Is a Voluntary Approach an Effective Environmental Policy Instrument? A Case for Environmental Management Systems

31 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2007 Last revised: 17 Apr 2014

See all articles by Toshi H. Arimura

Toshi H. Arimura

Waseda University - School of Political Science and Economics

Akira Hibiki

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Hajime Katayama

Waseda University - School of Commerce

Date Written: May 1, 2007

Abstract

Using Japanese facility-level data from an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development survey, we estimate the effects of implementation of ISO14001 and publication of environmental reports on the facilities' environmental performance. While most previous studies focused on an index of emissions toxicity, this study examines three areas of impacts, none of which have been explored in the literature: natural resource use, solid waste generation, and wastewater effluent. The study is also unique in that the effectiveness of ISO14001 is considered in relation to environmental regulations. Our findings are summarized as follows. First, both ISO14001 and report publication help reduce all three impacts; the former appears more effective in all areas except wastewater. Second, environmental regulations do not weaken the effect of ISO14001. Third, assistance programs offered by local governments - a voluntary approach - promote facilities' adoption of ISO14001. These findings suggest that governments can use command-and-control and voluntary approaches concurrently.

Keywords: environmental management systems, ISO14001, environmental reports, voluntary actions, governmental assistance programs, environmental impacts, discrete choice model, endogeneity, GHK simulator

JEL Classification: C35, Q53, Q58

Suggested Citation

Arimura, Toshihide H. and Hibiki, Akira and Katayama, Hajime, Is a Voluntary Approach an Effective Environmental Policy Instrument? A Case for Environmental Management Systems (May 1, 2007). RFF Discussion Paper No. 07-31. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1001325 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1001325

Toshihide H. Arimura (Contact Author)

Waseda University - School of Political Science and Economics ( email )

1-6-1 Nishi-Waseda
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8050, Tokyo 169-8050
Japan

Akira Hibiki

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Hajime Katayama

Waseda University - School of Commerce ( email )

School of Commerce, Waseda University
1-6-1 Nishi-Waseda Shinjyuku-ku
Tokyo, Tokyo 169 - 8050
Japan

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