The work investigates the use of voluntary approaches in situations where alternative instruments could have been used. It finds that, although the environmental objectives of most voluntary approaches have been achieved, there are few cases where such approaches have contributed to environmental improvements that go beyond what would have already happened. The work also shows that the macroeconomic effectiveness of voluntary approaches is generally low, as they rarely contain mechanisms to offset the costs of reducing borders between all polluters. However, it recognises that traditional command and control measures rarely offset mitigation costs and that voluntary approaches can offer greater economic efficiency than mitigation by providing companies with greater flexibility in achieving environmental improvement. Voluntary approaches to environmental policy, including agreements on environmental services and public programmes negotiated with industry, in which companies can participate voluntarily, are becoming increasingly popular in a number of countries. However, the OECD`s work calls into question its environmental and economic efficiency. There are cases where voluntary approaches are the only policy option available. This is the case, for example, if there is no authority that can adopt and impose a “mandatory policy”, that is. A “Command and Control” regulation or a tax related to environmental performance. The OECD Guidelines for Multinationals are a good example. These guidelines are recommendations addressed by governments to multinationals operating in or from the candidate countries. They offer voluntary principles and standards for good governance in a wide range of areas, including employment and industrial relations, human rights, the environment, disclosure, competition, taxation, science and technology. Voluntary Approaches to Environmental Policy: Effectiveness, Efficiency and Use in Policy Mixes offer an in-depth assessment of the use of voluntary approaches, based on a series of new case studies and extensive research in the available literature.
The analysis focuses on both isolated voluntary approaches and used in policy mix….