6th European Environmental Evaluators Network Forum: Evaluating Innovation in Environmental Protection and Sustainability

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The 6th European Environmental Evaluators Network Forum (2017 EEEN Forum) brought together practitioners, academics, policy-makers and other users of environmental evaluation to share views, knowledge and experiences about the use, relevance and future priorities for climate and environment policy evaluation.

The 2017 Forum asked whether evaluation is evolving in line with the societal and environmental challenges policy is trying to address. Europe, in order to achieve its goal of 'living well, within the limits of our planet', will need to rely inter alia on innovation to make the transition to sustainability. Many forms of innovation will be required to turn Europe into a resource-efficient, green and low-carbon economy.

The 2017 EEEN Forum featured contributions on the role of evaluating innovation in environmental protection and sustainability. The Forum focused both on the evaluation of innovation and on innovation in evaluation approaches.

About the event

The final agenda and link to event subpage with presentations from the event are available below:

Invited speakers included:

  • Terry A’Hearn - CEO, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
  • Hans Bruyninckx - Executive Director, European Environment Agency (EEA)
  • Laura Burke - Director General Environmental Protection Agency Ireland and Chair of EEA Management Board
  • Ernesto Soria Morales - Senior Policy Analyst, OECD
  • Phil Wynn Owen - Dean in the European Court of Auditors


2017 EEEN Forum image

The following themes provided the framework for the Forum:

1. The role of social innovation

While innovation is often thought to refer to technological solutions, awareness is growing of the role of social innovations, namely new practices and behaviours that enable society to meet their needs more sustainably. Is evaluation addressing policies and governance arrangements that stimulate new practices and behaviours and their implications for environmental protection and sustainability? Which evaluation methodologies are relevant here? Which are the factors affecting public engagement? What is the role of consumers and non-state actors in this context?

2. The role of the business sector in environmental innovation

To what extent are businesses gearing up for the required transition to turning Europe into a resource-efficient, green and low-carbon economy in line with related Europe-wide policies? In evaluating these policies how do we capture the opportunities and constraints on innovation in business practice? How do we evaluate business competitiveness and financial risk in this context? Is corporate social responsibility a useful measure here?

3. Innovations in instrument evaluation

How to design policy evaluation to ensure more connectivity between policies (e.g. between resource efficiency and decarbonisation policies or between different policy types)? Is the evaluation community focusing on the right policy linkages, on so-called nexus issues? Are there new instruments or methods to evaluate environmental damages and their different kind of compensation and/or prevention? What are the effects of market regulation? Can financial incentives improve performance?

4. Innovation in implementation

The scaling up of innovative solutions often relies on supportive policy design and effective implementation. What are the innovations in approaches to implementation that will promote the transition to sustainability? How can these be evaluated? Do the European initiatives of the Environmental Implementation Review and Environmental Compliance Assurance offer lessons in this regard? What role do regulators play?


If you have any questions about the event, please do not hesitate to .

About EEEN Fora

Environmental Evaluators Network (EEN) logoThe purpose of the international Environmental Evaluators Network (EEN) is to advance the practice, policy and theory of evaluating environmental programmes, policies and other interventions. Since 2012, the European Environmental Evaluators Network (EEEN) has been organising Fora to promote more systematic and collective learning in these areas.

The EEEN Advisory Group

  • Kris Bachus - University of Leuven
  • Matthias Duwe - Ecologic Institute
  • Lisa Eriksson - Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
  • Jenny Faichney - Scottish Environment Protection Agency (2017 EEEN Forum host)
  • Andrew Farmer - Institute for European Environmental Policy
  • Odile Heddebaut - IFSTTAR
  • Matt Keene - US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Paula Kivimaa - University of Sussex & Finnish Environment Institute
  • Claudio Marcantonini - European University Institute
  • Eeva Primmer - Finnish Environment Institute
  • Andrew Pullin - Collaboration for Environmental Evidence
  • Georg Rebernig - Environment Agency Austria
  • Marleen Van Steertegem - Flemish Environment Agency

Previous EEEN Fora


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