New Government roadmap upholds role of standards in effective waste management

Press release - 10th December 2012

Report published following open letter from Government

Business standards company, BSI, has produced a report to help the waste industry take greater responsibility for its environmental performance.

BSI’s “Standardization Roadmap to Support Waste Permitting” has been produced as a response to an open letter from Government requesting knowledge and insight into how standards, conformity assessment and accreditation can make a tangible impact on waste management.

Input from leading business authorities including the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Environment Agency (EA) has sought to establish the role of standards in helping organizations manage compliance with EA permitted waste management activities.

BSI has responded by identifying standards, schemes and industry best practice for waste management in three key sectors - metals, biowaste and recycling. In working with representatives from these sectors, and their stakeholders, the project has identified and considered variations in compliance with waste management regulations and the role of standards in improving the consistency and level of compliance in the industry.

A fundamental conclusion of the project is that standards have an important role to play in helping organizations achieve and maintain waste permit compliance, thereby decreasing the administrative and financial burden on both the regulator and the regulated. For standards to fulfil such a function, they should be better integrated and recognized within the current waste permitting regime. Options around this, and specifically the strategic role of environmental management system standards such as BS EN ISO 14001, are explored in BSI’s report.

Defra Minister Lord de Mauley said: “We have cut red tape in the waste sector, allowing it to concentrate on what it does best, protecting the environment and contributing to the UK economy every year. It is important that Government, the regulator and industry work together to help bring about better environmental protection while reducing the burden of regulation on those that comply and freeing up innovative businesses to create jobs and help the economy grow.”

“The Environment Agency has taken part in the Standardisation Roadmap to Support Waste Regulations Project and supports its aim to help industry demonstrate compliance with environmental permits through use of standards.” says Harvey Bradshaw, Head of Regulated Industry at the Environment Agency. “We encourage regulated industry to take responsibility for managing compliance and make greater use of standards to achieve high levels of compliance and improve environmental performance. We are committed to working with our customers and partners to drive more effective use of standards”.

Shirley Bailey-Wood, Director of Publishing at BSI said: “Although this project has looked at the further use of standards in one regulated industry, there is clearly the potential to apply a similar approach and learning to other sectors and legislative regimes. We hope that the findings will incentivise Government to move to Phase II of the project where the recommendations made in the report are actioned and appropriate policy delivery mechanisms are implemented using the expertise of BSI and the value of standards.”

The full team for this project consisted of:

About BSI

BSI (British Standards Institution) is a global organization that equips businesses with the necessary solutions to turn standards of best practice into habits of excellence. Formed in 1901, BSI was the world’s first National Standards Body and a founding member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Over a century later it continues to facilitate business improvement across the globe by helping its clients drive performance, reduce risk and grow sustainably through the adoption of international management systems standards, many of which BSI originated. Famed for its marks of excellence including the instantly recognizable Kitemark®, BSI’s influence spans multiple sectors including aerospace, construction, energy, engineering, finance, healthcare, IT and retail. With over 70,000 clients in 150 countries, BSI is an organization whose standards inspire excellence across the globe.