This article focuses on environmental management systems (EMS) and aims to enhance our understanding of the relationship between environmental state regulation and self-regulation. Unlike previous studies that treat state regulation as uni-dimensional and focus on externally certified forms of environmental self-regulation, this article takes a more nuanced approach. It looks at how direct and indirect state regulation and its stringency influence both non-certified in-house and externally certified adoption of EMS. Methodologically, the study differentiates from previous research by acknowledging the interconnected nature of in-house and external certification decisions, viewing these decisions as sequential. Based on a survey of 2,076 UK firms, findings show that effective environmental protection entails collaboration between environmental state regulation and in-house adoption of EMS. Results also reveal that externally certified EMS substitute for state environmental regulation, filling the void that results from weakening state regulation in the context of neoliberalism.
- Environmental regulation, self-regulation, environmental management systems (EMS), corporate environmental responsibility