New Perspectives in Research on Corporate Sustainability series
Edited by Rolf Wüstenhagen, Jost Hamschmidt, Sanjay Sharma and Mark Starik
Chapter 11: Is the European Pollutant Emission Register an Effective Instrument for Disciplining Companies?
11. Is the European Pollutant Emission Register an eﬀective instrument for disciplining companies? Joaquín Cañón-de-Francia, Concepción Garcés-Ayerbe and Marisa Ramírez-Alesón1 Market-based environmental regulation instruments attempt to encourage a certain type of behaviour through market signals, rather than through explicit directives regarding pollution control levels or methods (Stavins, 2003). Within the limits of this deﬁnition we ﬁnd what Tietenberg (1998), Tietenberg and Wheeler (2001), Cohen (2002) and others have called the ‘third wave’ of environmental regulation, based on the use of quasiregulatory instruments such as the disclosure of information to the public about the pollution generated by each individual ﬁrm. Environmental information disclosure strategies consist of ‘public and/or private attempts to increase the availability of information on pollution to workers, consumers, shareholders and the public at large’ (Tietenberg and Wheeler, 2001: 87). The normative basis of this instrument of environmental regulation is the ‘right to know’, the right of all citizens to know to what extent they are aﬀected by risks derived from environmental pollution (Cohen, 2001, 2002). The best-known example of this environmental information disclosure requirement is the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) database promoted in the USA by the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986. First published in 1989, information on the emission of up to 300 toxic chemical compounds by each of the aﬀected ﬁrms was made available under the programme. In the European context, public access to an inventory of toxic emissions was originally...
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