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 7: Environmental Policy and Corporate Behaviour: Policy Conclusions

Nick Johnstone

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


Nick Johnstone Assessment of the effectiveness of public environmental policy measures is dependent upon a good understanding of environmental management, investment and performance within firms and facilities. This book reports on the results of a three-year project coordinated by the OECD Environment Directorate and including over 20 researchers which has sought to assess public policy initiatives through the application of econometric techniques to a database of manufacturing facilities in seven OECD countries (Japan, France, Germany, Norway, Hungary, Canada and the United States). The data were collected via a postal survey, eliciting information on firm and facility characteristics (sector, size, market, and so on), environmental management systems, tools and practices, environmental investments, performance and innovation, and the public policy framework. The analysis of the results of a survey applying the same questionnaire across a wide spectrum of facilities (size, sector, country, and so on) is one of the significant contributions of the project. There are, however, some weaknesses inherent in such an approach. Firstly, the use of a survey instrument to which responses are voluntary introduces potential bias in the sample, with weak environmental performers being under-represented. Secondly, those facilities that do respond may do so strategically, believing that their responses may have implications for future policy developments. Thirdly, since the data collected are a single cross-section, the dynamic relationships between different variables are difficult to assess. And finally, in order to ensure adequate response rates much of the data are qualitative in nature since respondents are...

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