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Corporate Environmental Management of Private Businesses in Saudi Arabia

By Samia S. Magbool


The implementation of corporate environmental management system has become an essential part of running any business to attempt to achieve sustainable development. No previous studies in Saudi Arabia have been conducted to explore the use of environmental management systems. The objective of this thesis was to investigate the attitudes and levels of awareness of business managers towards their companies' environmental practices and to determine how far private Saudi companies are taking up environmental management. Different factors like the demographic features of the private Saudi companies, some important drivers and barriers that affect the levels of taking up corporate environmental policies and practices were explored and discussed.\ud \ud \ud Two studies, qualitative and quantitative studies, were conducted to bridge this gap of knowledge. The survey method was used for the quantitative study (N=176), while a semi-structured interview was developed to run the qualitative study for a sample of 18 representatives from six companies to confirm and elaborate on the findings of the quantitative study. The results of these two studies showed that some demographic features of the company may have an effect on the uptake of CEM. It also showed the significance of a number of themes (i.e. environmental initiatives, organizational support, environmental operations, and environmental responsibility) in the uptake of sound environmental practices and procedures.\ud \ud \ud The study also classified Saudi Arabian companies, according to the perception of their employees, in terms of their level of environmental performance into three categories; the Inactive/unaware, the Concerned-inactive, and Potentially proactive (ICP). Most of the companies investigated fell in the first category (51%) and second (27%) category which indicates that Saudi Arabia is still to begin developing in this area.\ud \ud \ud Overall, the perceived level of the CEM performance of Saudi private companies is low due to the lack of enforcement of environmental laws, the philosophy of top management, the absence of environmental protection societies and an organizational structure in companies that does not support implementation of an EMS

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