Exploring the Use and Effectiveness of Complementary Approaches to Environmental Inspection for Ensuring Compliance

2011 - 2012


Project description and aims

Complementary approaches provide a very useful contribution to the toolkit of regulators in implementing environmental law and achieving environmental outcomes. They are defined as actions which are used in addition to environmental inspections to help achieve aims such as compliance. Some examples of complementary approaches to environmental inspections are:

  • Provision of advice and guidance.
  • Publishing league tables of emissions, compliance etc.
  • Self certification of compliance by operators.
  • Use of environmental volunteers.
  • Engagement with companies at a senior level (such as Board member or Director), not just at sites.

To use complementary approaches and environmental inspections most effectively, environmental regulators should choose approaches according to circumstances such as:

  • The desired activities, outputs and outcomes, which is in large part driven by the regulatory regime in question as well as any other wider aims of the regulator.
  • The drivers that motivate regulated businesses to comply.
  • Consideration of other aspects of the regulated community such as sector and size.
  • Recognising the attitudes and other behavioural elements of the regulated community.

Interventions used should also meet the requirements of “better” or “smart” regulation and sometimes other bodies may need co-opting to exert influence over companies. There still needs to be a regulatory element of any regime. To help regulators make choices of the approaches to use, this report includes examples of complementary approaches together with a flow chart and matrix to show how the process might work.


Number: 2011/22 – Status: Completed – Period: 2011 - 2012 – Topic: Cross-cutting tools and approaches - Tags:

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