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Cleaner production, environmental sustainability and organizational performance: an empirical study in the Brazilian Metal-Mechanic industry

Severo, Eliana Andréa, Guimarães, Julio Cesar Ferro de, Dorion, Eric Charles Henri, Nodari, Cristine Hermann
Journal of cleaner production 2015 v.96 pp. 118-125
agricultural machinery and equipment, biomass, business enterprises, consumers (people), cost effectiveness, ecosystems, environmental impact, environmental sustainability, globalization, industrialization, industry, pollution, structural equation modeling, surveys, Brazil
As a result of globalization and industrial development, concerns about pollution and the environment encompass a global level, considering that any environmental degradation can undermine an entire local ecosystem and may generate negative impacts on different biomass. Accordingly, organizations can minimize their environmental impact, by making use of environmental practices such as methodologies on cleaner production. The Automotive Metal-Mechanic Cluster of Serra Gaúcha, Brazil, is known as an important industrial Pole in Brazil, due to its high concentration of spare parts, agricultural machinery and transport vehicles production companies. This Cluster is currently the second largest of its kind in Brazil. Therefore, this study aimed to analyze the relationship between the concepts of cleaner production, environmental sustainability and organizational performance in 298 companies of the Serra Gaúcha Cluster. A survey was realized and Structural Equation Modeling was implemented for data analysis. The results show that those Serra Gaúcha companies seek alternative processes to reduce costs and contribute to the company's image for their customers. It was also observed that Cleaner Production practices influence environmental sustainability, as well as organizational performance; showing that cleaner production methodologies contribute to increase production capacity and flexibility and improve aspects of health and safety. Finally, it is worth noting that companies in the Serra Gaúcha tend to become committed to environmental sustainability, to the welfare of their workers, to society and its environment; adapting to such reality either by coercive and normative pressures.