Resource productivity and waste

Workshop Report

 


REPORT ON THE THIRD OECD WORKSHOP ON ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF WASTES
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA, 20-22 MARCH, 2002

1. BACKGROUND

The OECD has focused on developing and promulgating international policies to promote the
environmentally sound management (ESM) of wastes since the 1980s. In 1999, the Organisation decided to start working towards international ESM guidelines to improve and harmonise the environmental safety level of waste management facilities in OECD countries.

As a starting point for the work programme on the ESM of wastes, the OECD held a Workshop
on Environmentally Sound Management of Wastes Destined for Recovery Operations in October 1999.

The workshop considered relevant experience on ESM in OECD and non-OECD countries, elaborated the elements of ESM, discussed voluntary and regulatory approaches to ESM, and provided guidance for future work.

At the second ESM Workshop in September 2000, it was widely recognised that, for the time
being, the principal focus of an OECD ESM programme should be on recovery and related activities.

However, to maximise resource efficiency, recovery should not be addressed in isolation, but rather in the context of fostering sustainable development. Recovery should also encourage waste minimization, and establish a level playing field within the OECD. It was also widely viewed that an OECD ESM programme should be designed to be useful for both domestic and transboundary applications.

In the OECD context, ESM could be defined as: a scheme for ensuring that wastes and used and
scrap materials are managed in a manner that will save natural resources and protect human health and the environment against adverse effects that may result from such wastes and materials.

As the next step in the OECD work on ESM, a 3rd Workshop was hosted by the Government of
the United States in Washington, D.C., March 20-22, 2002. The workshop brought together 54 experts on ESM from Member countries, intergovernmental organisations and industry. The workshop focused on the completion of core performance elements (CPEs) and guidelines for personal computers, and on the applicability of ESM to small and medium size enterprises (SMEs). In addition, the workshop looked at options for the implementation of a meaningful package of the above elements.

This report provides a summary of the major workshop sessions, a discussion of the direction
coming out of the workshop, as well as recommendations to the OECD Working Group on Waste
Prevention and Recycling (WGWPR).


2. OBJECTIVES

The purpose of the 3rd ESM Workshop was to finalise the work carried out on ESM to date, to
clarify its goals and scope, and to further explore the ESM framework. To this end, the workshop set out to:

- review and finalise the ESM components;
-clarify the goal and scope of the ESM approach within OECD countries;
-review how ESM could be applied to small and medium size enterprises; and
-develop options for a meaningful package of ESM components with the aim of providing proposals to the WGWPR for a solid and implementable ESM framework.

3. SESSION 1: GOALS, SCOPE AND INITIAL CONSIDERATION OF THE ESM FRAMEWORK

Following an overview of the workshop and ESM work completed to date, the OECD paper on Options for Combinations of Components for an OECD Framework on ESM was presented [ENV/EPOC/WGWPR(2002)6]. The paper proposed a number of options for combining Core Performance Elements (CPEs), environmental management systems (EMS) and waste stream-specific guidelines. Also proposed was the development of an international standard, through ISO or an OECD Council Act. The presentation included a discussion of the pros and cons of each option, and suggested that the appropriate mechanism for finalizing, packaging and promulgating the ESM Framework for OECD purposes would depend on the Member countries' objectives for the framework. Primary considerations include:

- the extent to which Members want the Framework to affect government laws and policies and direct industry performance;
- the desire to ensure flexibility to provide for current application to SMEs, and for future
amendment to reflect new techniques and allow for expansion up- and down-stream; and
-the degree to which OECD Members wish to retain control over the final content of the Framework.

Only an OECD Council Decision would ensure direct impact on domestic laws and policies, and consequently on industry performance. If Member countries are unwilling to be bound by a Council Decision, there are various ISO and OECD instrument options that could provide equivalent levels of
environmental benefit, but carry fewer guarantees of doing so. The primary reason for using an OECD Instrument would be the desire to retain control over the final content of the Framework. An ISO Standard or Guidance Document would be developed by an ISO Technical Committee, which must follow a prescribed process and must include a variety of stakeholders from interested countries and perspectives.

As such, an ISO document may take more time to develop. It may also be very difficult to include environmental performance criteria in an ISO document. Ultimately, however, an ISO document may have more influence on industry behaviour and on governments outside of the OECD area.

4. SESSION 1: BREAK-OUT GROUP DISCUSSIONS

During Session 1 there were three break-out groups addressing the following topics:

Groups 1 and 2: Goals and Scope of ESM

1. What are the objectives that OECD is trying to achieve through its ESM approach (e.g.
should ESM level the playing field?)?
2. What kind of activities and types of facilities should be covered by the ESM approach?
3. What wastes should ESM cover? Should it also cover materials that are not defined as
wastes?
4. What would be the optimal level of prescriptiveness of ESM, and how high should the "bar"
be set?
5. Should ESM approach be rather mandatory or voluntary?

