Environment improvement plans: Facilitative regulation in practice

Author/s (editor/s):

Gunningham, Neil
Holley, Cameron

Publication year:


Publication type:

Journal article

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Facilitative regulation embodies regulatory flexibility, the empowerment of local communities and devolved, collaborative decision-making. Based on interviews with key stakeholders, this article examines one the most important examples of facilitative regulation, the Environment Improvement Plan (EIP). This article begins by connecting the EIP to broader shifts in the styles and practices of environmental regulation, it then outlines the achievements of the EIP instrument, as well as some of its limitations and the challenges confronting its successful implementation. In particular, the analysis finds that while the EIP can achieve a shift in both the thinking and performance of many large enterprises, over time, EIPs tend to produce diminishing returns, suggesting a “life cycle” theory of EIP effectiveness. Beyond the pragmatic and policy issues discussed by the authors, the article’s analysis suggests the value of viewing the EIP mechanism as a manifestation of wider shifts in regulation and governance. In particular, it is demonstrated using the EIP findings how three important innovations (process-based, collaborative and informational regulation) each contain their own promises and problems as approaches to regulating environmental issues.

Cite the publication as

Holley, Cameron and Gunningham, Neil, Environment Improvement Plans: Facilitative Regulation in Practice (2006). Environmental and Planning Law Journal, Vol. 23, No. 6, p. 448, 2006. Available at SSRNhttps://ssrn.com/abstract=1589287

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