With growing demand from stakeholders, Vietnamese shoe factories desperately need to effectively implement sound EHS management systems. The ISO14001 and OSHAS 18001 standards ("the Standards") have emerged as effective EHS management tools to serve those needs. However, the Vietnamese shoe industry has very limited experience in implementing those standards. They also do not understand the concept of cost-effectiveness and the challenges of implementation. Small medium enterprises anticipated difficulties in technology improvement required by the ISO 14001 due to resources limitation and all local companies concern about cost prohibited certification and no tangible market benefits (Greening Trade in Vietnam, 16). The purpose of this study was to identify the drivers, the values added, the challenges and the success factors of implementing the Standards at three shoe factories in Vietnam. The results tend to indicate that: 1) the key drivers of implementing the Standards were from stakeholder chain of actions, i.e. corporate policy, multinationals, customers, NGOs and labor groups. There was a shift from external directed to internal values regarding implementing standards at the studied factories; 2) implementing the Standards was value added. The benefits outweigh the costs. The key benefits include reduced injury, reduced waste handling costs and improved multinationals (clients) satisfaction; 3) key challenges include the workforce's lack of knowledge of EHS Standards, no existing trade specific ISO 14001 and 18001 model at the time of implementing the Standards and the lack of standardized waste treatment and disposal facilities; and 4) key success factors include leadership's commitment and employees' involvement, top-down management , employee empowerment, and training. Most importantly, the study demonstrates evidence of successful implementing the Standards in shoe factories in Vietnam with improved EHS results.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Shoe industry--Vietnam--management--Case studies; Industrial hygiene--Vietnam--Management; ISO 14001 Standard

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Environmental, Health and Safety Management (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Civil Engineering Technology Environmental Management and Safety (CAST)


Maureen Valentine

Advisor/Committee Member

Joseph M. Rosenbeck


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at HD9787.V5 L36 2005


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