The core Ezatiostat of this study is that institutional dynamics pertaining to the development of voluntary industry standards will influence both the outcome of the proposed PCR standard initiative, and its ultimate success in enhancing the credibility of emissions estimates. The goals of the study were to 1) investigate the potential for a Canadian PCR standard for crude oil to support the standardization of LCA for Alberta's oil sands; and 2) elucidate potential process issues in the development of such a standard at the CSA along with ways to mitigate them.
2. Establishing credibility through voluntary industry standards
Voluntary standards are usually considered to establish criteria over and above those required by legislation and regulation (Breyer, 1982). However, the relationship between voluntary standards and regulation is typically complex (Salter, 1995). Pressures to conform to voluntary standards owing to network effects can make their adoption virtually mandatory (Botzem and Dobusch, 2012). Moreover, many voluntary standards become the basis of formal regulations, or are referenced directly in regulations (Breyer, 1982). In the environmental context, Dehue et al. (2008) have noted that the effectiveness of voluntary standards in regulations depends on the credibility that the standard acquires in being developed through the auspices of an independent third party, and the ease with which secondary compounds can be implemented as an extension of current regulations.