Beyond compliance

how regions can help build a sustainable Europe
A toolkit for integrating the environment into regional development

Budapest, 17 May 2007

Greening projects for growth and jobs
Dr. Zoltán Karácsonyi
University of Debrecen Centre for Environmental Management and Policy
4032 Debrecen, Egyetem tér 1. Tel: +36 52 512 921 Fax: +36 52 512 928 E-mail:

‡ Start-up situation: perception of environmental integration into programmes and projects
± a burden ± an extra cost ± something to be done only when required by law or strict funding criteria

‡ Idea: benefits by building environmental sustainability into investments targeted at improving economic growth and creating jobs - critical question: how to green projects in practice ‡ Integration of the environment into all programmes and projects, so that projects are more innovative and improve the delivery of programme objectives overall

Targeted actors
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Programming bodies Environmental authorities Project evaluators/selectors Project applicants Other stakeholders

Why green projects? ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Policy ± fundamental principle Impact ± more effective programmes Economic and financial ± greater efficiency Quality ± improved quality of results Risk ± reduced overall risk Perception ± more acceptable programmes .

Compliance with policies ‡ Lisbon strategy ‡ Article 6 of the Treaty of the European Union ‡ Renewed EU Sustainable Development Strategy .

Impact ‡ Improves innovation ‡ Creating opportunities for environmental skills and technology businesses ‡ Better-skilled and more diverse workforce. ‡ Creative thinking and more innovative solutions. . ‡ More innovative projects.

It also helps retain a skilled workforce ± Improvement of the natural and historic environment enhances and strengthens the cultural brand of a region ± A region can give itself a competitive advantage by investing in growing technology sectors such as environmental technologies . specific economic sectors and individual businesses ± Cost savings through efficiencies in use of energy and materials. ± A high quality environment is a key driver of inward investment attracting high value businesses and employees seeking a better quality of life.Economic and financial ‡ Improves the economic competitiveness of regions. waste minimisation and water conservation ± Businesses can develop goods and services for niche markets catering for green consumers ± Better environmental performance and accreditations lead to expanded markets through meeting higher consumer expectations and procurement standards.

and of regulating authorities specifically. ± Making the best use of environmental technologies and resources creates better and more productive working environments.Quality ‡ Improves the quality of programmes and projects ± Environmentally-smart regional programmes use international best practice and help fulfil the environmental aspirations and objectives of sustainable development generally. .

etc. higher utility costs. thus helping to avoid potential project delays and withdrawal of funds due to noncompliance. ± Environmentally-smart projects automatically build in resilience against future pressures from increasing environmental regulation. raised social expectations. ± Building environmental measures into projects and encouraging environmental consideration reduces the risk of non-compliance with environmental regulations.Risk ‡ Improves risk management and future proofing ± Economies and projects that consider and manage environmental risk are more attractive to investors. . climate change.

± Projects and organisations which embrace environmental excellence improve their public image and help satisfy corporate social responsibilities.Perception ‡ Improves the image of programmes and projects ± Environmentally-successful programmes foster pride in a region and build widespread political and community support. ± Environmentally .µsmart¶ programmes are generally more acceptable to a wider range of stakeholders and as a result have a higher funding absorption rate. .

How to green projects? ‡ Greening the programme content ‡ Greening the programme operational system ‡ Greening the project cycle ‡ Support for project developers and managers .

Greening the programme content (1) ‡ Background section of regional development programme or plan: a) environmental profile/analysis b) development vision or objectives c) priorities.µHandbook on SEA for Cohesion Policy 2007 ± 2013¶ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ . specific measures d) Indicators Basis for successful integration of the environment throughout programme development and implementation Integration of environmental issues in the main programming documents is a key point Many development programmes and plans: subject to environmental assessment under the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive SEA is a particularly useful tool for ensuring that environmental issues are integrated into programmes .

