While both fundamental types of abatement measures mitigate the adverse environmental impacts of production, cleaner production technologies are frequently more advantageous than end-of-pipe technologies for environmental and economic reasons. This paper analyzes a variety of factors that might enhance firms’ propensity to implement cleaner products and production technologies instead of end-of-pipe technologies. On the basis of a unique facility-level data set derived from a recent OECD survey, we find a clear dominance of cleaner production in seven OECD countries: Surprisingly, 76.8% of the facilities report that they invest predominantly in cleaner production technologies. With regard to environmental product innovations, the large majority of facilities reports that the measures they have undertaken to reduce environmental impacts were geared at production processes and not so much at products. Our estimation results are based on multinomial logit models which indicate that regulatory measures and the stringency of environmental policies are positively correlated with end-of-pipe technologies, while cost savings, general management systems, and specific environmental management tools tend to favor clean production. We conclude that improvements towards cleaner products and production may be reached by the continuous development and wider diffusion of these management tools. Improvements may also be stimulated by widening the cost gap between the two types of technologies, for instance, by additionally charging for waste and energy use.
A trend towards softer regulation, especially in the form of negotiated environmental agreements, is observable in national and international environmental policies. Such agreements are controversial, because there are fears that government will relinquish its responsibility for environmental protection. This paper analyses recent experiences with voluntary agreements in Germany. Topical German examples that have prompted public debates include the takeback agreement for cars, the voluntary agreement made by a number of industries on a C02 reduction by the year 2005 and the voluntary agreement made by the automobile industry on the development of energy-efficient cars. Proponents of voluntary agreements argue that this instrument provides incentives to the business sector for the development of efficient, innovative and environmentally-friendly solutions. Analysing the examples mentioned above, we conclude that it is hard to detect solutions derserving such attributes. These agreements are unlikely to produce results that go beyond what industry would have done in any case and they avoid using economic incentives. The agreements are' non-binding and unenforceable, with the negotiating process leading to a watering down of the environmental goals government had originally aimed at. A preference for negotiated solutions on principle, as currently espoused by the Federal Government in Germany, seems to be counterproductive. If the government clearly signals its willingness to refrain from using regulatory or economic instruments in favour of industry agreements, it weakens its negotiating position. The government also limits its options should the implementation of the agreement prove unsatisfactory. Government needs to be �in control in order to leave its choice of policy instruments open and to be flexible. In a last step, we derive some general conclusions concerning reasonable strategies and applications of voluntary agreements within the European Union. --
The study assesses net employment effects of technical progress which can be expected by the ongoing transition from end-of-pipe technologies towards cleaner production. Empirical evidence is presented on the basis of case studies and panel data including a telephone survey in German industry. The main result ist that cleaner production leads in more firms to a net creation of jobs than end-of-pipe technologies. However, eco-innovations like other innovations tend to require higher qualification. Thus, the demand for skilled and high-skilled labour rises while the demand for unskilled labour decreases. The results imply that supporting cleaner production is not in conflict with labour market policy. Synergies are identified, they are however small and specific. Thus, technology policy in general and supporting cleaner pro-duction in particular can not be expected to give substantial contributions to the solution of mass unemployment in Germany without using additional instruments (e.g. concerning a reduction of labour costs, increasing flexibility of labour markets).
The mechanisms are examined by which environmentally informed business practices and technologies may diffuse through industry as a result of the ‘greening’ of purchasing and supply. The efforts of official bodies in the UK to raise environmental awareness among industrial purchasers are reviewed. It is then argued that the supply chain model is an important way of interpreting the industrial landscape from a green perspective and that it is in some ways a more hopeful and positive starting point for achieving industrial transformation. The results of an analysis of some UK companies practices in using their purchasing policies to ‘green’ their supply chains are presented and opportunities for further research indicated.