Customer satisfaction is recognized as a major benefit of implementing and developing an environmental management system (EMS). Companies implementing ISO 14000 standards should adopt a strategic, proactive focus on the customer's requirement based on understanding which attributes of an EMS are more relevant to customers and meeting their needs. In the paper, an analytical framework for such a strategic analysis is presented. It is based on the utilization of the analytic hierarchic process (AHP) and consists of four major steps: (i) analysing the importance of the various elements of an EMS for the customers; (ii) benchmarking own performance against competitors; (iii) analysing the strengths and weaknesses of the company against competitors and (iv) defining customer-satisfaction-oriented plans. The effectiveness of the framework is tested with a real application to a large manufacturer of bottling machines and equipment that has recently implemented ISO 14000 standards.
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