Assessing the performance of coluntary environmental programs

Does certification matter?

Nicole Darnall, Stephen Sides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

145 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The promotion of voluntary environmental programs (VEPs) as alternative approaches to traditional environmental regulation has fueled numerous researchers to evaluate VEP performance. However, these studies have focused on assessing the environmental performance of a single VEP. As yet, we know little about the overall environmental benefits of these programs. Moreover, questions remain about whether VEPs designed with different monitoring regimes-related to whether programs are self-monitored or undergo external certification-vary in their ability to improve environmental conditions. Using meta-analysis methodology, this article evaluates the aggregated environmental outcomes of U.S. VEPs drawing on data from nine studies and over 30,000 firms. We show that collectively VEP participants do not improve their environmental performance over nonparticipants. Rather, nonparticipants improve their environmental performance by 7.7 percent more than VEP participants. Additionally, nonparticipants improve the environment 24 percent more than participants in self-monitored VEPs, whereas participants in International Standards Organization 14001 as a group exhibit inconclusive environmental performance improvements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-117
Number of pages23
JournalPolicy Studies Journal
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

certification
performance
environmental programme
meta-analysis
environmental conditions
environmental factors
promotion
methodology
environmental performance
regime
monitoring
firm
regulation
organization
ability

Keywords

  • Certification
  • Environmental performance
  • Meta-analysis
  • Self-monitoring
  • Voluntary environmental programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

Cite this

Assessing the performance of coluntary environmental programs : Does certification matter? / Darnall, Nicole; Sides, Stephen.

In: Policy Studies Journal, Vol. 36, No. 1, 02.2008, p. 95-117.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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