Is Greener Whiter Yet? The Sustainable Slopes Program after Five Years
Policy Studies Journal, Vol. 34, No. 2, 2006
27 Pages Posted: 25 May 2006
This study focuses on two basic questions: Are voluntary programs effective in promoting higher environmental performance by participant firms? If so, which distinct areas of environmental performance are more likely to be improved by firms joining a voluntary environmental program? We address these questions by assessing the environmental effectiveness of the ski industry's Sustainable Slopes Program in the western United States between 2001 and 2005. We found no evidence in our five-year analysis to conclude that ski areas adopting the SSP displayed superior performance levels than nonparticipants for the following areas of environmental protection: overall environmental performance, expansion management, pollution management, and wildlife and habitat management. SSP participants only appear to show a statistically significant correlation with higher natural resource conservation performance rates. For policymakers, these results suggest that caution is needed before a priori assuming that strictly voluntary programs can be effective in promoting comprehensive superior environmental performance.
Keywords: voluntary environmental programs, opportunism, ski industry, environmental policy
JEL Classification: K32, M14, Q28, Q26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation