Environmental Policy and Corporate Behaviour

Environmental Policy and Corporate Behaviour

Edited by Nick Johnstone

For the last 30 years, analysis of the inner workings of the firm has been largely absent from economic assessments of environmental policy. Recent work has highlighted the importance of understanding a firm’s commercial motivations, decision-making procedures and organizational structure when designing and implementing public environmental policies. Environmental Policy and Corporate Behaviour responds to this need, investigating the many internal challenges faced by firms seeking to implement new policies and achieve significant and long-lasting environmental progress.

Chapter 2: Environmental Management Systems and Practices: An International Perspective

Irene Henriques and Perry Sadorsky

Subjects: business and management, management and sustainability, economics and finance, environmental economics, public sector economics, environment, environmental economics, environmental management


1 Irene Henriques and Perry Sadorsky I. INTRODUCTION In the last decade, the trend towards promoting voluntary action and pollution prevention as opposed to mandatory (command-and-control) environmental regulations that prescribe quantity limits on pollutants has increased as more governments worldwide faced and continue to face limited environmental enforcement budgets (Mintz 2001; Cohen 1998). The interest in promoting voluntary environmental action and pollution prevention has been accompanied by a growing number of businessinitiated actions to change corporate culture and management practices via the introduction of environmental management systems (EMSs), industrylevel codes of environmental management and international EMS certification programmes such as the International Standards Organization (ISO). EMSs represent an organizational change within corporations and an effort for self-regulation by defining a set of formal environmental policies, goals, strategies and administrative procedures for improving environmental performance (Coglianese and Nash 2001). In the environmental management literature, much research has been undertaken on the determinants of implementing environmental management practices, policies or systems of firms in certain industries within a specific country (Henriques and Sadorsky 1999; Darnall 2003; Sharma 2000). From an international perspective, however, little research has been undertaken and even less so at the facility level. A large cross-OECD industrial survey was conducted to obtain a better understanding of a firm’s commercial motivations, its decision-making procedures and its organizational structure vis-à-vis the design and implementation of environmental management systems (EMS) and practices. This chapter assesses the determinants of having in place an environmental management system or practices....

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