In this paper, we investigate the relationships between environmental management (EM) and performance to verify: whether the implementation of an effective internal environmental is a firm's precondition to belong to a green supply chain; which type of environmental practices (either internal or external) contribute the most to increasing a firm's performances; and whether performing the environment translates into higher economic performance. We use structural equation modeling for testing our research hypotheses on a large sample of Italian firms, and estimate the structural paths between constructs by means of both covariance- and component-based approaches. The use of both estimation methods allows us contributing to the recent debate about the specification of the performance construct as an emerging rather than as a latent variable, and then using formative rather than reflective indicators. Formative indicators are used whenever a construct does not exist without its measures, any change in one of the indicators causes a change in the construct, and the measures are ingredients of the construct rather than being caused by it. For instance, economic performance is an emerging construct since economic measures (e.g.; profits and market share) contribute to forming the construct rather than reflecting the behavior of the latent variable. We show that the correct model specification changes the estimates of the path coefficients and leads to research findings aligned to the literature. Our results indicate that being green internally is a prerequisite for collaboration into a green supply chain, internal EM contributes to increasing performance more than external EM, while performing the environment does not lead to a higher economic performance. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All Rights Reserved.