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Sustainable Development in the Transport Sector: Influencing Environmental Behaviour and Performance


Correspondence to: Peter Oberhofer, WU Vienna, Nordbergstrasse 15, 1090 Vienna, Austria. E–mail:


Sustainable Development and Environmental Policy are becoming increasingly important in the development of business strategies. Consequently, corporate road freight transport comes under particular scrutiny due to its substantial impact on the environment. This paper explores the implementation of environmental management in the Austrian road freight transport sector. A model based on an extensive literature review is developed and adapted to show the impact of attitude, company size and sector affiliation. It is tested using data from a quantitative survey. Based on an extensive literature review a model of influencing factors is developed and tested using data from a quantitative survey. According to our findings, we adopted the model with respect to the impact of attitude, company size and sector affiliation. Although decision-makers' attitudes have a significant influence on the companies' actual environmental performance, firm size and sector affiliation are shown to have a far greater influence. It is therefore necessary to offer external incentives and support in order to improve environmental behaviour, especially among smaller and transport companies. Such instruments, however, need to be aligned on an international basis and across industries to prevent friction and competitive disadvantage. In addition to policy intervention (legal restrictions and incentives) and improvements on a corporate level, consumer awareness should be raised in order to create public pressure for companies to implement environmental management. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

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