The Practice of Environmental Training: A case of ISO 14001 Certified Businesses in Durban, South Africa
Environmental management has moved from a policy concept to a proactive strategy defining business responsiveness to stakeholder and market-related pressures towards improved environmentally sustainable business practices. There is increasing business responsiveness through corporate sustainability and environmental management practices. A growing number of environmental regulations make the adoption of environmental management systems such as ISO 14001 more common and this necessitates training. While environmental training is receiving international attention, it is seemingly less prominently investigated in the South African context. In this article, results from an empirical study into the environmental training practices of Durban businesses are presented. By applying the ISO 14001 certification criterion, 24 businesses were identified as research participants. The practice of environmental training was investigated considering three themes i.e. environmental attitudes and culture, training resources and commitment, and impediments to environmental training. In exploring these themes, the main questions of the extent of environmental training and its effectiveness are determined. It was found that environmental training is widely practised across all businesses sampled, with impact-focused training topics supported by positive environmental attitudes. However, other areas emerge as problematic, including limited organisational prioritisation of environmental training as well as insufficient further training topics which can limit the efficacy of training activities.
Keywords: environmental training; environmental education; ISO 14001; Environmental Management Systems; corporate sustainability
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