CLEAR Info is an EU LIFE+ funded project which aims to join up regulatory data with business information to identify environmental risks and opportunities.
What is CLEAR Info
CLEAR Info is a demonstration project lead by the Environment Agency. The project aims to improve how businesses implement environmental legislation by using information on the environmental performance of parent companies. The project started in September 2011 and finished on 19 December 2014. The Laymans report provides a simple summary of the project.
CLEAR Info is a partnership involving leaders across Europe in sustainable investment, business information, and environmental data and regulation. The project partners are:
- European Sustainable Investment Forum
- University of Southampton
- Finland Ministry of the Environment
CLEAR Info is part funded by the EU LIFE+ fund. LIFE is the European Union’s (EU) financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU, as well as in some candidate, acceding and neighbouring countries.
Data Integration Tool
The project team created technical systems and processes to link together site level data from a number of regulatory regimes. By integrating this site level data with information about company structure, we’ve been able to look at the environmental compliance of companies and their peers.
We’ve used this information in two main ways:
- to create investor data sets which compare compliance across a range of regulatory regimes for listed companies in a given sector
- to create parent company dashboard reports which look at the overall compliance of a single company
Working with data collectors and users
The project team worked extensively with colleagues in the Environment Agency to understand the data we collect and investigated harmonising data to the INSPIRE specifications.
Working with investors
The project held three workshops with investors to develop a data set concentrating on companies listed on a stock exchange. Copies of the dataset are available on request from firstname.lastname@example.org
Trucost reported on the ways in which the Environment Agency’s OPRA data could be incorporated in to active or passive investment strategies.
Working with other regulators
Project partners Trucost investigated the barriers to linking regulatory data with other environmental data, as well as the possible solutions that could be employed to gain insight into a parent company’s environmental performance.
Throughout the project, we’ve learned a lot about how the data could be used to drive compliance with EU Legislation. We’ve shared this learning with other European regulators through webinars, workshops and reports.
The project team worked with our project partners, the Ministry of the Environment, Finland to produce a case study on the Finnish compliance monitoring system.
Working with regulated business
The project team looked at the regulatory data burden on business and have produced a report of the findings.
We used the integrated data sets to create reports showing environmental compliance across a range of regimes at company level. We used these reports to engage with parent companies at board level and have summarised our findings in a number of company case studies.
We developed a methodology to measure results and impact of parent company engagement on environmental compliance. These materials may be a valuable resource for other European regulators who are considering introducing company level engagement as a regulatory tool.
To understand the limitations of integrating environmental data, we held a ‘hackathon’ or ‘hack day’ as an alternative to a traditional workshop. We brought together a cross-section of data users and others involved in software development.
In this creative environment, the participants discovered new and imaginative ways of using Environment Agency data, identifying its challenges and limitations.
We’ve written a report about what we did to make the event a success.
Future opportunities for integrated data
Project partners Southampton University have explored the benefits, opportunities and challenges of the wider application of integrated data and outputs from CLEAR Info with special focus on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. In addition, they considered the potential benefits for supply chains, education, local authorities and other groups.