Drivers, barriers and incentives to implementing environmental management systems in the food industry: A case of Lebanon

May A. Massoud, Rabih Fayad, Mutasem El-Fadel, Rabih Kamleh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    208 Scopus citations


    The shift in policy towards prevention and towards making producers responsible for the pollution they cause has lead corporations to limit environmental liabilities through the improvement of environmental performance. The implementation of an Environmental Management System integrates the precautionary and polluter pays principles into a firm's operations and demonstrates commitment to sustainable development. This research aims at assessing the factors influencing the implementation of ISO 14001 Environmental Management System in developing countries taking the Food Industry in Lebanon as a case example. For this purpose, primary data were collected using a field survey questionnaire that was administered to a representative sample of facilities. The results revealed that the food industry is generally more concerned with safety and quality issues rather than environmental issues. Following international food sector trend, improving environmental performance and enhancing company image are the most salient drivers to adopt ISO 14001. The lack of government support and stakeholder demand as well as the fact that ISO 14001 is not a legal requirement constitute the most salient factors hindering the adoption of the standard. Economical and organizational factors are the most significant incentives required to motivate the food industry to adopt ISO 14001. The industry is less likely to voluntarily consider adopting ISO 14001 before acquiring a quality management certification or until ISO 14001 certification gain more recognition in the international food sector. The study defines the foundations for developing strategies, policy reforms and incentive schemes to reduce the barriers of implementing ISO 14001.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)200-209
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Feb 2010


    • Barriers
    • Drivers
    • Food industry
    • Incentives
    • ISO 14001
    • Lebanon


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