Is a voluntary approach an effective environmental policy instrument?. A case for environmental management systems

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193 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using Japanese facility-level data from an OECD survey, we estimate the effects of implementation of ISO14001 and publication of environmental reports on the facilities' environmental performance. While most previous studies focused on an index of emissions toxicity, this study examines three areas of impacts, none of which have been explored in the literature: natural resource use, solid waste generation, and wastewater effluent. The study is also unique in that the effectiveness of ISO14001 is considered in relation to environmental regulations. Our findings are summarized as follows. First, both ISO14001 and report publication help reduce all three impacts; the former appears more effective in all areas except wastewater. Second, environmental regulations do not weaken the effect of ISO14001. Third, assistance programs offered by local governments-a voluntary approach-promote facilities' adoption of ISO14001. These findings suggest that governments can use command-and-control and voluntary approaches concurrently.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-295
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Environmental Economics and Management
Volume55
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008 May
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

voluntary approach
environmental management
wastewater
OECD
resource use
solid waste
local government
natural resource
effluent
toxicity
effect
environmental policy instrument
regulation
Environmental policy instruments
Environmental management system
Voluntary approach
Waste water
Environmental regulation

Keywords

  • Discrete choice model
  • Endogeneity
  • Environmental impacts
  • Environmental management systems
  • Environmental reports
  • GHK simulator
  • Governmental assistance programs
  • ISO14001
  • Voluntary actions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

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abstract = "Using Japanese facility-level data from an OECD survey, we estimate the effects of implementation of ISO14001 and publication of environmental reports on the facilities' environmental performance. While most previous studies focused on an index of emissions toxicity, this study examines three areas of impacts, none of which have been explored in the literature: natural resource use, solid waste generation, and wastewater effluent. The study is also unique in that the effectiveness of ISO14001 is considered in relation to environmental regulations. Our findings are summarized as follows. First, both ISO14001 and report publication help reduce all three impacts; the former appears more effective in all areas except wastewater. Second, environmental regulations do not weaken the effect of ISO14001. Third, assistance programs offered by local governments-a voluntary approach-promote facilities' adoption of ISO14001. These findings suggest that governments can use command-and-control and voluntary approaches concurrently.",
keywords = "Discrete choice model, Endogeneity, Environmental impacts, Environmental management systems, Environmental reports, GHK simulator, Governmental assistance programs, ISO14001, Voluntary actions",
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