Environmental performance of organisations: the accountability of companies in emerging markets. An exploration and trend analysis on the accountability of organisations operating in Brazil

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The purpose of this study is to develop a better understanding of the effect of the implementation of self-regulation mechanism or an environmental management system (EMS) on the accountability of the adopting firm in an emerging market, more specifically Brazil. This was done by examining whether the implementation of one of the self-regulation mechanisms. Environmental policy or Climate change policy or the EMS ISO 14001, positively influence the environmental performance of the company in terms of reduction actions for water, electricity, fuel, wood & coal and mineral resources usage. Therefore, this study aims to answer the following research question: “To what extent do companies that adopt self-regulation mechanisms or environmental management systems in emerging markets, more particularly in Brazil, truly behave accountably?”. The analysis conducted a total sample of 1333 Brazilian Multi-National Companies (MNC) over the period 2008-2014. In total 2437 research units have provided empirical evidence, indicating that some companies filled in the questionnaire in one period, but others in more. For data analysis, ordinary least squares modelling (multiple regression analysis) and variance analysis (ANOVA) have been used. The results show a significant relation between the implementation of a Climate change policy or ISO 14001 and the reduction actions for water, electricity and fuel usage. Furthermore, there appeared to be a significant relationship between the experience a company has with EMS’ and the reduction actions for water, fuel and mineral resources. Therefore, this study contributes to the debate about the effectiveness of self-regulation mechanisms and EMS’. Besides, it sets out on which areas of environmental performance- and under which conditions the adoption of environmental practices will be useful in order to enhance the accountability of the adopting company.
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