The objective of this paper is to analyze the influence of the sources of motivation that lead companies to adopt a global standard of the Environmental Management System and the barriers found in the process, on the perceived benefits of the implementation and certification of the standard. To achieve the objectives proposed, primary data were collected using a survey questionnaire that was administered to a representative sample of companies certified as EMAS-Eco-Management and Audit Scheme of the Autonomous Community of Galicia (sample of 114 of the 255 companies). An extensive review of the academic literature published on ISO 14001 and EMAS about motivations, barriers and benefits was carried out in order to establish the working hypotheses that are analyzed using structural equation models as the statistical tool. The findings of this study show that the motivations positively affect the benefits derived from implementation, noting that the internal motivations (related to efficiency; improved performance, productivity and profitability) have a stronger influence on the benefits than the external motivations (related to stakeholders’ social pressure). In addition, the motivations also affect the perceived barriers, and these affect the benefits negatively, i.e., the higher the barriers encountered, the lower the perceived benefits. The results obtained allow us to identify important implications for managers, which will help them establish management strategies in the field of environmental management.
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