Analysis and Strategies for the Creation of Economic Incentives for Increased Environmental Action in the Public Administration Sector

  • Project no.4177
  • Duration 09/2001 - 02/2004

Systematically realising the potentials of resource efficiency and environmental protection in public institutions will also bring about considerable cost reductions for public budgets.
Showing the way towards using this economic incentive is the objective of this research project.
A particular focus is laid on the question, how economic incentives for increased environmental action targeting administration units, groups, and individuals can be used, created, or enhanced inside public administrations. Important in this respect is the support becoming available from the instruments that are introduced in the course of public administration reform, particularly decentralised budget responsibility, cost accounting, agreements on (operational) targets and monitoring. In order to reach its objective, the study team first performed a theoretical analysis of the incentive structures for increased environmental action, depending on the degree of administration reform.
A screening process yielded around 20 good practice case studies from public administrations and a few private companies. 14 of the case studies are presented in detail in the Annex.
On the basis of these good practice examples, 11 different models with economic incentives for increased environmental action and three additional special cases were identified. They were assessed with a common set of criteria, particularly on their applicability for the most important areas of environmental action within public administrations.
The report concludes by discussing ways to the introduction of economic incentives for increased environmental action within public administrations, and for the dissemination of the project results as well as the support by the German government for a broader introduction of the incentive models.
For dissemination purposes, a motivation brochure "Umweltschutz lohnt sich für öffentliche Verwaltungen" was developed during the research project. Both the report and the brochure are published by the Umweltbundesamt. The brochure (in German) can be downloaded.