ISO 14001 certification and environmental performance in Quebec’s pulp and paper industry

Lead author: Philippe Barla       Year: 2007      

Publication Abstract

This paper tests whether adopting the international norm ISO 14001 significantly impacts environmental performance in Quebec's pulp and paper industry. Using monthly data collected from 37 plants between 1997 and 2003, we show that: (i) ISO certification does not lead to a reduction in total suspended solid emissions or in quantity of rejected process water; (ii) discharge of biological oxygen demand decreases by about 9% following certification; (iii) contrary to the group of plants that did not adopt the ISO norm, the adopting plants did not experience a significant negative trend in emissions over our sample period. Moreover, our results show that the impact of ISO is very variable across adopting plants. If some plants considerably reduce emissions following certification, we find that most adopters either maintain or even increase emissions after being ISO accredited.


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  • Publication type:

    • Journal article
  • Other authors:

    • Philippe Barla
  • Countries:

    • Canada