Date of Graduation

Fall 12-18-2015

Document Type

Project/Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)

College/School

College of Arts and Sciences

Department/Program

Environmental Management

First Advisor

Stephanie Ohshita

Abstract

The roles and responsibilities of Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) professionals have expanded over the last several decades. Initially focused solely on reducing a firm's ecological impact, many EHS professionals are now tasked with managing a firm's cultural shift towards sustainability. EHS professionals need to develop proactive environmental strategies that further interconnect the environmental, social, and economic performance goals of the firm. Using a concept analysis and integrative literature review approach, the research examines the evolving role of corporate environmental management and evaluates strategic management tools for environmental compliance, environmental performance, and corporate sustainability. The research reveals that the role of the EHS professional will continue to evolve towards corporate sustainability management, where EHS professionals must shift the perception of EHS professionals from "compliance cops" to "change agents." EHS professionals can drive the cultural shift towards corporate sustainability and perception towards "change agents" when they are able to employ proactive environmental strategies as opportunities to improve a firm's competitive advantage and enhance corporate social responsibility. Utilizing a baseline strategic management framework, EHS professionals can exercise the benefits of various corporate sustainability management tools through an integrated management systems approach to develop proactive environmental strategies that lead to a firm's competitive advantage, corporate social responsibility and overall corporate sustainability.