The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Environmental management systems and the Third Sector: exploring weak adoption in the UK

Edwards, Rebecca, Smith, Graham and Buchs, Milena (2013) Environmental management systems and the Third Sector: exploring weak adoption in the UK Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 31, (1), pp. 119-133. (doi:10.1068/c11123).

Record type: Article


The environment has become an increasingly prominent consideration across the third sector in the UK. However, while there has been an ‘audit explosion’ in relation
to demonstrating the social mission of third sector organisations (TSOs), this has not transferred to the management of environmental impacts. This paper offers the first assessment of the development and adoption of environmental management systems (EMSs) across the third sector. Through a comparison with the experience of the private sector, analysis of key documents, interviews with third sector and government actors, and case studies of TSOs that have applied and/or adapted EMSs, the paper provides evidence of a relatively low level of innovation in this area. The paper concludes with reflections on the tensions associated with the future development of EMSs across the third sector, in particular the ambiguous role of government policy.

PDF EMS_paper_Jan_2012_final.pdf - Author's Original
Download (298kB)

More information

Published date: 2013
Organisations: Politics & International Relations


Local EPrints ID: 336272
ISSN: 0263-774X
PURE UUID: 38eed25d-4edb-4db3-b7b3-f65dcea3db8d

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Mar 2012 16:54
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:08

Export record



Author: Rebecca Edwards
Author: Graham Smith
Author: Milena Buchs

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.