State-of-the-art pollution control technology : global market pull or domestic regulatory push?
This study identified factors influencing industrial companies' decisions to replace 'dirty' technologies with more environmentally sound ones. A case study of the decisions of New Zealand's two chemical pulp mills, Tasman and New Zealand Forest Products, to simultaneously replace heavily polluting chlorine bleaching with environmentally benign oxygen bleaching was used. Three hypotheses were proposed to explain this action: (i) oxygen bleaching was adopted because of the actual and anticipated domestic regulation of environmental residues and cultural impacts. (Ii) oxygen bleaching was the cost effective choice for the firms given the need for reinvestment. (iii) overseas consumers demand for dioxin 'free' paper products lead the firms to adopt oxygen bleaching in order to participate in the market. It was found that a multitude of factors influenced the firms decisions, with some support for each hypothesis. However, it was ultimately felt that Tasman and New Zealand Forest Products would not have adopted oxygen bleaching simultaneously in the absence of overseas consumer demands. The important public policy lesson from this study was that only some of the factors that contributed to the decisions to adopt oxygen bleaching were amenable to domestic policy intervention. The presence of non-replicable factors suggests that there are no easy answers to the problem of making companies adopt cleaner technologies.... [Show full abstract]