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Table 8 Two-dimensional classification system for policy variables of policy settings in sustainability governance systems, with the first dimension being “level of discretion” and the other being “method”, making up twelve theoretical policy styles

From: Conceptual framework for increasing legitimacy and trust of sustainability governance

Level of discretion → 
Method ↓
Voluntary
Optional or recommended policies encouraging action
Contingent
Requirements of specific actions are contingent
Mandatory
Specific action required
Procedural
Existence of management system or plan requirements (output based)
Management system or plan is recommended A specified or non-specified management system or plan is required, in part or contingently A specified management system or plan is required
Implementation
Compliance with BMPs (outcome based, indirectly impact based)
Implementation of specified or self-developed BMPs is recommended Implementation of specified or self-developed BMPs is required, in part or contingently Specified BMPs must be implemented
Progress
Progress demonstrated by measurement and monitoring
(impact based)
Demonstration of progress compared to BAU or status quo by measurements and monitoring is recommended Demonstration of progress compared to BAU or status quo by specified or non-specified measurements and monitoring is required, in part or contingently Demonstration of progress compared to BAU or status quo by specified measurements and monitoring systems is required
Substantive
Achievement of explicit on-the-ground goals or thresholds
(impact based)
Achievement of specific goals or thresholds is recommended, perhaps with suggestions for actions Achievement of specific goals or thresholds is required, in part or contingently, perhaps with specific suggestions for actions or method is flexible to own judgement of what actions are most effective and efficient Specific goals or thresholds should be achieved through specific actions
  1. See the text for further explanation of terms. The classification system was inspired by McDermott et al. [79] and Keller et al. [284]. BMP best management practices, BAU business as usual