CLEAR Info: Company Level Environmental Accountability Reporting and Information

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

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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.

Laymans Report

Who’s involved

CLEAR Info is a partnership involving leaders across Europe in sustainable investment, business information, and environmental data and regulation. The project partners are:

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.

Project Themes

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

A practical guide for regulators on the challenges and potential benefits of integrating environmental data

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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.

Identifying and applying INSPIRE standards to integrated data

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Annex 1 Publishing in INSPIRE data formats

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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 clear.info@environment-agency.gov.uk

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.

Developing methods to enhance the view of a company’s performance across the EU

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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.

Evaluate the transferability of data integration to other forms of data

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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.

Identifying the regulatory data burden on business

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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.

Parent company engagement using collated environmental data: Case Studies

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Water Sector Case Study

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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.

Parent company engagement: evaluation methodology

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‘Hackathon’ workshop

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.

CLEAR Info hackathon

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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.

Benefits, opportunities and challenges of the wider application of integrated data and outputs from CLEAR Info

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Contact details

clear.info@environment-agency.gov.uk