CO2-Performance Ladder, The quality and usage of the obligated management documents
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Summary In 2009 ProRail (Dutch railway) established a certification scheme, the so called CO2-Performance Ladder (CO2PL). The CO2PL provides a financial bonus in some tenders of (semi)governmental organisations like ProRail. The height of the financial bonus depends on the level of the certification which can vary from 1 till 5. Companies can obtain such a certificate when specific requirements are met. Within this master thesis the use of two requirements set by the CO2PL: the Energy Management Program (EMP) and the Communication Plan (CP) is investigated. More specific, this research focuses on the extent to which companies make use of these plans to actually improve their CO2 management. This is researched because the CO2PL only states that these documents should be in place and applied in practice. To what extent the documents are used in practise and the role of the different subjects are however unclear. A case study on seven companies consisting of an evaluation of the EMP, the CP and an interview is used to answer this question. The case study shows: to what extent the EMP and CP match the obligations of the CO2PL, to what extent the management systems used by the companies match the EMP and CP and how the management documents are used in practice. In addition, a literature review on CSR is used to asses which obligations of the EMP and CP are important and why this is the case. All companies stipulate the importance of the EMP and CP. Two of the seven companies only use the documents to obtain the certificate however. They don’t use the CO2PL required documentation throughout their organization. The remaining five organisations integrate the CO2PL documents in their procedures to some extent. In two cases the documents are used by many employees. For these two companies the management system is larger (employee wise) than for the other organisations. This could imply that a larger management system per organisation is required to integrate the CO2PL in practice. The case study shows that 58% of the obligations of the CO2PL are included in the EMPs of companies and 71% of the obligations are included in the CPs. However, in practice actually 79% of the obligations of the EMP and 95% of the obligations of the CP are met in practice. This shows that companies do not strictly follow the requirements of the CO2PL within their own documents but more (approximately 20%) of the requirements are met in practice. The three obligations of the CO2PL which are most often not met in practice are: • The resources (money, time and people) by which targets are to be completed are not always included; • The EMP is not always internally and externally communicated; • The measure to ensure the CO2 reduction are not always specified per project. During the case studies three reasons have been identified why organisations do not meet the requirements set by the CO2PL: • Even though organisations are certified they are unaware of certain obligations set by the CO2PL; • Some obligations are in practice actually not useful, they do not add any value, for the organisation; • Certain outcomes of the CO2PL are actually common practice for the companies due to which these are not part of the CO2PL management system of organisations. The results shown above show that the companies do not follow the obligations of the handbook strictly. The interviews suggests that the companies use their own standards to fill the gaps of the CO2PL handbook and sometime even overrule the obligations. This is confirmed by the fact that some companies only use the documents as proof. As their standard is different from that of the CO2PL they rather not use the EMP or CP in practice in order to reach the goals. Another result that strengthens this statement is that some obligations are not met because the companies do not think the obligations are useful. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the effect is less when companies use their own standards. The CO2PL is even based on minimum obstruction of the company. A management system and documents which are specially designed for the company are more likely to be efficient. However it will be harder for the ladder CI’s to assess whether the goals of the CO2PL are reached. Therefore the CO2PL could be adapted to ensure that companies can use their own preferences but the ladder CI can also verify that the goals are reached. As a result of this research it can be concluded that the use of the EMP, CP and the effectiveness of the CO2PL management system in practice can be improved. The case studies show that requirements set by the CO2PL should be clarified and specific requirements could potentially be removed since these do not add value or are already common practice within the organisation.