Voluntary Environmental Programs: Assessing Their Effectiveness

Posted: 4 Jun 2010

See all articles by Jonathan C. Borck

Jonathan C. Borck

Analysis Group, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts

Cary Coglianese

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Date Written: November 2009

Abstract

Voluntary environmental programs (VEPs) seek to improve the environment by encouraging, rather than mandating, businesses and other organizations to adopt environmentally protective measures. Since the 1990s, VEPs established by industry, government, and nongovernmental organizations have proliferated around the globe, raising the question of how effective these programs are in securing environmental protection, both on their own and in comparison to traditional mandatory regulations. This article reviews the emerging research literature on VEPs, describing the variation in their structures, providing a framework for assessing their impacts, and summarizing what is known about why organizations engage in voluntary environmental action and what effects these programs have on environmental quality.

Suggested Citation

Borck, Jonathan C. and Coglianese, Cary, Voluntary Environmental Programs: Assessing Their Effectiveness (November 2009). Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Vol. 34, pp. 305-324, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1599088 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.environ.032908.091450

Jonathan C. Borck (Contact Author)

Analysis Group, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts ( email )

111 Huntington Avenue
10th floor
Boston, MA 02199

Cary Coglianese

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-6867 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.upenn.edu/coglianese

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