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Government involvement and social stewardship in Wales: funding schemes fostering sustainable behaviour in business, individuals and community
Frances Hines (research manager), Dr. Diego Vazquez,  Cerys Pointing, and Renee Van Baar are researchers at BRASS (The ESRC Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability,Sustainability and Society), Cardiff University.

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: Since 1996 the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) has  been implementeding two grant schemes;  ( Environment Wales (– EW)- and the Sustainable Development Fund  ( –SDF-), both of   which are aimed toat  fostering sustainability by encouraging individuals, community groups and business  to co-operate together to develop practical and sustainable solutions to a variety of social, environmental and local economic concerns.

 the management of their activities.

This paper summarises the outcomes of these schemes since theirits inception and evaluates theirits performance by applying an evaluative model of sustainabilityle policy analysis. The model identifies gaps between vision, strategies and actual outcomes in terms of changes in the environment, economy or society. The evaluation draws on evidence from 30 interviews with the  staff people responsible for administering the schemes, and with a sample of 120 projects that have benefited from the funding. Amongst other findingsthings, results indicated that despite inconsistencies in the communication and delivery of the schemes, enhanced environmental performance, community involvement and societal equity have been achieved through innovative approaches. However, involvement by businesses in local economic development has been less successful, and there is also a concern about the business involvement, and self-sufficiency of projects following without funding is wanting. Additionally most projects have focused on local communities, and the schemes have not been particularly proactive in the dissemination of knowledge and sustainable practices beyond these local boundaries. The paper then analyses two projects (one of them focused inin sustainable energy, the other onin sustainable services) where the desirable criteria of the sustainable business model, i.e. innovation, community involvement and successful replication across Wales were achieved and sustained once the funding ended.  Policy implications are drawn and suggestions for future research made.

 

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8:00 AM-8:00 PM, Friday, June 15, 2007, Oral

The Ontario, Canada 2007 Meeting