Red Tape Challenge focuses on green regulation

2nd September 2011

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Business & Industry ,
  • UK government ,
  • Environment agencies



The government has renewed its calls for suggestions on how to simplify UK environmental regulation as a part of its flagship scheme to reduce the administrative "burden" of legislation on businesses.

For the next three weeks, the Red Tape Challenge is focusing on legislation covering waste, emissions and environmental protection in the UK, with organisations and practitioners encouraged to share their experiences of working with the regulations, specifically whether they are effective or overly burdensome.

Regulation has an important role to play … but some of the rules we ask businesses to follow are either too complicated, ineffective or just obsolete,” said environment minister Jim Paice. “The Red Tape Challenge is a chance to tell us how we can protect the environment in a more effective and simpler way that puts fewer burdens on businesses.”

The no-holds-barred approach, which means all 278 environmental regulations are up for scrutiny and could face being scrapped or replaced, has been welcomed by some in industry, but attracted criticism from environmental campaigners.

While Robert Hun, executive director of waste management firm Veolia, said: “This is a unique chance for businesses to tell government which regulations are working, which are not or if there are better and easier ways of achieving the same results.”

Friends of the Earth says the initiative sends the wrong signals about the government's commitment to being the greenest ever.

"Environmental regulations can be good news for business,” said policy and campaigns director Craig Bennett. “They give certainty about the government's commitment to building a stable, clean and healthy future and encourage firms to invest in new technologies and industries.”

In announcing the challenge’s three-week focus on green legislation, Defra revealed it was particularly interested in hearing ideas on:

  • How businesses could work together on voluntary labelling systems to help consumers compare the environmental impact of products.
  • Whether regulations could be combined to reduce the administrative burden on local authorities and businesses
  • How to improve the transparency of environmental data without regulation.

The news came just days after the UK Environmental Law Association published research raising concerns over a lack a coherence and clarity in the country’s environmental legislation.

To share your feedback and to read other’s comments visit the Red Tape Challenge website.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

Latest environmental legislation round-up

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Dr Julie Riggs issues a call to arms to tackle a modern-day human tragedy

15th March 2024

Read more

The UK’s new biodiversity net gain (BNG) requirements could create 15,000 hectares of woodlands, heath, grasslands, and wetlands and absorb 650,000 tonnes of carbon each year.

13th March 2024

Read more

Campaign group Wild Justice has accused the UK government of trying to relax pollution rules for housebuilders “through the backdoor”.

14th February 2024

Read more

Digital tracking, packaging data delays and new collections provide a waste focus for this edition’s environmental round-up by legislation expert Neil Howe

28th November 2023

Read more

Environmental crimes could result in prison sentences of up to 10 years and company fines of 5% of turnover under a proposed EU law agreed by the European parliament and council.

21st November 2023

Read more

Stuart McLachlan and Dean Sanders discuss their book: The Adventure of Sustainable Performance: Beyond ESG Compliance to Leadership in the New Era.

14th November 2023

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close