Successful modern economies rely on environmental goods and services. However, environmental policy is often contested because policy frequently needs to balance short- and longer-term implications for the environment alongside those for the economy, environment and society; and industry, governments and citizens share responsibilities for managing risks and for the environment.

We work with policy-makers and those with an interest in national and international environmental policy and regulation to help them respond in ways that achieve the best overall outcome in economic, social and environmental terms. We can:

  • Respond to government requirements for evidence utilising experience of working with senior policy-makers and government analysts, and our expertise in risk, environmental monitoring and assessment, and technological solutions;

  • Work with the private sector to examine sector-specific implications and opportunities;

  • Work across sectors to develop common understanding of the various perspectives.   

About our research

We undertake a wide variety of research covering environmental policy and assessment and have a track record of research to inform better environmental regulation. Our understanding of risk (both current and in the future) means we have been able to look beyond current regulatory frameworks.

We conduct this research in partnership with industry, regulating agencies and policy makers, with other academic institutions and research consultancies and through a range of research funders.

Our major themes are:

• Risk assessment methodologies and applications
• Futures and horizon-scanning of risks and opportunities
• Environmental policy analysis
• Regulatory impact reviews
• Informing the better regulation agenda
• Rapid evidence reviews.

Our impact

We use broad-based, interdisciplinary skills, to have ‘real-world’ impact by working with its clients and partners to:

• Analyse the options and the costs and benefits of non-regulatory approaches
• Assess environmental risk (both impacting on and resulting from human activity)
• Balance and safeguard environmental resource use within economic growth
• Help in working within de-regulatory agendas
• Rapidly review evidence to support decision-making
• Use foresight techniques to ensure the efficacy of policies beyond usual timescales.

In all our work, we ensure clear communication with our clients at all times, we approach our work with a sense of shared endeavour with our clients, and we use reliable technology in support.

Working with us

Environmental policy and regulation research is needed by both government and business. We are able to respond to both the immediate and longer-term needs of industry through short-term consultancy and research, and strategic research for single companies or through developing and supporting consortia.

We have a range of contacts in the UK, Europe and internationally that allow us to bring a range of specialist expertise to bear on most industry sectors interested in understanding the risks to their business of current and future regulations. Our track record in working with government and regulators is important for understanding what measures could be proposed or responses made, in relation to new regulatory challenges impacting on business. 

To be competitive and sustainable in a globalised world, a clear future-resilient strategy is needed to prepare for both environmental risks and opportunities. Cranfield University’s expertise in the assessment of barriers and enablers to change across environmental, societal and political spheres can work with existing business knowledge to future-proof businesses for the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Our work with business and government covers short term consultancy, bespoke training and knowledge sharing, PhD projects, and longer-term research projects.

We can offer on-site or client-site training and development, we utilise knowledge exchange systems (Skype, cloud technology and data sharing) that enables those who work with us to be engaged and work as part of the team, developing the outputs and steering the direction. We utilise customer-orientated tailored reports in a way to suit business, for example rather than focussing just on journal articles and long reports we specialise in ideas stimulating presentations and workshops, and illustrated reports that place ideas and solutions over just words.

Clients and partners

Our work is highly applied and is dependent upon our close working relationship with our partners who include:

• Industry eg. Yorkshire Water, Cuadrilla
• International and national grant awarding bodies, eg. EU, UK research councils, The World Bank
• Government (national and local), eg. Defra, DECC, Food Standards Agency, Scottish and Welsh Governments, Local Government Association
• NDPBs, eg. Environment Agency, Natural England
• Not for profit organisations, eg. Ellen MacArthur Foundation.