A classification of information-based environmental regulation: Voluntariness, compliance and beyond

Bowen, Frances, Tang, Samuel and Panagiotopoulos, Panos (2020) A classification of information-based environmental regulation: Voluntariness, compliance and beyond. Science of the Total Environment, 712. ISSN 0048-9697

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Alternative approaches to environmental regulation have gained much attention in recent years. Information-based regulation is an increasingly popular type of instrument that refers to the use of ratings, rankings, labels, online inventories and similar public disclosure practices by regulators. Such schemes vary in their design, disclosure formats, mechanisms to influence behaviour and performance. Theoretical and practical questions remain about whether and how regulators can use voluntary and/or beyond compliance disclosures. The article develops a classification of information-based schemes based on whether the scheme is mandatory or voluntary, and whether the disclosures reveal compliance or beyond compliance performance behaviours. The classification is used to show how the different schemes (traditional, assurance, performance and proactive) work in practice with their associated risks, benefits and mechanisms. While regulators are experimenting with this new frontier of regulation, it is not yet clear whether all types of schemes will be sufficiently robust to deliver on the promise they hold for enthusiasts of smart regulation. We conclude with implications and future research questions on the nature of voluntariness and compliance in information-based regulation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: environmental regulation,information disclosure,performance disclosure,self-regulation,voluntary compliance,design,energy performance certificates,standards,self-regulation,labeling policy,impact,disclosure,transparency,consumer choice,genetically-modified food,pollution,waste management and disposal,environmental engineering,environmental chemistry,sdg 2 - zero hunger ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2310
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > Norwich Business School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Centre for Competition Policy
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Responsible Business Regulation Group
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 10:30
Last Modified: 13 May 2023 04:31
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/73001
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135571


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