Evaluating environmental regulation in Spain using process control and preventive techniques
Because environmental regulations may be adjusted over time to reflect updated understanding or new circumstances, there may be scope for strategic behaviour too. Regulations affect not only current emission levels, but also the effect on investment in R&D or new plant and equipment and, consequently, on competitive priorities. Although most of the literature devoted to the environmental regulation highlights the effects that legislation has on the adoption of decisions related to the environment as a competitive opportunity, there is actually no strong empirical evidence which supports that argument. This is why the present paper has as its aim to identify (1) how the regulation concerning the natural environment differs across sectors and (2) how it can influence managerial perceptions of the role to be played by the natural environment as a competitive opportunity. The research work has been carried out in two phases. The first phase involved comparative case studies of eight Spanish firms; during the second, the propositions emerging from the first phase were tested through a structural equation model of 239 hotels and 208 firms affected by the IPPC law in Spain. This paper has made a contribution to the existing research literature through the examination of the similarities and differences concerning managerial decision-making in the field of natural environment regulations. Moreover, a contact point between the Porter hypothesis and its criticism is offered. In relation to practical implications, updated information about the European, National and Community environmental legislation is presented that affects firms from eight sectors. In this context, legal environmental requirements are identified so as to make easier the adoption of managerial decisions which guarantee compliance with the law and avoidance of fines.
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