20FIFTY Partners Research Report, funded by EPA Research News, makes key recommendations in terms of defining and setting out a vision for ‘going-beyond compliance’.
The main outputs of the desk study contribute to greater knowledge and understanding of what factors influence behaviours in relation to environmentalregulatory compliance, improved environmental performance and a culture of environmental excellence. This new knowledge and understanding will also help guide policy making and the development of appropriate interventions/tools.
The recommendations from this research will help to promote greater adoption of a going-beyond compliance culture and practices in Ireland and deliver long-term value and benefits across environmental, economic and social dimensions.
New compliance and enforcement approaches are needed to keep pace with evolving standards and best practices, resource pressures, additional complexities, increasing knowledge and expertise gaps, and sundry other environmental/economic/societal demands. Limited resources need to be utilised more efficiently and more intelligent and targeted approaches are needed. Globally, there is a critical need to transition beyond “business-as usual” mindsets and practices in order to remain competitive, resilient and sustainable into the future. However, the organisational and behavioural changes required are challenging and complex and require long-term perspectives and perseverance.
This research contributes to the body of knowledge and provides insight on the current compliance landscape and trends in terms of strategies and models of enforcement, adoption of technology and incorporation of behavioural aspects and “softer” interventions in compliance and enforcement (including policy development). Following extensive desk research and a process of national and international actor consultations, the report helps define the key challenges, barriers and drivers to (going-beyond) compliance and highlights contextual, organisational and behavioural complexities and nuances involved in addressing the topic. With a better understanding of the underlying barriers, drivers and factors influencing organisational regulatory compliance, the most appropriate policy instruments and tools can be chosen or developed to target that aspect and help deliver a desired outcome. In practice, it is a combination of different instruments, incentives and tools operating together that exerts an effect and leads to complexity.
The report outlines several recommendations to help promote greater adoption of going-beyond compliance culture and practices. There is a need to set out a clear definition and vision of what going-beyond compliance means for Ireland and how it might be implemented. There is also a need for collaboration, information sharing and knowledge transfer activities across actors to raise their capacity and capability to deliver on this vision and provide long-term value across the triple bottom line. Appropriate instruments and incentives are necessary to remove barriers and support drivers in order to drive commitments, engagement and adoption of a “going-beyond compliance” approach. Existing case studies and lessons learned from different programmes and approaches highlight key success factors and core foundational elements from which to build on in terms of compliance and enforcement policy development and the design of interventions and support tools to promote the adoption of going-beyond compliance culture and practices.
To read the full report, visit: Socio-economics | Environmental Protection Agency (epa.ie)