Shades of Green: Business, Regulation, and Environment

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In humankind's struggle to prevent further deterioration of its natural environment, the capitalist business corporation - typically thought of as a major source of that degradation - holds one of the keys to success. Yet current-day corporations are different shades of green, varying considerably in environmental performance. They range from environmental laggards who fail to meet even minimal standards to environmental leaders who go substantially beyond compliance with legal standards, with the large majority located at some point between these two poles. This in-depth study of fourteen pulp manufacturing mills in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand provides the most extensive and systematic empirical examination, to date, of the reasons firms achieve the levels of environmental performance that they do. Industrial point-source pollution, which has been regulated for ever threee decades, was an obvious focus for the research. The pulp and paper industry sector was chosen for study because, in every nation, pulp and paper mills, which historically have been sources of extremely serious water pollution and offensive fumes, have been at or near the top of the environmental agenda. Consequently, many firms have been compelled or induced to develop complex systems of internal regulation, facilitating the study of intercompany differences in environmental management abnd their relationship to environmental performance.

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The License to Operate and Corporate Environmental
The License to Operate and Interfirm Differences
Environmental Management Style and Corporate

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About the author (2003)

Neil A. Gunningham is Professor in the School of Resources, Environment, and Society at the Australian National University. Robert A. Kagan is Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Society and Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Dorothy Thornton is Research Associate at the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California, Berkeley.

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