OECD Conference on Public Environmental Policy and the Private Firm
14-15 June 2005
Tuesday, 14 June
Session I - Introductory Remarks
In the first session, keynote speakers will focus on the importance of a good understanding of the firm’s motivations, management systems and environmental practices in the design of economically efficient and environmentally effective environmental policy.
Mr. Lorents Lorentsen (Director, OECD Environment Directorate)
Mr. Ed Piñero (US Federal Environment Executive)
Ms. Christine Donoghue (Assistant Deputy Minister, Environment Canada)
Mr. Björn Stigson (President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development)
Session II - Public Environmental Policy and Private Environmental Management, Performance and Innovation
In this session, a speaker from the OECD Secretariat (Dr. Nick Johnstone) will discuss the links between public environmental policy design and firm-level and facility-level environmental management, innovation and performance. It is designed to serve as an introduction to the discussion of the empirical studies which follow in later sessions, and to provide an overview of the motivation, methodology and research questions of the OECD project. Following the presentation, Dr. Wayne Gray (Clarke University) will provide a commentary.
Session III - Environmental Management and Performance in Firms and Facilities
Moderator: Dr. Jennifer Nash (John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University)
In this session, empirical studies on the prevalence, determinants and consequences of the implementation of environmental management practices in OECD countries will be reviewed. In addition to environmental management systems (EMAS, ISO 14001, etc.), specific environmental management tools (environmental reporting, accounting, etc.) will be examined. The role of structural and commercial factors, as well as policy influences will be assessed. The session will be initiated by a presentation based upon the results from the OECD project by Dr. Irene Henriques (York University) and Dr. Matthieu Glachant (Ecole des Mines). This will be followed by presentations based on related empirical work:
The empirical papers will be followed by interventions from one policymaker (Mr. Aldo Ravazzi Douvan, Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory) and one business representative (Dr. Peter Atkins, Alcoa Inc. – to be confirmed), discussing the credibility and policy implications of the research findings.
Session IV - Environmental Innovation and Research
Moderator: Professor Richard Morgenstern (Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future)
While there has been considerable theoretical work undertaken on the links between environmental policy and technological change at the level of the facility or firm, there is surprisingly little empirical work in this area. As such, in this session the available evidence will be reviewed. Particular attention will be paid to the choice of types of policy instruments which are applied, as well as more general organisational, structural and commercial determinants. The session will be initiated by a presentation of the results from the OECD project by Dr. Jens Horbach (Hochschule Anhalt) and Dr. Toshi Arimura (Sophia University). This will be followed by presentations based on related empirical work:
The empirical papers will be followed by interventions from one policymaker (Mr. James Riordan, Environment Canada) and one business representative (Mr. Byung-Wook Lee, LG Environmental Strategy Institute, Korea), discussing the credibility and policy implications of the research findings.
Wednesday, 15 June
Session V (9:00 – 10:30) - Links between Environmental and Commercial Performance
Moderator: Dr. Antonio J. Díaz de León Corral (Director General de Política Ambiental e Integración Regional y Sectorial, SEMARNAT)
It is often argued in the management literature that improved environmental performance can be achieved at no-cost (or low-cost). Economists generally take a more guarded view of the potential for widespread ‘win-win’ opportunities. In this session, the links between commercial and environmental performance will be reviewed. This will be initiated by a presentation by Dr. Nicole Darnall (North Carolina State University) and Dr. Bjarne Ytterhus (Norwegian Management School) of some of the results of the OECD project. This will be followed by presentations based on related empirical work:
The empirical papers will be followed by interventions from one policymaker (Mr. Robin Miege, EC DG Environment) and one business representative (Mr. George Carpenter, Procter and Gamble).
Session VI – Business & Government Roundtable
A roundtable will be organised in which selected business representatives and policymakers will be invited to give their views on the key issues in the relationship between the design of environmental policy and firm-level decision-making with respect to environmental management and performance. Drawing upon the empirical evidence presented, as well as their own professional experience, they will be encouraged to make specific policy recommendations. The session will be chaired by Mr. Jay Benforado (Director, National Center for Environmental Innovation).
Session VII – Identification of Policy Developments and Research Needs
There will be break-out sessions on the identification of specific research needs for policymakers. The session will be introduced by Dr. Richard Andrews (University of North Carolina), who will provide his views on pressing needs for policy analysis as well as research project design, drawing upon the discussions at the Conference where relevant. Dr. Arik Levinson (Georgetown University) will respond to the proposals and guidance put forward by Dr. Andrews, and provide his own views.
Following the introductory remarks, researchers, policymakers, and business representatives will break up into smaller groups and to provide their views on areas in which researchers could provide useful inputs into discussions on the links between public environmental policy and private environmental management, innovation and performance.
Session VII – Identification of Policy Developments and Research Needs (cont’d)
Conference participants will reconvene into the plenary, with the presentation of brief oral reports. Following presentations by representatives from each of the groups, Dr. Richard Andrews and Dr. Arik Levinson will co-chair an open discussion on areas for future empirical research on the links between environmental policy design and corporate environmental behaviour.
Mr. Lorents Lorentsen (OECD Environment Directorate) will then bring the conference to a close.