Government-Business Relationships through Partnerships for Sustainable Development: the Green Network in Denmark

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Moving from largely command and control measures in the 1970s and 1980s, through cleaner production initiatives and self-regulatory initiatives in the 1990s, the emphasis is increasingly on using networks and partnerships between private firms, NGOs, government and civil society as levers for promoting a greening of industry. In terms of public–private partnerships, one of the foremost Danish initiatives is the Green Network in the county of Vejle. This initiative currently involves more than 250 companies and ten public bodies. The network started in 1994 and has grown in size and importance ever since. Fundamentally, it aims at providing new forms of co-operation between public authorities and private companies. The vehicle for this was initially a voluntary environmental statement by companies, who wished to be members. With the passing of time, however, the demands and pressures on both companies and public bodies have increased. Hence, the tools and means employed—outside as well as inside the network—have developed accordingly. In this paper, a distinct partnership mode of government–business relationships - a collaborative network with respect, trust and mutual legitimacy - is discussed and related to the Green Network way of doing things. The conclusion is that through dialogue, reflexivity and the establishment of an enabling environment, public–private partnerships can become useful vehicles in societies’ move towards sustainability.
TidsskriftJournal of Environmental Policy and Planning
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)235-57
Antal sider23
StatusUdgivet - 2006


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