Public sector voluntary initiatives: The adoption of the environmental management system by public waste water treatment facilities in the United States

Wan Ling Huang, Eric Welch, Elizabeth Corley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the determinants of Environment Management System (EMS) adoption by public wastewater treatment facilities in the US. Based on the literature, it considers the range of regulatory, market and political influences on EMS adoption. The paper also incorporates prior work on publicness theory to articulate possible sectoral differences related to voluntary policy adoption. Hypotheses are tested using ordered logistic regression on data from a national survey of public wastewater treatment facilities in the US. Findings indicate that public wastewater treatment facilities that perceive stricter environmental regulation and greater attention from environmental groups and the public are more likely to voluntarily adopt an EMS. In addition, facilities reporting a higher degree of publicness are more likely to adopt in response to politician demands and when they apply greater amounts of biosolids to land. The findings carry implications for policy makers who aim to encourage public sector voluntary initiatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1531-1551
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Volume57
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2014

Keywords

  • environment management system
  • public sector voluntary initiative
  • publicness
  • voluntary environmental agreement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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