Les Systemes De Gestion Environnementale Au Canada: Enjeux et Implications Pour Les Politiques Publiques De L'environnement

By Halley, Paule; Boiral, Olivier | McGill Law Journal, Winter 2009 | Go to article overview

Les Systemes De Gestion Environnementale Au Canada: Enjeux et Implications Pour Les Politiques Publiques De L'environnement


Halley, Paule, Boiral, Olivier, McGill Law Journal


ISO 14001 certification serves as a model among environmental management systems (EMSs) and is increasingly being promoted to businesses by government administrative bodies whose responsibilities lie in protecting the environment. The private standardization that ISO 14001 provides is thus being transposed into public policies on the environment to achieve larger objectives such as conformity to environmental legislation and sustainable development. Nonetheless, it remains with the state to determine norms of environmental quality through its laws and regulations, as the ISO 14001 norm itself does not establish any substantial rules but merely aims to confirrn that a business has established an EMS. The voluntary measures undertaken by businesses, while reputedly more effective and flexible, can only provide relative savings for the state. Without clear objectives and without a degree of state control that is credible and reliable, the environmental impact of EMSs may well be limited. For example, external communications by businesses are optional and usually only partial, and access to their environmental information beyond that which is required by legislation is often imperfect, as is the formalization of their voluntary measures. ISO 14001 certification does indicate a commitment to the environment, but private standardization may at best only complement environmental legislation. It cannot replace state intervention in the regulation of the environment.

La certification ISO 14001 constitue l'un des systemes de gestion environnementale (SGE) de reference et les entites administratives gouvernementales chargees de la protection de l'environnement en font la promotion de maniere croissante aupres des entreprises. La normalisation privee ISO 14001 se transpose donc dans les politiques publiques de l'environnement pour atteindre des objectifs plus larges de conformite a la legislation environnementale et de developpement durable. Neanmoins, il doit toujours revenir a l'Etat d'edicter les normes de qualite de l'environnement dans ses lois et reglements, puisque la norme ISO 14001 ne fixe en soi aucune regle substantielle et vise essentiellement a confirmer que l'entreprise possede un SGE. Les mesures volontaires adoptees par les entreprises, bien que reputees plus efficaces et plus flexibles, ne peuvent engendrer que des economies relatives pour l'Etat. Sans objectifs clairs et sans un controle etatique credible et fiable, les incidences environnementales des SGE risquent en effet d'etre limitees. Par exemple, les communications externes des entreprises demeurent partielles et facultatives et l'acces a leur information environnementale au-dela de ce qu'exige la legislation est souvent imparfait, tout comme la formalisation de leurs mesures volontaires. La certification ISO 14001 demontre certes un engagement environnemental, mais cette normalisation privee ne peut que complementer la legislation environnementale. Elle ne saurait se substituer a l'intervention de l'Etat dans la regulation de l'environnement.

Introduction
I.   Evolution de l'interet prive et public pour les systemes
     de gestion environnementale
     A. Origines et raison d'etre des SGE pour les entreprises
     B. Le role croissant des SGE dans les politiques publiques
II.  Les SGE dans les politiques publiques de I'environnement:
     vers une amelioration de la conformite reglementaire et des
     performances environnementales?
     A. Les SGE, des economies et une conformite a la
        reglementation relatives
     B. Les SGE, un complement et non un substitut a la
        reglementation environnementale
     C. L'amelioration des performances environnementales,
        un objectif flou des SGE
III. Les SGE, un instrument de regulation de I'environnement
     parfaire
     A. Des communications externes limitees et facultatives
     B. Un acces limite aux informations environnementales
        produites par les SGE
     C. … 

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Les Systemes De Gestion Environnementale Au Canada: Enjeux et Implications Pour Les Politiques Publiques De L'environnement
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