The effects of pollution prevention on performance

Stephanie Graham, Rodney McAdam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


As pressure for companies to improve their environmental performance has intensified in recent years, research attention has shifted away from establishing a link between environmental practices and performance towards consideration of other factors that might facilitate performance improvements. The purpose of this paper is to: first, to investigate whether internal support processes interact with pollution prevention by positively moderating the relationship between pollution prevention and environmental performance; and, second, to assess whether the relationship between pollution prevention and cost performance is mediated by environmental performance.

It uses a cross-sectional survey of 1,200 UK-based food processing firms to gather information on environmental practices and performance. Regression analysis was conducted on a sample of 149 responding firms to assess the hypothesised relationships.

Support was found for two of the four moderated relationships hypothesised namely, suggesting that internal support processes support the environmental performance of some pollution prevention practices. Strong support for a mediated relationship between pollution prevention, environmental performance and cost performance was provided by the results.

This study provides an original contribution to the literature on the performance outcomes of environmental practices by considering a number indirect relationships between environmental practices and performance. This has implications for the interpretation of the relationship between environmental practices and performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1333-1358
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 3 Oct 2016


  • Environmental performance
  • Pollution prevention
  • Environmental practices
  • Cost performance


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