- The Retail Forum aims to generate a better understanding of the practical measures needed to promote sustainable consumption and production. Over time the result should be greater availability of environment-friendly and energy-efficient products in the shops and better information to consumers on how to use products in the most ecological way (for example, washing clothes at low temperature).
- The Directive concerning integrated
pollution prevention and control (IPPC) is a cornerstone of EU
legislation addressing industrial installations with a high pollution
potential. Such installations may only be operated if the operator holds a
permit containing requirements for the protection of air, water and soil,
waste minimisation, accident prevention and, if necessary, site clean-up.
These requirements must be based on the principle of best available
- The public has the right to know about emissions from industrial
installations: this is why the Commission created the European
Pollutant Emissions Register (EPER). In the future the emissions data
of approximately 20,000 industrial facilities will be accessible over the
- As part of the EU's policy towards encouraging voluntary action for
the environment, the Commission set up the Eco-Management
and Audit Scheme (EMAS) - a management tool to help companies and
other organisations to evaluate, report and improve their environmental
performance. Several thousand organisations from the EU Member States and
Norway have already joined the scheme. The European Commission has
committed itself to implement EMAS in its own services and buildings.
- The European Eco-label to make it easier for consumers to find products with a lower impact on
the environment. Its easily recognisable flower logo is used throughout
the EU, as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The scheme will
shortly be extended to services, such as tourism.
- To encourage European industry to implement environmentally sound
policies, the EU has put several initiatives in place. The European
Awards for the Environment, which takes place every two years,
recognises the achievements of European firms that have designed
innovative products, implemented successful environmental management
programmes or worked on ground breaking projects with developing
- The environmental impact of major industrial installations is already
subject to an assessment at the project stage, according to the Directive
on the assessments of the effects of certain public and private projects
on the environment.
- The Directive on the control of major-accident
hazards involving dangerous substances aims at minimising the risk of
industrial accidents and their consequences.
- All products cause environmental degradation in some way, whether from
their manufacturing, use or disposal. Integrated
Product Policy (IPP) seeks to minimise these by looking at all phases
of a products' life-cycle and taking action where it is most effective.
- Part of IPP looks at ways in which the market can encourage the adoption
of greener products and services. One aspect of this is encouraging green
public procurement. Public purchasers spend a sum equivalent to 16% of
EU GDP every year and so can have an important impact. The European
Commission facilitates action in this field through the provision of
information tools and the circulation of best practice.
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