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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|6468||2009||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Ecological Economics, Volume 68, Issue 3, 15 January 2009, Pages 719–730
In this paper we explore the motivation for the introduction of environmental management systems, and their certification. A distinction is drawn between their role in bringing about better compliance or improved performance, and as external indicators of good environmental practices to both other market participants and regulatory authorities. Drawing upon a database of approximately 4000 facilities in seven OECD countries, empirical evidence is found for the role that both factors play in encouraging the adoption and certification of EMS's, but that the relative importance of different factors varies according to facility size.
Environmental management systems (EMS's) are usually viewed as playing a causal role in bringing about either: a) improved environmental performance and compliance; or, b) comparable environmental performance and compliance at lower cost (Potoski and Prakash, 2005a). Indeed, both regulators and buyers are increasingly concerned about the quality of facilities' environmental management. The most widespread EMS standard (ISO 14001) mandates the introduction of an explicit corporate environmental policy, including: the identification of the environmental impacts of its activities; the identification of legal and other requirements relating to its activities; the establishment of an audit and review system; and procedures to rectify any shortcomings identified. Implemented effectively, such measures can help facilities improve their environmental performance. For this reason examples of “management-based regulation” are increasingly common, with the implicit assumption that good management will lead to good performance (Bennear, 2007). However, the widespread view that EMS's are a reflection of “better” environmental stewardship has also raised the possibility that certified EMS's serve as a signaling device, informing others that they are managing their environmental impacts efficiently.1 Since the quality of environmental management is not readily observable, this is an area characterized by strong information asymmetries.2 As such, it can be a good strategy for facilities to provide information on their environmental management practices to both regulators and buyers. In this paper, we argue this is one of the reasons why facilities decide to implement an EMS.3 In the event that the primary motivation for the introduction of an EMS relates to the role that it plays in bringing about improved environmental performance, the motivation is internal to the facility. In the event that the primary motivation relates to the perceptions of others, the motivation is external, with the certified EMS acting as a “signal” to others. It is important to note that unless EMS brings about improved environmental performance, the latter motivation will not be sustainable. Indeed Spence (1973) argues that a strategy based upon signaling which provides misleading information (i.e. does not reflect superior environment management in this case) will not be viable in the longer-term. In this paper we explore the role that certified EMS's play as a signaling device toward regulators and potential buyers through the use of a database covering over 4000 manufacturing facilities. The database is unique in that it provides information on those facilities which have not introduced EMS's, those which have done so, but not certified them, and those which have done so and certified them by third parties. The distinction between these three groups is important since the motivations for implementing an EMS may be largely internal, while the motivation for certification may be external. As King et al. (2006) point out, collapsing these two decisions in the analysis can be misleading. The paper provides a number of advances on previous literature. Firstly, the database covers a broad range of facilities, with observations from facilities with more than 50 employees in all manufacturing sectors in seven OECD countries (France, Norway, Hungary, Germany, Canada, United States, Japan). This allows for much greater variation in the data, particularly the policy variables. Since regulatory frameworks differ significantly by country, sector, and facility size the sample allows for a more robust assessment of the impacts of policy variation. (See Johnstone et al., 2007a for a comparison of policy frameworks across these vectors.) In addition, data on market structure and other factors which influence EMS adoption and certification is included in the analysis. However, the most important advance on previous work is the rich characterisation of the environmental policy framework, including general policy measures as well as policy incentives which are targeted directly at EMS adoption and certification. In particular, relative to previous literature (King et al., 2006, Toffel, 2005, Terlaak and King, 2006 and King et al., 2006) we are able to examine whether the EMS certification decision serves as a signal to public regulators, and not just private sector supply chain partners. For instance, Potoski and Prakash (2005a) estimate the impact of ISO certification on compliance with regulations, but not whether a reduction in regulatory scrutiny is an incentive to certify an EMS. To the extent that policymakers come to see EMS's as a reflection of good environmental performance, an understanding of the role of regulatory “signaling” as a motivation for their adoption and certification becomes increasingly important. Overall, our results provide support for the view that in addition to their perceived role in bringing about improved environmental performance, facilities implement and certify EMS to signal to others in the market, particularly when there is significant potential for asymmetry of information between the facility in question and those that they are trying to signal, confirming findings reported in Terlaak and King (2006). In addition, we find strong evidence that certification serves as a signal to regulatory authorities, although the intended recipients of the signal appear to differ by facility size. The remainder of the paper is organized as follow. Section 2 presents some theoretical arguments as of why firms decide to implement EMS. Section 3 describes the data set and provides descriptive statistics. Section 4 presents our estimation strategy provides the results. The last section concludes and presents some policy implications.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Motivations for the introduction of EMS's are of increasing importance to policymakers. However, a distinction must be drawn between factors that relate primarily to the implementation of an EMS, and factors that relate to certification. In many cases these two sets of factors will be the same, but their relative importance will vary depending upon the importance of EMS's in bringing about improved environmental performance and in advertising this to others (signaling). The data collected allows us to distinguish between the decision to implement and EMS and have it certified. The results are telling. On the one hand, the descriptive data indicates that facilities with certified EMS's are more likely to have a variety of other environmental management tools in place. In addition, policy stringency is marginally more important when the two decisions are distinguished in an ordered probit model rather than a simple probit model where certified and uncertified EMS's are treated together. On the other hand, the variable reflecting whether a company competes on the basis of corporate image is only significant when these two decisions are distinguished. There are, however, differences across different sizes of facility. Cost factors are the most important for smaller facilities, with both the provision of financial assistance and profitability being significant. The latter coefficient is no longer significant for larger facilities. For all samples the presence of a quality management system has a positive effect, reflecting economies of scope between the two management measures. Signaling regulators only matters for the largest facilities (above 250 employees), as reflected in the positive and significant effect of perceived reduction in inspection frequency. Signaling to supply partners also matters, but this is also particularly important for facilities above 100 employees. The likelihood of implementing and certifying an EMS is greater if larger facilities are distant from buyers. In addition, if the corporate headquarters is overseas this also has an important influence for the largest facilities. On the basis of the results it would seem that “signaling” is a strong motivation for the adoption and certification of EMS's, at least for larger facilities. However, a full assessment of its relative importance is dependent upon reliable environmental and commercial performance data, as well as data on the presence and certification of EMS's, and public policy influences. Unfortunately such data is not available for a cross-section of countries. However, given that governments are providing incentives for the introduction of EMS's a fuller understanding of the motivations for, and effects of, their introduction is required.