Roadmap points to higher standards for waste compliance

Calls to raise standards in waste management have heightened with the publication of a roadmap that seeks to make the industry more accountable for its environmental performance.

The Business Standards Institution (BSI) has drawn up a standardisation report to support waste permitting in three key areas – metals, biowaste and recycling.

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, the roadmap highlights standards, schemes and industry best practice.

According to the BSI, standards have an important role to play in helping companies achieve and maintain waste permit compliance, thereby decreasing the administrative and financial burden on both the regulator and the regulated.

However for standards to fulfil such a function, they should be better integrated and recognised 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 the roadmap.

The report is extensive in its reach and features input from BIS, Defra and the Environment Agency. Defra’s resource minister Lord de Mauley has welcomed its launch, stressing the importance of government, regulators and industry working together “to help bring about better environmental protection”.

BSI director of publishing Shirley Bailey-Wood added that there was potential to apply the learnings of this project 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,” she said.

The specific recommendations outlined in the roadmap can be viewed here

Maxine Perella

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