Environmental production and productivity growth: evidence from european paper and pulp manufacturing

  • Yan Li
  • Hing Kai Chan
  • Tiantian Zhang
S.I.: OR for Sustainability in Supply Chain Management


The production and manufacturing sector is one of the primary factors that affects the environment, which has been a very important topic of recent studies. Many approaches are employed to reduce the impact of production on the environment. More recently, carbon-abatement technology and activities have been introduced into the production processes to reduce carbon emissions, such as the implementation of emission trading programs in many industrial sectors, including the paper and pulp sector. Nevertheless, the costs of abatement activities will result in a certain level of sacrifice in productivity growth, when the inputs are reallocated from good output production to abatement activities to maintain bad output under the regulatory limit. However, how and the extent to which such technology will affect productivity remain unclear. Therefore, it is worth investigating the opportunity cost of introducing such technology. In this paper, we offer new empirical evidence by studying panel data on 17 EU member states from 1995 to 2006. Productivity changes are calculated using a data envelopment directional distance function with and without adapting the carbon-abatement technology in the paper and pulp production. The results support our concern about the potential opportunity cost of introducing carbon-abatement technology, which leads to a decline in productivity growth. In addition, industrial production is not operating efficiently; on average it moves further away from the efficient production frontier over time.


GREEN manufacturing Environmental management Productivity Data envelopment analysis 



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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Management SchoolUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK
  2. 2.Nottingham University Business School ChinaUniversity of Nottingham Ningbo ChinaNingboChina

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