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Promoting Pollution Prevention in Small Businesses: Costs and Benefits of the “Enviroclub” Initiative

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    The Enviroclub initiative was developed by three federal government agencies—Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, Environment Canada and the National Research Council Canada—and launched in 2001 to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in improving their profitability and competitiveness through enhanced environmental performance. An Enviroclub consists of a group of 10-15 SMEs involved in training sessions on environmental management and carrying out at least one profitable in-plant pollution prevention project. The objective of this article is to provide a cost benefit analysis (CBA) of this original initiative in order to inform policy makers as to the social desirability of such programs. One of the main social benefits of this initiative is to reduce emissions of various pollutants, so that one of our largest challenges is to place a value on these environmental improvements. To do so, we use the “environmental value transfer” method to obtain values from previous relevant studies. We conduct our CBA at three different levels: we consider the costs and benefits first for the whole of society, then from the participating firms’ point of view and, finally, from the governments’ perspective. We conclude that, whichever perspective we choose, The Enviroclub initiative has been highly profitable.

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    File URL: http://www.hec.ca/iea/cahiers/2011/iea_1102_planoie.pdf
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    Paper provided by HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 11-02.

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    Length: 26 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:iea:carech:1102
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    1. Spash, Clive L. & Vatn, Arild, 2006. "Transferring environmental value estimates: Issues and alternatives," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 379-388, December.
    2. Muller, Nicholas Z. & Mendelsohn, Robert, 2007. "Measuring the damages of air pollution in the United States," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-14, July.
    3. Georges Dionne & Paul Lanoie, 2004. "Public Choice about the Value of a Statistical Life for Cost-Benefit Analyses: The Case of Road Safety," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 38(2), pages 247-274, May.
    4. Dachraoui, Kais & Harchaoui, Tarek, 2004. "Water Use, Shadow Prices and the Canadian Business Sector Productivity Performance," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2004026e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
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