, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 183-197

Linear Programming Models for the Measurement of Environmental Performance of Firms—Concepts and Empirical Results

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Abstract

I use linear programming models to define standardised, aggregate environmental performance indicators for firms. The best practice frontier obtained corresponds to decision making units showing the best environmental behaviour. Results are obtained with data from U.S. fossil fuel-fired electric utilities, starting from four alternative models, among which are three linear programming models that differ in the way they account for undesirable outputs (pollutants) and resources used as inputs. The results indicate important discrepancies in the rankings obtained by the four models. Rather than contradictory, these results are interpreted as giving different, complementary kinds of information, that should all be taken into account by public decision-makers.