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What Determines the Decision to Implement EMAS? A European Firm Level Study


  • Bracke, Roeland

    () (Centre for Environmental Economics and Management, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium)

  • Verbeke, Tom

    () (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB), Belgium)

  • Dejonkheere, Veerle

    () (Laboratory of Food Technology and Engineering, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium)


Empirical research on the characteristics of environmentally responsive companies has focussed on US and Japanese companies. For Europe, which is commonly considered as the greenest of the three major markets, similar research is lacking. This paper seeks to fill this gap by empirically investigating business and financial characteristics, stakeholder pressures and public policies to distinguish companies that have implemented the European Eco-Management and Audit System (EMAS) from a unique firm-level dataset of European publicly quoted companies. We find that the EMAS participation decision is positively influenced by the solvency ratio, the share of non-current liabilities, the average labour cost and the absolute company size as well as the relative size of a company compared to its sector average. The profit margin exerts a negative influence. We further find that companies whose headquarters is located in a country that actively encourages EMAS have a higher probability of participation. Finally, this paper suggests that rather than attracting other kinds of companies, a favourable institutional context succeeds in convincing more of the same kind of companies to participate.

Suggested Citation

  • Bracke, Roeland & Verbeke, Tom & Dejonkheere, Veerle, 2008. "What Determines the Decision to Implement EMAS? A European Firm Level Study," Working Papers 2008/15, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:hub:wpecon:200815

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    Cited by:

    1. Patrícia Tourais & Nuno Videira, 2016. "Why, How and What do Organizations Achieve with the Implementation of Environmental Management Systems?—Lessons from a Comprehensive Review on the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(3), pages 1-25, March.
    2. Stefan Borsky & Esther Blanco, 2014. "Setting one voluntary standard in a heterogeneous Europe - EMAS, corruption and stringency of environmental regulations," Working Papers 2014-29, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    3. Stefan Ambec & Paul Lanoie, 2009. "Performance environnementale et économique de l'entreprise," Economie & Prévision, La Documentation Française, vol. 0(4), pages 71-94.
    4. Marius Bulearca & Catalin Popescu, 2014. "Dimensions Of Sustainable Development In Extractive Industry," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 6, pages 165-170, December.
    5. Marius Bulearca & Cristian Sima, 2015. "IDENTIFYING THE ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRY (International Conference “EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE OF LABOR MARKET - INOVATION, EXPERTNESS, PERFORMANCE”)," Institute for Economic Forecasting Conference Proceedings 141102, Institute for Economic Forecasting.
    6. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:3:p:283:d:66076 is not listed on IDEAS


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