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What issues fell within environmental sustainability?

Resource efficiency
Energy efficiencies and renewable energies
Waste minimisation and management
Water conservation
Biodiversity protection and enhancement
Green and local purchasing/sourcing
Sustainable transport
Conservation of the historic environment
Enhancing the historic environment
Capitalising on Cornwall’s unique historic environment asset
Reinforcing local character and distinctiveness
In-house policies and practices
Raising awareness

What was the Environmental Sustainability Cross Cutting Theme and how did it apply?

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have an environment of exceptional quality and diversity. As an asset and resource base for the region the environment has great value in its own right, and has enormous potential to contribute to the long-term prosperity of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Through the application of the environmental sustainability cross cutting theme it was possible for the Objective One Programme to help realise the environment’s potential to contribute to the goals of prosperity and a good quality of life for Cornish and Scillonian communities.

The Objective One Programme viewed the environment as a positive driver for economic regeneration, and sought environmental gain through high quality development. Projects looked to identify the opportunities for their activities to bring both environmental and economic benefits, whilst at the same time taking appropriate steps to minimise the risk and mitigate the consequences of adverse environmental effects.

The key principles for the Objective One Programme in terms of environmental sustainability were set out as a number of objectives – an overall objective for the Programme and five operational objectives which were used to put the cross cutting theme into practice.

The Programme objective for environmental sustainability was:

To ensure that the environment makes a positive contribution to the objectives of the Programme through the promotion and provision of support and the prioritisation of activities that explicitly address environmental issues and opportunities.

The five operational objectives for environmental sustainability were:

To enable the protection of the environment
To promote the prudent use of natural resources
To take advantage of the business opportunities afforded by growing demands for environmental goods, processes and services
To increase the awareness of residents, businesses and visitors of the value and importance of the environment
To actively promote environmental policies in all aspects of Programme management and implementation

In seeking to realise the overall and operational objectives of the Programme for environmental sustainability several different approaches were used. The Programme:

Supported economic regeneration projects which dedicated serious effort to attaining high standards of environmental performance and achieving good levels of environmental responsibility.
Supported projects with a strong environmental focus, such as:
  business support for environment sector enterprises (e.g. environmental technologies, renewable energy, etc.)
  schemes supporting farm diversification into environmentally responsible activities (e.g. organic production, pooled resources and equipment, etc)
  support for training to build skills and knowledge for environmental management and practice
  development of workspace to high standards of environmental responsibility in design, construction and use

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Partnership: working with the Environment sector

The principle of partnership lay at the heart of Objective One, which in practical terms meant that many organisations were actively involved in the running and delivery of the Programme. The principle of partnership was as relevant to the cross cutting themes as it was for the five Priorities of the Programme.

For the environmental sustainability cross cutting theme the partnership principle was recognised and taken into account through the involvement of the statutory environmental authorities, and by the formation of the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Group (ESAG). As from 2004 ESAG became part of the wider environmental partnership – Environment Kernow.

The Countryside Agency, English Nature and the Environment Agency were formally committed to assisting and supporting the Objective One Programme in the management of its environmental performance and impact. As a means of fulfilling their formal commitment to assist and support the Programme the statutory environmental authorities were instrumental in the creation of the Objective One environmental sustainability team. In addition, the Objective One partnership and programme had the full support of English Heritage, which also supported the environmental sustainability team within the Partnership Office.

The role of ESAG within Objective One was that of a forum for stakeholder engagement, which enabled the Programme to maintain an ongoing dialogue with the environment sector, and provided a valuable pool of expertise with which the Objective One environmental sustainability team could discuss technical environmental issues.

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Comparison between 1994–1999 and 2000–2006 Structural Fund Programmes

In the autumn of 2005 the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Partnership appointed Roger Tym & Partners to undertake a study to explore the differences in approach to environmental sustainability between the 1994–1999 South West Objective 5b and the 2000–2006 Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Objective One and South West Objective Two Programmes.

The study explores the integration of the environment into these Structural Fund programmes and how and why the approaches to environmental sustainability have progressed and developed from 1994–1999 to 2000–2006. The work was tightly focussed and undertaken through document reviews and interviews with key stakeholders in the two Programming periods including Government Office and the statutory environmental agencies.

Environmental Sustainability: Comparision Between 1994-1999 and 2000-2006 Structural Fund Programmes

Support for Applicants - Environmental sustainability guidance notes

The Objective One environmental sustainability team prepared a set of guidance notes which introduced and explained the cross cutting theme, and gave general advice about the types of actions that might be taken to realise the potential environmental dimensions of a project. Complementing the general information provided by the guidance notes was the bespoke advice available to all applicants to the Programme from the Objective One Partnership Office.

Title Summary
Programme-wide guidance notes
Environmental Sustainability Short paper explaining the environmental sustainability cross cutting theme
Environmental Appraisal: Detailed Guidance Step-by-step guide to the process of carrying out an environmental appraisal for an Objective One project or plan
Environmental Sustainability for Feasibility & Technical Studies: Generic Guidance Short paper explaining how the three cross cutting themes, and particularly environmental sustainability, can be addressed in feasibility studies and technical studies
General Guidance for Capital Build Projects Guidance for capital build projects applying under any Priority or Fund (ERDF, EAGGF or FIFG).
Environmental Sustainability Guidance: a framework for assessing waste & related projects Guidance for waste and waste related projects applying under any Priority or Fund (ERDF, EAGGF or FIFG).

