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Master's Professional Reports Abstract

The Second Tier of Compliance: Non-regulatory Incentives for Industry to Improve Environmental Performance

This thesis examines the incentives that drive the current trend of corporations going beyond the regulatory compliance with their environmental performance. The thesis explores reason why companies choose to participate in environmental management programs and eco-certification, and traces the origins and history of beyond-compliance performance incentives including trade association initiatives, principle-based programs, and eco-labeling. Incentives including regulatory flexibility, operational efficiency, positive press, and improved community relations will be detailed. Finally, the report analyzes the economic and policy ramifications of this trend. Primary research was conducted through interviews with representatives from government, trade associations, non-profit organizations, and corporate environmental affairs offices.

-- Author's foreword.