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Since the 1990s, governmental agencies have increasingly turned to market based cap and trade programs to control the emission of pollutants. Firms subject to cap and trade regulation are typically required to acquire emissions allowances via open auction markets. The cost to acquire allowances may impose a substantial financial burden on a firm. While emissions reduction efforts may eliminate some firm's need to acquire additional allowances, there are still numerous firms that need to purchase additional allowances on the open market. This study presents a new forward buying heuristic, designed for those firms that need to purchase emissions allowances via auctions, which reduces the impact of emissions allowance acquisitions on the firms' financial performance. The heuristic, designated as the Newsvendor Production Planning with Emissions Allowance Forward Buying (NPPAFB) method, applies a forward buying algorithm to determine the number of periods for which to forward buy allowances, the current production order up to level, and the current and future emissions allowance requirements (which serves as the order up to level for allowance purchases). Additionally, NPPAFB also authorizes unused emissions allowances to be sold when market conditions are favorable. Compared against three existing production planning and allowance procurement strategies, a simulation exercise finds that the NPPAFB method significantly reduces a firm's emissions allowance expenditures. These results indicate that heuristic can be readily adopted by any firm that is required to procure emissions allowances via open markets in an effort to improve the firm's profitability.

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NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Journal of Production Economics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in International Journal of Production Economics, (In Press). doi: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2014.09.010