Priority specific guidance notes
ERDF Capital Measures in Priority 1 Guidance for capital projects applying for ERDF support under Priority 1
ERDF Revenue Measures in Priority 1 Guidance for revenue projects applying for ERDF support under Priority 1
ERDF Capital Measures in Priority 2 Guidance for capital projects applying for ERDF support under Priority 2
ERDF Revenue Measures in Priority 2 Guidance for revenue projects applying for ERDF support under Priority 2
ERDF Capital Measures in Priority 4 Guidance for capital projects applying for ERDF support under Priority 4
ERDF Revenue Measures in Priority 4 Guidance for revenue projects applying for ERDF support under Priority 4
ERDF Capital Measures in Priority 5 Guidance for capital projects applying for ERDF support under Priority 5
ERDF Revenue Measures in Priority 5 Guidance for revenue projects applying for ERDF support under Priority 5
ERDF Capital Measures for Higher Education / Further Education in Priorities 3 & 5 (Measures 3.6 & 5.3) Guidance for capital projects for the Higher Education and Further Education sectors applying for ERDF support under Priority 3 (Measure 3.6) and Priority 5 (Measure 5.3)
ESF Measures in Priority 3 & Priorities 1, 4 & 5 Guidance for projects applying for ESF support under Priority 3 and from the ESF Measures in Priorities 1, 4 & 5

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Environmental Integration within UK Structural Fund Programmes - A Comparative Study

In June 2004, following the Mid Term Evaluation process, the South West Objective Two, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Objective One and East Midlands Objective Two commissioned Roger Tym and Partners to undertake a comparative study of the integration of the environment sustainability theme into their three Programmes.

The overall aims of the study were to build on the work of the Mid Term Evaluation of the individual Programmes by comparing the experiences of delivering the environmental sustainability theme within the different structural fund programmes. The study included both desk based review and qualitative research with project applicants / managers from the individual programmes.

Although the study looked at both Objective One and Objective Two Programmes only ERDF and ESF projects were part of the qualitative research as these funding schemes are common to all the Programmes.

The conclusions and recommendation of the study were then used in taking forward the implementation of the environmental cross cutting theme in the individual Programmes.

Environmental Integration within UK Structural Fund Programmes - A Comparative Study, Final Report, June 2004


The use of Carbon Emissions as a Measure of Environmental Sustainability

In April 2005 the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Objective One Partnership commissioned Roger Tym and Partners to undertake a predominantly desk based study to take an initial overview of the feasibility of using carbon emissions as the principal means of measuring and reporting on the environmental performance of an economic regeneration programme.

The background to the report was

(a) environmental sustainability was being mainstreamed in the current round of European Structural Funds by means of a cross cutting theme;
(b) there was no widely accepted measure of environmental performance equivalent to Gross Value Added, job creation etc;
(c) global climate change is increasingly recognised as one of the key global environmental issues

Feasibility of Carbon Emissions as a Measure of Environmental Sustainability in Economic Regeneration Programmes


The Effectiveness of EU Structural Funds in Delivering the Government's Environmental Objectives

In December 2004 Defra commissioned Fraser Associates to undertake a study of the effectiveness of EU structural funds in delivering the Government's environmental objectives.

This evaluation involved a sequence of tasks including a review of desk based material, collation of project details and consultation with regional partners to explore the underlying issues behind the different performances of Programmes.

The executive summary of the final report is available to download below, whilst the full report is now available on the Defra website: www.defra.gov.uk/rural/structure/default.htm

Executive Summary of The Effectiveness of EU Structural funds in Delivering the Government's Environmental Objectives


Environmental Integration and Economic Regeneration Conference - Exeter February 2006

In February 2006 the "Environmental Integration and Economic Regeneration" Conference was held in Exeter. With the 2000-2006 Structural Funds being amongst the first large scale regeneration programmes to adopt a structured approach to dealing with environmental opportunities and issues the conference examined how this challenge has been successfully met both in South West England and across Europe.

Key note speakers included Jonathon Porritt, Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, Georges Kremlis DG Environment and Bronwyn Jones of Defra.

All the presentations together with the videos shown at the conference are available at

www.southwestrda.org.uk/what-we-do/policy/environment/conference.shtm


The Environment as an Economic Driver

The potential of the environment to act as a powerful driver of economic regeneration was an important part of the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. This has been based on the identification of opportunities for both economic and environmental gain being pursued together.

In some cases the links between the environment and the economy are straightforward such as the importance of the coast and countryside as a backdrop for the tourism industry and the continued viability of healthy coastal shellfish populations for the fishing industry, whilst in other cases such as the role of the environment at the core of the Higher Education offer in Cornwall or the environment as a gateway to the labour market the links are not quite so obvious but equally important.

The Partnership Office brought this activity together in the form of two reports:

Using the Environment as an Economic Driver Experience to date in the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Objective One Programme

and in summary form:

An Overview of the Environment as an Economic Driver


Investment in the Environment Goods and Services Sector

In 2007 an independent study into the investments made through the 2000-2006 Objective One and Objective Two Programmes in the environment goods and services sector and the various investment mechanisms was made.

Acknowledging the successes of the 2000-2006 programmes, the study makes a number of recommendations for investment in the sector using the 2007-2013 Convergence and Competitiveness Programmes.

South West Objective One and Two Programmes - Investment in the environment sector, evaluation study

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