Keywords: environmental audits, environmental insurance, environmental risk management, private incentives, public benefits, EMAS, Eco-, Management and Audit Scheme, environmental management, environmental performance
Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS): opportunities and risks for insurance companies
Environmental audits were designed on the EC level in Brussels with the declared objective of promoting continuous improvement of the environmental performance of industrial companies. The audit for the time being is a voluntary activity by firms. Hence, it is important that there are incentives to participate. One such incentive is the exploitation of a successful audit for marketing purposes, but a more important one may arise from the eventual interdependence of audits and environmental insurance. This paper discusses in detail the strategies that insurers may pursue in order to benefit from the audits. As a result, insurance may be more easily and more completely available for firms that have completed a satisfactory audit. Other issues, such as how audits affect the behaviour of companies, are also discussed.