IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Theoretical perspectives on strategic environmental management


  • Don Goldstein

    () (Department of Economics, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA 16335, USA)


Strategic Environmental Management (SEM) incorporates into firms' core strategies the transformation of products and processes that they believe an environmentally concerned society will increasingly demand. Significant threads have to do with the discovery of cost savings and market opportunities from reducing environmental impacts. SEM, like the environmental regulation hypothesis associated with Michael Porter, implies that society's efforts to reduce external environmental costs often lead to identification of hitherto-ignored or undeveloped profit possibilities. This would be surprising from the standpoint of neoclassical economic theory, to the extent that SEM utilizes available information about the potential costs and benefits of projects. Within the framework of evolutionary, capabilities-based theories of the firm, however, this discovery and its exploitation in SEM make perfect sense. Capabilities theory would imply that firms' intrinsic path dependence may previously have obscured such opportunities. This paper examines the theory of SEM, its implications for neoclassical and capabilities theories of the firm, and survey results drawn from the author's work with member companies in a regional pollution prevention roundtable.

Suggested Citation

  • Don Goldstein, 2002. "Theoretical perspectives on strategic environmental management," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 12(5), pages 495-524.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:12:y:2002:i:5:p:495-524

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Ambec, Stefan & Barla, Philippe, 2005. "Can Environmental Regulations be Good for Business? an Assessment of the Porter Hypothesis," Cahiers de recherche 0505, Université Laval - Département d'économique.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:12:y:2002:i:5:p:495-524. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.