Does the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register Enable Us to Understand the Environmental Performance of Firms?


The study explores a new micro environmental data set, the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR), by identifying limitations and potential strengths. We find that reporting requirements exclude on-site abatement through end-of-the-pipe techniques and cleaner technologies causing underestimation of firms' actual abatement. In addition, the lack of a mandatory section on production volume and firm size hinders data normalization and the use of control variables in economic analysis. Addressing the above limitations can make the E-PRTR more usable for policy-makers, environmentalists and academicians. Furthermore, the paper proposes a normalization procedure based on calculating how much beyond the threshold a firm has abated or emitted; and normalized values are used to approximate the environmental performance of firms. Analysis based on a sample of manufacturing firms suggests that industrial facilities in Europe have performed well in terms of abating a higher percentage of their gross pollution.



Keywords and Phrases

Abatement; E-PRTR; Emission; End-of-the-pipe abatement technology; Environmental performance; Normalization

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1756-932X; 1756-9338

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2011 John Wiley & Sons and ERP Environment, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2011