Greening the programme content (2) ‡ Environmental profile/analysis ± describes the state of the environment in the programme area ± analyses the relevant links between the programme and the environment (potential opportunities and impacts) ± relates to programme priorities ± possible synergies between economic objectives and environmental issues ‡ Development vision or objectives ± having specific environmental objectives ± aiming more generally for sustainable development ± increased sustainability in economic development .

e. projects that simultaneously deliver economic and/or social objectives and environmental benefits). indicators serve to further describe the sorts of environmental outputs or benefits that the programme expects projects to deliver. reduction of emissions) or counts of project activity (i.e.e. ± different types of environmental indicators ‡ Some relate directly to environmental quality ‡ some relate to intermediate outcomes (e. Indicators ± a similar range of indicators is developed to reflect environmental objectives ‡ May be directly related to individual priorities or measures ‡ ideally they will be presented in a fashion that integrates them within the overall programme indicators. energy efficiency or water pollution). but most will not ± writing measures in a manner that promotes greener projects (i.Greening the programme content (3) ‡ Priorities. specific measures ± some priorities and measures deal directly with the environment. ± For the purposes of greening projects. ± such text may be specific to project activities ± Some texts may relate directly to environmental conditions highlighted in the profile (i. number of projects with environmental component). ‡ .g.

horizontal themes. key objectives or elements of the vision. and EU strategic documents such as the Renewed EU Strategy for Sustainable Development or national and regional sustainable development strategies ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ .Greening the programme content (4) Involvement of environmental partners in preparing the programme Having an environmental expert on the programme writing team Carrying out a sound and rigorous SEA Identifying environmental sustainability as a crosscutting theme in all programmes ‡ Throughout the programming documents cross-referencing any key objectives related to sustainable development.

Greening the programme operational system (1) ‡ the institutional set-up for programme management ‡ partnership roles ‡ the capacity and skills (both human and financial) of the institutions and partners needed to carry out the programme ‡ awareness-raising and programme promotion .

EIA and permitting processes. ± regulation . ± co-ordination of environmental non-governmental partners¶ input to the programmes ‡Decentralisation ‡Good practices ± networks ± specialised task forces ± specialised personnel . information and expert advice on environmental issues and impacts. including SEA. or local levels ± provision of data. regional.Greening the programme operational system (2) The institutional set-up for programme management ‡Institutions managing regional development programmes: involvement of competent authorities (SEA Directive: involving environmental authorities) ‡roles of environmental authorities: ± crucial for environmental integration in programmes and for the development of greener projects at national.ensuring compliance with environmental laws and policies.

open involvement process Particularly useful: involvement of potential project developers or applicants. authorities .local. regional. (businesses. national .Greening the programme operational system (3) Partnership roles ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Broad involvement of stakeholders leads to significant improvements in the sustainability and performance of programmes transparent.and NGOs Wide-ranging partnerships Wide-ranging involvement Capacity-building .

or even carry out ± the above tasks ‡ projects evaluators/selectors need to develop capacity to include environmental considerations (added benefits and avoided costs or impacts) during the assessment process ‡ applicants need the capacity and skills to develop. ongoing training ± Mentoring ± Written guidance and tools ± Co-ordination and networking at international or EU level ± Financing capacity building . prepare and deliver good projects ‡ tools: ± Building capacity within institutions ± Regular. skills and know-how are needed to improve their capacity to engage with programming bodies on economic. social development and planning issues in order to better assist with . skills and know-how are needed to ± integrate the environment into plans and programmes ± give appropriate advice on environmental issues to applicants ± appraise and select projects from an environmental perspective ± monitor project implementation and its environmental impacts ± evaluate results ‡ for environmental authorities. capacity-building is needed to create the expertise necessary to achieve environmental integration ‡ for programming bodies. capacity. capacity.Greening the programme operational system (4) Capacity and skills (both human and financial) ‡ mostly.

including those from other Member States ‡ ‡ . importance and value of environmental integration in programmes need for publicity and awareness of the benefits of environmental integration within programming bodies and among external stakeholders and the general public raising awareness within institutions ± e.g.Greening the programme operational system (5) Awareness-raising and programme promotion ‡ ‡ understanding of the need. environmental µchampions¶ (academics. local information offices. NGOs or personnel) promotion ± traditional promotion tools (seminars. written guidance including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) ± disseminating examples of good practice.

