Irene Henriques

York University
Schulich School of Business

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3J 1P3 |  Visit Personal Website

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Research interests include corporate environmental management and sustainability and renewable energy markets.

Henriques I., Husted, B.W. & Montiel, I. (2013) Spillover effects of voluntary environmental programs on greenhouse gas emissions: Lessons from Mexico. Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, 32(2): 296-322.
Abstract: We compare the environmental performance of voluntary environmental programs (VEPs) with different attributes. Using club theory, we argue that the differential performance of voluntary environmental programs is due in part to their specific design attributes that will either enhance or diminish their ability to improve both targeted and untargeted environmental impacts. We analyze two voluntary environmental programs (VEP) in Mexico, the global standard ISO 14001 and the local standard Clean Industry. These two VEPs differ in the stringency of the standards and in their ability to sanction non-compliant facilities. These differences ensure that firms adopting the local standard are less likely to shirk their responsibilities and enhance potential spillover effects on untargeted environmental emissions. Our empirical results support our hypotheses and show that the local Clean Industry program is more effective in improving both targeted (toxic emissions) and untargeted environmental impacts (greenhouse gas emissions).
DOI: 10.1002/pam.21675
Hewitt N., N. Klenk, A.L. Smith, D.R. Bazely, N. Yan, S. Wood, J.I. MacLellan, C. Lipsig-Mumme and I. Henriques (2011) Taking stock of the assisted migration debate. Biological Conservation. 144(11): 2560-2572.
Abstract: Assisted migration was proposed several decades ago as a means of addressing the impacts of climate change on species populations. While its risks and benefits have been debated, and suggestions for planning and management given, there is little consensus within the academic literature over whether to adopt it as a policy. We evaluated the main features of the assisted migration literature including the study methods, taxonomic groups, geographic regions and disciplines involved. We further assessed the debate about the use of assisted migration, the main barriers to consensus, and the range of recommendations put forth in the literature for policy, planning or implementation. Commentaries and secondary literature reviews were as prevalent as first-hand scientific research and attention focussed on a global rather than regional level. There was little evidence of knowledge transfer outside of the natural sciences, despite the obvious policy relevance. Scholarly debate on this topic has intensified during the last 3 years. We present a conceptual framework for evaluating arguments in the debate, distinguishing among the direct risks and benefits to species, ecosystems and society on the one hand, and other arguments regarding scientific justification, evidence-base and feasibility on the other. We also identify recommendations with potential to advance the debate, including careful evaluation of risks, benefits and trade-offs, involvement of relevant stakeholders and consideration of the complementarity among assisted migration and less risk-tolerant strategies. We conclude, however, that none of these will solve the fundamental, often values-based, challenges in the debate. Solutions are likely to be complex, context-dependent and multi-faceted, emerging from further research, discussion and experience.
DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.04.031
Smith A. L., N. Hewitt, N. Klenk, D.R. Bazely, N. Yan, S. Wood, I. Henriques, J.I. MacLellan and C. Lipsig-Mumme (2012) The effects of climate change on the distribution of invasive alien species in Canada: a knowledge synthesis of range change projections in a warming world. Environmental Reviews, 20: 1-16. (Lead article)
Abstract: The interactive effects of climate change and invasive alien species (IAS) pose serious threats to biodiversity, ecosystems and human well-being worldwide. In particular, IAS are predicted to experience widespread changes in distribution in response to climate change, with many expanding their ranges into new areas. However, the two drivers of global change are seldom considered together in policy and management. We conducted a knowledge synthesis to assess the state of research on IAS range shifts under climate change in Canada. We found that the study of IAS distribution changes caused by climate change is a relatively new field of inquiry that integrates research in the areas of ecology, conservation biology, and environmental sciences. The multidisciplinary dimensions of the issue are largely overlooked in the scholarly literature, with most studies having a purely natural science perspective. Very little original research has occurred in the field to date; instead literature reviews are common. Research focuses on modeling range changes of current IAS threats, rather than predicting potential future IAS threats. The most commonly studied IAS already occur in Canada as native species that have spread beyond their range (e.g., lyme disease, mountain pine beetle, smallmouth bass) or as established invaders (e.g., gypsy moth). All of these IAS are expected to expand northward with climate change, resulting in widespread negative impacts on forest and freshwater biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and public health. Many barriers to predicting IAS range change under climate change are identified in the literature, including the complexity of the issue, lack of ecological data, and failure to integrate climate change – IAS interactions into research, policy, and management. Recommendations for increased research and monitoring, and the need for policy and management reform predominate in the literature.
DOI: 10.1139/A11-020
A. L. Smith, N. Klenk, S. Wood, N. Hewitt, I. Henriques, N. Yan and D. R. Bazely (2013) Second Generation Biofuels and Bioinvasions: An evaluation of invasive risks and policy responses in Canada and the United States. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 27: 30-42.
Abstract: Biofuels are being embraced worldwide as sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels, because of their potential to promote energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while providing opportunities for job creation and economic diversification. However, biofuel production also raises a number of environmental concerns. One of these is the risk of biological invasion, which is a key issue with second generation biofuel crops derived from fast-growing perennial grasses and woody plant species. Many of the most popular second generation crops proposed for cultivation in the U. S. and Canada are not native to North America, and some are known to be invasive. The development of a large-scale biofuel industry on the continent could lead to the widespread introduction, establishment, and spread of invasive plant species if invasive risks are not properly considered as part of biofuel policy. In this paper, we evaluate the risk of biological invasion posed by the emerging second generation biofuel industry in the U. S. and Canada by examining the invasive risk of candidate biofuel plant species, and reviewing existing biofuel policies to determine how well they address the issue of invasive species. We find that numerous potentially invasive plant species are being considered for biofuel production in the U. S. and Canada, yet invasive risk receives little to no attention in these countries’ biofuel policies. We identify several barriers to integrating invasive species and biofuel policy, relating to policy analytical capacity, governance, and conflicting policy objectives. We recommend that governments act now, while the second generation biofuel industry is in its infancy, to develop robust and proactive policy addressing invasive risk. Policy options to minimize biological invasions include banning the use of known invasive plant species, ongoing monitoring of approved species, and use of buffer zones around cultivated areas.
Henriques I. P. Sadorsky (2013) Environmental Management Practices and Performance in Canada. Canadian Public Policy, 39(s2): 157-175.
Abstract: In this paper, a model of the determinants of environmental management practices and the impact of these practices on environmental performance is described and tested using Canadian manufacturing facility level data. Our results show that Canadian manufacturing facilities have indeed undertaken environmental initiatives as a result of pressures arising from the buyers of their products and corporate headquarters. The relationship between environmental management practices and environmental performance is curvilinear. Increases in environmental performance are observed as the number of environmental practices increases up to an inflection point. Past this inflection point, environmental performance diminishes with further increases in environmental practices. We also find that, across time, facilities with more comprehensive practices continue to see improvements in environmental performance.

Substantive Focus:
Environmental Policy PRIMARY

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Analysis and Evaluation PRIMARY