Edited by Nick Johnstone
Chapter 3: Many a Slip ’Twixt the Cup and the Lip’: Direct and Indirect Public Policy Incentives to Improve Corporate Environmental Performance
Nick Johnstone, Matthieu Glachant, Céline Serravalle, Nicolas Riedinger and Pascale Scapecchi I. INTRODUCTION Recent empirical and theoretical work has highlighted the importance of an understanding of the ﬁrm’s decision-making procedures and organizational structure when designing and implementing public environmental policies. Indeed, most assessments of the diﬀerent public environmental policy often treat the internal workings of the ﬁrm as a ‘black box’, assuming that ﬁrms will respond in a predictable manner. Two recent policy developments in OECD countries justify a focus on organizational issues internal to ﬁrms: ● ● The growth in the use of information-based measures and voluntary approaches at the expense of mandatory policies such as economic instruments and direct regulation. An increased interest in, and the provision of incentives for, the implementation of environmental management systems and tools within the ﬁrm. The former development is certainly partly associated with the political diﬃculties associated with the introduction of strict mandatory policies, whether economic instruments or direct forms of regulation. However, it is perhaps also attributable to a belief that there are opportunities for realizing environmental improvements in a manner which is also in the commercial interest of the aﬀected ﬁrms. Whether or not such opportunities are signiﬁcant enough to warrant a re-examination 88 Direct and indirect public policy incentives 89 of existing policy frameworks remains a subject of considerable controversy. Similarly, the latter development is perhaps explained by a belief amongst public authorities (and others) that ﬁrms are not recognizing at least some cost-eﬀective abatement...
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