One of the main ideas expressed in both the 5th and 6th EU Environment Action Programmes for the European Environmental Policy is the support for companies' participation in environmental regulation processes. From the toolbox of environmental policy instruments, the voluntary approaches propose a new direction that can be used to respond to that requirement. In Portugal, voluntary approaches have been implemented since the end of the 1980s, but it was in the middle of the 1990s that they became an important environmental policy instrument. Nowadays, the Portuguese Government is implementing a third‐generation type of environmental contract – Contracts for Continued Improvement of the Environmental Performance – which are trying to make companies implement “over‐compliance” environmental programs. This paper starts by reviewing the theoretical development of the concept of “voluntary approaches” (VAs), further to which an historical analysis of the application of these instruments in Portugal is made.
Cabugueira, M. (2004), "Portuguese experience of voluntary approaches in environmental policy", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 174-185. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777830410523107Download as .RIS
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