental impact information. This work has been accomplished through three real-world case studies conducted within SMEs across different industry sectors and company sizes. Through these case studies, a specific tool was developed using the Activity-Based Costing and Environmental Management (ABCEM) methodology as a foundation. Insight gained through the case studies has been used to provide the following results: (1) An EIA tool that is appropriate for use by manufacturing SMEs in a range of industry sectors. (2) A deeper understanding of the characteristics of this tool that can make it more apt to be institutionalized within a company. (3) Insight into the characteristics of a company that would make the implementation of the EIA tool appropriate and effective.