Importance The article reviews effectiveness issues of environmental activities at the regional level. We also introduce a concept of the regional environmental management system and substantiate whether regional environmental management systems can be evaluated in relation to the ideal leading region. Methods We used the methodology of data envelopment analysis and the elaborated framework of nonparametric optimization methods to address the issue of evaluating the comparative efficiency of regional environmental management systems. Results The proposed approach was tested while addressing the issue of evaluating the comparative efficiency of regional environmental management systems in the Southern Federal District. The Republic of Adygea was found to have the most effective regional system for environmental management since it ensured the highest reduction in negative environmental effects at the lowest costs. Conclusions and Relevance The proposed method can be used to improve the quality of managerial decisions concerning regional environmental management.
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