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

  • Arimura, Toshi H.
  • Hibiki, Akira
  • Katayama, Hajime

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.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WJ6-4RVG3FN-2/1/53d3719c0f67be8faaf26b33a3589a1b
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 55 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 281-295

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:55:y:2008:i:3:p:281-295
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

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  1. Anton, W.R.Q.Wilma Rose Q. & Deltas, George & Khanna, Madhu, 2004. "Incentives for environmental self-regulation and implications for environmental performance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 632-654, July.
  2. Hamilton James T., 1995. "Pollution as News: Media and Stock Market Reactions to the Toxics Release Inventory Data," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 98-113, January.
  3. Rennings, Klaus & Ziegler, Andreas, 2004. "Determinants of Environmental Innovations in Germany: Do Organizational Measures Matter? A Discrete Choice Analysis at the Firm Level," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-30, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. Eric W. Welch & Allan Mazur & Stuart Bretschneider, 2000. "Voluntary behavior by electric utilities: Levels of adoption and contribution of the climate challenge program to the reduction of carbon dioxide," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(3), pages 407-425.
  5. Dasgupta, Susmita & Hettige, Hemamala & Wheeler, David, 2000. "What Improves Environmental Compliance? Evidence from Mexican Industry," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 39-66, January.
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