Public Sector Voluntary Initiatives: The Adoption of the Environmental Management System by Public Waste Water Treatment Facilities in the United States

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.

Full Paper

Huang, Wan-Ling, Welch, Eric, & Corley, Elizabeth A. (2014). Public Sector Voluntary Initiatives: The Adoption of the Environmental Management System by Public Waste Water Treatment Facilities in the United States. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 57(10), 1531-1551.