Do Voluntary Environmental Programs Reduce Emissions? EMAS in the German Manufacturing Sector

29 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2019

See all articles by Roland Kube

Roland Kube

University of Munster

Kathrine von Graevenitz

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Andreas Löschel

University of Muenster - Chair of Microeconomics, esp. Energy and Resource Economics

Philipp Massier

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research - Environmental and Resource Economics, Environmental Management Research

Date Written: January 2019

Abstract

Voluntary environmental management programs for firms have become an increasingly popular instrument of environmental policy. However, the literature’s conclusion on the effectiveness of suchprograms is ambiguous, and for the European region there is a lack of evidence based on a large control group. We seek to fill this gap with an evaluation of the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), introduced in 1995 by the European Union as a premium certification of continuous pro-environmental efforts above regulatory minimum standards. It is more demanding than other voluntary programsdue to annual public reports of the environmental performance and targets for improvements. We use official firm-level production census data on the German manufacturing sector, a major energy consumer and emitter in Europe. To account for the self-selection of firms, we combine the Coarsened Exact Matching approach with a Difference-in-Differences estimation. Our results do not suggest reductions of firms’ CO2 intensity and energy intensity neither before nor after certification. Moreover, program participants do not increase renewable energy consumption or investments into the protection of the environment and climate. Our results are robust to a variety of checks and call into question the effectiveness of the EMAS program concerning these particular outcome variables.

Keywords: Voluntary Environmental Programs, Firm-level Energy Behavior, Matching Difference-in-Differences

JEL Classification: Q58, Q54, Q48

Suggested Citation

Kube, Roland and von Graevenitz, Kathrine and Löschel, Andreas and Massier, Philipp, Do Voluntary Environmental Programs Reduce Emissions? EMAS in the German Manufacturing Sector (January 2019). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 19-004, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3337589 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3337589

Roland Kube (Contact Author)

University of Munster ( email )

Kathrine Von Graevenitz

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

Andreas Löschel

University of Muenster - Chair of Microeconomics, esp. Energy and Resource Economics ( email )

Universitätsstr. 14-16
48143 Munster
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.wiwi.uni-muenster.de/eroe

Philipp Massier

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research - Environmental and Resource Economics, Environmental Management Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim
Germany

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