CONTRIBUTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL VOLUNTARY SCHEMES TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE EUROPEAN UNION
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Establishment of voluntary approaches in the OECD and EU represented one of the most striking environmental developments of the 1990s. The EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS, 1993) is a management instrument to improve environmental performance of organisations. The EU Ecolabel (1992) is a part of the EU sustainable consumption and production policy, which is also one of ten themes in the EU Sustainable Development Strategy. Usage of these voluntary schemes can affect the Resource productivity, which is a headline indicator in this theme, and ultimately lead to sustainable development. However, the positive effects in the EU countries take place with time lags after their introduction. The longer lags are typical of the EMAS. The aim of this Paper is to assess the usage of the voluntary instruments in the EU countries and to evaluate their contribution to sustainable development on the basis of examining their relations to resource productivity.
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