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Best Environmental Management Practice

The reference document for the Waste Management sector

Waste Management

The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) is developing a sectoral reference document (SRD) on best environmental management practice for the waste management sector. Waste management is a key sector in terms of resource efficiency where best practice, going well beyond regulatory requirements, can be of great benefit.

This activity is part of the JRC work on identification of best environmental management practice and development of EMAS Sectoral Reference Documents for different sectors.

Two main target groups have been identified for this SRD: waste management companies and public authorities in charge of waste management (waste authorities).
Research will focus on the main direct and indirect environmental aspects for waste management companies and waste authorities and on initiatives/measures/techniques/actions implemented by frontrunner (best performing) organisations within the sector. On the basis of this research, the document will extensively present best environmental management practices (BEMPs), environmental performance indicators and benchmarks of excellence in the fields of:

  • Establishing an integrated waste management strategy.
  • Waste prevention.
  • Waste collection.
  • Waste re-use.
  • Waste treatment facilities.
  • Implementation of producer responsibility scheme.

For areas covered by the Best Available Technique (BAT) Reference Document (BREF) on Waste Treatment Industry, the SRD will not describe BEMPs but refer to the relevant guidance in terms of best available techniques in the BREF.

Work plan

The JRC has hired an external contractor, BZL (Germany), in cooperation with E3 (UK), to produce a background report to be used as a basis for the development of the sectoral reference document. In the meantime, the JRC established a Technical Working Group (TWG) comprising experts in environment and waste management to gather and review information and to validate the best environmental management practices, environmental performance indicators and benchmarks of excellence. The kick-off meeting of the TWG took place on 30 September - 1 October 2015.

Based on the inputs and comments provided by the TWG at the kick-off meeting and during further cooperation, BZL/E3 have further developed the background report which is expected to be completed in April 2016.

The JRC, in cooperation with the TWG, will then develop the background report into a draft best practice report to be discussed at a final meeting of the TWG which is expected in late 2016 - early 2017.


Project Team and Contacts

The following people are part of the JRC-IPTS EMAS team:

  • Paolo Canfora
  • Marco Dri
  • Ioannis Antonopoulos
  • Pierre Gaudillat

If you have any question on the work carried out in this area or if you would like to contribute to the identification of best environmental management practices, please feel free to contact us. The best way to do so is sending an e-mail to





The mission of the JRC is to provide customer-driven scientific and technical support for the conception, development, implementation and monitoring of EU policies. As a service of the European Commission, the JRC functions as a reference centre of science and technology for the Union. Close to the policy-making process, it serves the common interest of the Member States, while being independent of special interests, whether private or national.