EIA ± EU Forestry strategy ± Axis 3 of the new Rural Development Regulation ± improving quality of life and diversification of the rural economy ‡ Agri-Environment Measures ‡ Other measures in Rural Development Programmes ± set-aside ± support for young farmers ± compensatory payments for Less Favoured Areas .Greening agriculture and rural development programmes Mechanisms to green rural development programmes ‡ General key provisions ± Setting cross-compliance as a condition for direct payments ± Decoupling ± Modulation ± option of retaining ± SEA.

management plans should be developed as a priority Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAECs) should be revised Cross-compliance needs to be better understood by farmers Evaluation of projects¶ efficiency is only possible if projects have indicators EU support for forestry should focus on developing balanced ecosystems .Greening future agriculture and rural development programmes ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Incorporating objective criteria for fund distribution Supporting a fairer and more evenly-balanced distribution of funds Ensuring coherence and balance among the subsidies Providing sufficient agri-environmental aid and support for disadvantaged areas Sharing successful experiences Increasing the percentage of mandatory modulation Effective ways of involving independent experts on the environment Environmental audits by external evaluators In areas designated under Natura 2000.

thus limiting suburban sprawl ± improving alternative forms of transport to reduce congestion and pollution ± restoring areas of historical or aesthetic significance ‡ Integrated urban management ± Adopting long-term and strategic action plans that link together different sectors.Greening towns and cities ‡ Environmental regeneration as a driver of sustainable local economy: restoring and improving urban areas ‡ The benefits of these programmes: ± encouraging new forms of economic activity when manufacturing has declined ± re-connecting deprived neighbourhoods or social groups to the wider city ± promoting the re-use of decayed inner urban areas. administrative levels and obligations .

Greening the project cycle (1) ‡ call for project proposals or programme announcement ‡ project preparation and design ‡ project appraisal and scoring ‡ project implementation and monitoring Call announcement Implementation and monitoring Preparation and design Appraisal and scoring .

± Refer to opportunities for project applicants to obtain other funds where the proposal has adopted environmental measures . priority and/or performance criteria) and the points allocated to the environment within the scoring system. ± Include information on requirements for environmental integration that are applicable to the project types to be funded under the specific programme/priority/measure. ± Outline project selection criteria. including environmental aims and their relevance to all projects. including environmental criteria. ± Include a statement reinforcing national and/or EC environmental legislative requirements (including EIA where appropriate). and enabling project applicants to use the environmental regulation as an effective project management tool. and how these relate to the appraisal process (eligibility. ± Provide information about sources of advice and guidance on environmental integration (the earlier the applicant seeks environmental expertise the better).Greening the project cycle (2) Improvement of calls for project proposals or programme announcement ± Underline the programme's environmental aspects and requirements.

ranking and selection of projects Sampling application forms that demonstrate good practice for large and small projects Making a link in the application package/form to the programme's guidance on environmental integration. training and workshops to directly support potential applicants Separating the function of the authority in providing assistance to potential applicants and in conducting scoring and appraisal. including guidance for specific types of projects Consultation with the environmental authorities. attitudes and commitment Recognise the benefits of greening Refer to the programme¶s environmental aims Perform an environmental feasibility assessment or an EIA Incorporate green criteria and success factors Make use of the guidance provided Include references to environmental standards and regulatory requirements ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ .Greening the project cycle (3) Improvement of project preparation and design improvement ‡ Designating personnel responsible for supporting applicants in environmental integration at the project level Emphasising the benefits of environmental sustainability it can be viewed as an opportunity rather than as a constraint to projects Organising open seminars. programme environmental advisors or other expert organisations should be strongly encouraged at the application stage ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Advice to project proposers: Develop early understanding.

and the production of appraisal guidelines specific to the project type. objective and independent environmental assessment of the project ± scores allocated to environmental impacts or benefits needs to be significant enough to ensure that it influences the likelihood of receiving funding ± scores given to environmental criteria vary among the countries Appraisal mechanism ± Programmes: different appraisal mechanisms and processes ± Include scoring by either the programming body or an µappraisal panel¶ as well as specialised project approval committees ± ensure that those engaged in appraisal understand the programme¶s environmental aims and objectives and the environmental scoring criteria ‡ through awareness-raising and training for appraisal panels or individual appraisers. ‡ ‡ .Greening the project cycle (4) Project appraisal and scoring ‡ Appraisal criteria ± Gateway/entry level ± Measure level (where appropriate or relevant) ± Project level Scoring ± useful to have a structured.

