Inspections and Enforcement as an Instrument for Enhancing Environmental Behaviour
WASTE MANAGEMENT HIERARCHY: Recycling: Reuse – Reprocessing
TYPE OF INSTRUMENT: Education, information, awareness raising; Infrastructure; Regulatory/ normative;
WASTE STREAMS: Municipal waste, Packaging waste
About: The analyzed practice brings together a series of studies that aim to improve the way inspections are carried out by environmental protection agencies, in order to improve their activity and the relationship with the inspected party.
Therefore, EU founded research program „Inspections and Enforcement as an Instrument for Enhancing Environmental Behaviour” has been structured around the two topics: inspectee behavior and inspections and enforcement activities.
Topic A (inspectee behavior) consists of three studies that focus on adapting the communicative method „Motivational Interviewing” (MI) to specific inspection contexts.
– The principal aim of the first study, „Applying Motivational Interviewing to induce compliance with radon gas radiation legislation – a feasibility study” is to analyze the effect of MI training on health safety inspectors’ communicative skills.
– The second study, „Enhancing compliance with waste sorting regulation through inspections and Motivational Interviewing”, investigates the effect of inspections of restaurants’ waste sorting and explores whether MI training of inspectors in this specific setting enhances the propensity of restaurants to be compliant with regulations.
– In the third study, „Applying Motivational Interviewing in the context of cattle inspections”, they examine how MI training of inspectors impacts on inspections of animal keepers. The aim is to explore the effect of MI training on inspectors’ communicative skills and on the behavior of the inspectees.
Topic B (inspections and enforcement activities) consists of a theoretical, an empirical and an experimental study.
– The first study, „The effectiveness of environmental inspections in oligopolistic markets”, theoretically explores the consequences of inducing compliance with environmental legislation through inspections in oligopolistic markets. Adherence to the law is associated with environmental gains, but also with abatement costs that reduce market surpluses.
Market conditions affect the net social benefit of achieving compliance as well as the inspection costs that are necessary to deter breaches of legislation. Thus, the impact of various market characteristics on the effectiveness of inspections can be assessed, thereby providing guidance for environmental inspection agencies that have to prioritize among sectors given a fixed budget.
– The second study, „An empirical analysis on the effects of inspections on the environmental behavior of dry cleaners in Stockholm”, uses a unique panel data set and exploits exogenous variation in inspection frequencies to investigate the effect of inspections on dry cleaners’ perchlorethylene emissions.
– The final study, „Measuring the effects of feedback from inspections on cleanliness in Swedish pre-schools – an experimental approach”, was carried out in collaboration with three Swedish municipalities.
Photo Source: Natur Vards Verket
The objectives of the project was to improve the way inspections are carried out by environmental protection agencies, in order to improve their activity and the relationship with the inspected party.
Knowhow: There were involved universities, research institutes, private companies, verification authorities, etc..
In total, six studies have been carried out. In three studies, the communicative method „Motivational Interviewing” has been tested in specific inspection contexts with the purpose of studying and improving the interaction between inspector and the inspectee. In addition, a theoretical, an empirical and an experimental study on the effectiveness of inspection and enforcement activities have been conducted.
The aim has been to provide a wide range of analytical approaches and practical applications that can be used for both guidance and development of operational inspections and enforcement methods.
Urban metabolism relevance
The practice is implemented in a very large policy context, proposing to study and improve the interactions between an inspector and the inspectee regarding environmental issues. In addition, a theoretical, an empirical and an experimental study on the effectiveness of inspection and enforcement activities have been conducted.
The results of the practice will make environmental inspectors and the envisaged verified party to collaborate better, to share solutions and collaborate more effectively.
The studies are applicable to various material flows, identifying efficient instruments for enhancing environmental behavior. They are improving urban metabolism through better enforcement of legislation, better understanding the processes.
The practice enhance the circularity of materials, improving education and collaboration between inspectors and inspectees. It also enhance dematerialization by improving awareness levels regarding the use of resources.
The development of various instruments for enhancing environmental behavior has an innovative approach, achieving a resourceful technique for organizational and social practices.
Engaged participatory processes
The initiative is based on the close cooperation between various stakeholders: Swedish Environmental Protection Agency; Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management; Health and safety inspectors; restaurants, dry cleaners, schools.
The engagement tools of stakeholders include face to face events, motivational interviewing, consultations, environmental legislation assessment, etc.
All the engagement processes were reached, from consultation of all stakeholders, participation of stakeholders and co-construction.
The educational program made stakeholders more aware of the environmental issues, enhancing compliance with waste sorting regulation through inspections and motivational interviewing.
Sustainability and replicability
The practice begins to take effect in the after implementation, when organizational support ended. The relative weighting of environmental gains and market surplus losses, gives a measure for the net social benefit of deterring breaches of legislation, which can be related to the inspection costs for achieving compliance.
The impact of various market characteristics on the effectiveness of inspections were assessed, thereby providing guidance for environmental inspection agencies that have to prioritize among sectors given a fixed budget. This is a sustainable practice that promote viable and continuous results.
The project is easily replicable being an improvement of a regulatory action.
It is essential to provide a wide range of analytical approaches and practical applications that can be used for both guidance and development of operational inspections and enforcement methods.
Waste, Resources, Innovation.
The information presented above was taken from public sources, and assessed by UrbanWINS experts according to the project requirements, field research, deductions and analytical process. Key assumptions and projections may deviate from the opinions presented by author, this may typically be the result of differing time horizons, methodologies, contexts or other factors.
We do not assume any rights or guarantees, the sources of all data can be found in the „References” section, in the document. At the time of publishing, we did not received a point of view from the owners/beneficiaries of the practice (although have been requested an official position to the authors, via e-mail), and it can be withdrawn simply by email notification.
Any investor must particularly ensure the suitability of an investment as regards his/her financial and fiscal situation and investment objectives.
Click on the green icon on the left side of the page to print and download this Best Practice as PDF.