Environmental Policy and Corporate Behaviour
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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.
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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, Pascale Scapecchi and Nicola Riedinger

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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...

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