The transparency of the criteria is very important to enable projects evaluators to measure the environmental elements of a project. ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ . Establishing a system that supports the independent environmental assessment of projects. is a critical incentive to applicants to develop µgreener¶ projects.g. precautionary and pollution prevention principle) in the scoring system. to allow the fund to rank project proposals Ensuring that the score assigned to environmental aspects is significant enough to support better environmental integration within projects.Greening the project cycle (5) Improvement of project appraisal and scoring ‡ ‡ ‡ Including environmental criteria Developing a scoring system. as well as for appraisal panels and selection committees. Reflecting the positive and proactive attitudes of applicants (e. The environmental aspects have to be checked by qualified personnel in the same way that financial aspects are checked by auditors. Providing focused training on various aspects of environmental integration for independent environmental experts. so these experts should have excellent credentials. The percentage of the score. based on weights attached to specific elements of the criteria. which corresponds to environmental targets. Having an environmental champion on appraisal panels and selection committees.

if relevant.Greening the project cycle (6) Improvement of project implementation and monitoring ‡ Providing advice and guidance to project applicants during the project implementation stage ‡ Establishing a rigorous monitoring and control procedure to check how the environmental aspects are integrated in practice ‡ Integrating an environmental monitoring system within the regular project monitoring system to avoid additional burdens on project applicants ‡ Incorporating site visits to a selection of projects into a monitoring system ‡ Introducing the need for compliance. with specific environmental standards ‡ Making the monitoring system appropriate to the project¶s size and likely environmental impact .

Greening projects through help for project developers and managers Developing early understanding Improving project design Maintaining positive attitudes Monitoring project implementation and environmental performance ‡ Sharing experiences and best practices ‡ Environmental policy and green procurement ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ .

Main advantages of greening projects ‡ Increasing the competitiveness of the region ‡ Strong selling points when applying for funding ‡ Saving money ± achieving more with less resource and energy ‡ Creating social and economic opportunities .

Strong relations with: ‡ Renewed EU Sustainable Development Strategy ‡ National Sustainable Development strategies ‡ Regional Sustainable Development strategies .

Sustainability guidance ± regional operational programmes (1) Sustainability objectives of the use of EU funds ‡ Serving the creation of regions¶ sustainability ‡ Effective use of interior financial and intellectual resources ‡ planning developments considering the loadability of natural and human resources and their degree not causing degradation ‡ Reasonable land use ‡ Harmony with the environment ‡ Protection of natural values ‡ Improvement of the state of the environment ‡ Compensation of negative intervention in case of unavoidable environmental loading Sustainability objectives of the use of EU funds ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Sustainability of unique settlement network Developments have to answer social problems Encouragement of the improvement of the conditions of community transport Formulation of eco-innovative operational conditions of economy Dissemination of good energy management Decrease of the quantity of generated waste .

Sustainability guidance ± regional operational programmes (2) Differences between the compliance with environmental legislation and validation of sustainability Legislation: ‡Protection of environmental elements ‡Their eligibility to affect the spatial and temporal processes of production and consumption is at a small scale Sustainable development: ‡Main goal is to establish a self-regulating society and economy that ensure the operation of the environment without problems and support the maintenance of worthy life quality through avoiding the overuse of the environment .

energy and resource efficiency ‡ Mitigation of pollutant emissions ‡ Improvement of industrial µeco-system¶ ± Environmental health.Sustainability guidance ± regional operational programmes (3) The applicant can ensure his contribution to sustainability in the following fields: Sustainability categories ‡Environmentally Aware Management ‡In case of establishment/development (investment/supply) considering ± Sustainability (place-specific) aspects ± Sustainable project objectives ± Green procurement ‡Operation ± Sustainable project maintenance ± Environmentally friendly operation of the company ‡ Material. healthy society .

Sustainability guidance ± regional operational programmes (4) Sustainability aspects ‡There are 1-6 sustainability aspects in different sustainability categories ‡The applicant has to undertake the fulfilment of at least 1 sustainability aspect in 1 sustainability category How the undertaken sustainability aspects have to be introduced? ‡Improvement has to be achieved compared to the starting situation at the time of submission Are there any further costs due to the integration of environmental aspects in the project? ‡Cost of investments serving the implementation of sustainability aspects are eligible costs Examination and monitoring of sustainability plus undertakings ‡Progress reports have to be submitted ‡On-the-spot control: certification of plus undertakings could be asked for presentation .


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