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Interim evaluation of the Environmental Services Programme 2002-2004: report


The Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley (SEFV) 2002-2004 Environmental Service programme aimed to encourage resource efficiency in businesses, to generate improved business performance with sustainable development benefits for the environment. The evaluation aimed to: outline the growth of sustainable development policies and programmes in the UK and Scotland; consider the history of the SEFV programme; and review its organisation and activities.


The methodology consisted of: consultations and assessments with programme managers and staff, and key partner organisations of SEFV; an examination of programme records; and a sample survey of a total of 16 businesses.


The project has made excellent progress towards achieving its key objectives. In 88% of the sample businesses the effect of implementing resource efficiency measures was to enhance net profitability. There were corresponding environmental gains, allowing a greater scale of recycling. The concept of resource efficiency measures quickly became embedded in both managements and workforces. The Resource Efficiency Directory and the Forum meetings were highly regarded by businesses. The work of the Environmental Advisor with individual businesses on bespoke measures was considered exceptionally helpful. Key issues include: a reluctance among businesses to engage with the ISO 14001 accreditation process; eligibility difficulties for businesses in accessing government funding; and the fragmentation of the environmental regulation and advice sector. Notes that best practice is likely to be beyond the reach of most SME companies without assistance.


Recommends that the programme should be continued to a second phase. The project is under-resourced in terms of manpower and full-time staff with specialist environmental knowledge will be required for this programme to achieve full effectiveness. Advises that the additionality of the programme could be significantly enhanced by making most or all SME companies eligible for bespoke assistance.

Author Leclerc Associates
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Equity
    Sustainable development