Environmental performance evaluation using Data Envelopment Analysis
A fundamental problem facing users of environmental information put out by firms, mainly in the form of annual (or regular) corporate environmental reports, is that they contain vast volumes of information that is very difficult to compare. Looking at two Canadian mining companies, one mine might be better at site rehabilitation than at controlling dust emissions or acid rock drainage, while their other mines are better in other categories and those of the other firm may perform poorly in all categories except one, where it is exceptionally good. This research is a test of the potential for application of a methodology from productivity analysis called Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to compare the performance of a test sample of data points. Each data point is an individual mine and the data on each mine are drawn from the annual environmental reports issued by the most diligent reporters of environmental performance in the mining industry.