Averting environmental justice claims? The role of environmental management systems

Daniel David Edwards, Nicole Darnall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Today, more regulatory provisions are in place for protecting low-income minority populations who shoulder a disproportionate amount of environmental risk. Recognized as communities of " environmental justice," industrial facilities located within these areas bear greater legal liabilities for and societal scrutiny of their environmental impacts. The authors offer compelling evidence that, in an effort to avoid regulatory and societal claims that they are disproportionately harming minority and ethnic populations, businesses operating inside environmental justice communities tend to adopt an environmental management system (EMS). The article probes whether industries actually improve the environment as a consequence of EMS adoption or whether such systems are simply used to avoid greater governmental scrutiny without necessarily reducing overall environmental risks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-433
Number of pages12
JournalPublic administration review
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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