Group 3: An ESM Framework

1. What would be the relationship of core performance elements with waste stream specific
guidelines? Would they cover a different scope of activities?
2. What would be the role of core performance elements in relation to an environmental
management system?
3. What would a preliminary combination of ESM components look like?

Group 1: Outcome of Discussions

1. What are the objectives that OECD is trying to achieve through its ESM approach?

Group 1 proposed that the role of the OECD is to:

1. Encourage recycling/recovery in an environmentally sound way; and
2. Ensure fair access to the material and fair competition.

The following challenges or requirements were also noted:

-It is necessary to level the playing field, while recognizing flexibility in the different
countries, that may be difficult to achieve;
-CPEs must fit to different waste streams; and
-Transboundary and domestic activities should be dealt with in the same way

2. What kind of activities and types of facilities should be covered by the ESM approach?

The group made the following points concerning the coverage of ESM:

-Production, consumption and collection are important issues, but Extended Producer
Responsibility is the main actor in these areas;
-Transport should be excluded from the ESM regime;
-Storage should be included to avoid stockpiles;
-The most important element to be considered is treatment technologies, and it was proposed
that the OECD could provide advice/guidance concerning suitable treatment technologies.

3. What wastes should ESM cover?

In terms of the types of materials covered, the group proposed that ESM should apply to all
materials that go to recovery/recycling. It was also suggested that different waste types could be
considered, including:
-Hazardous wastes;
-High volume wastes; and
-Problematic wastes.

4. What would be the optimal level of prescriptiveness of ESM?

The group felt that it would be difficult to be prescriptive as ESM is a concept. It was suggested
that experience in application of the elements of ESM by member countries will demonstrate the
appropriate level of prescriptiveness over time. Further, the group proposed that the OECD could develop
and recommend instruments and incentives to help enterprises implement ESM.

5. Should the ESM approach be mandatory or voluntary?

The group felt that there are different ways to approach ESM depending on the circumstances
and situation. It was felt that market forces should drive the process as a first step, however it is common
for industry to request a regulatory backstop when a voluntary approach is taken.

Group 2: Outcome of Discussions

1. What are the objectives that OECD is trying to achieve through its ESM approach?
Similar to group 1, breakout group 2 suggested that there are two dimensions to creating a level
playing field:
-Economic - ensuring same or comparable market conditions; and
-Environmental - avoid eco-dumping where low standards create opportunities.

In addition, group 2 proposed two broader objectives:
-Protection of the environment; and
-Providing a model for the Basel Convention.
-In pursuing these objectives, the group felt that the following must be taken into account:
-There are currently no ESM obligations under the OECD;
-There are different national and regional standards;
-Goals and means should correspond; and
-ESM could hinder recovery opportunities.

2. What kind of activities and types of facilities should be covered by the ESM approach? What
wastes should ESM cover?

Group 2 discussed the waste stream versus facility approach and proposed that both can be
applied depending on the circumstances. In particular, it was proposed that treatment, recovery and final
disposal operations could be covered by ESM, and that generation (production and consumption) should
not be covered. There was no consensus on whether collection or segregation should be covered.

This group suggested that problematic wastes (i.e. hazardous or high volume waste streams)
should be considered, however it would be difficult to implement waste specific standards. There was no
discussion of the waste - non waste issue.

3. What would be the optimal level of prescriptiveness of ESM?

Group 2 proposed that mandatory requirements should be more general in nature and that specific
requirements should be voluntary. There was discussion and no consensus around whether
prescriptiveness should apply to process or performance. In their present form CPEs seem to apply mainly
to large enterprises.

4. Should the ESM approach be mandatory or voluntary?

The group discussed the use of instruments across the spectrum from voluntary to mandatory and
suggested that implementation of these instruments depended on the capacity and authority/level of control
that can be exercised by individual states.

Group 3: Outcome of Discussions

1. What would be the relationship of core performance elements with the waste stream specific
guidelines? Would they cover a different scope of activities?
In considering the relationship between CPEs and waste stream specific guidelines, Group 3
wanted to reinforce that both of these elements of the ESM framework are required. Further, it was
suggested that the scope of coverage of these two elements could be different, and that flexibility should be
built into CPEs to address the specific requirements of SMEs.

2. What would be the role of core performance elements in relation to an environmental
management system (EMS)?

Group 3 felt that CPEs are broader than EMS, and that EMS should be an included element. It
was also proposed that both CPEs and EMS need to be tailored for SMEs, otherwise implementation may
not be feasible.

3. What would a preliminary combination of ESM components look like?

Group 3 supported the model presented in the OECD paper on Options for Combinations of
Components for an OECD Framework on ESM (as depicted in figure 1, below). In this model, EMS
provides the core, is expanded on by CPEs, and waste stream specific guidelines provide specificity. All
elements of this framework would need to be tailored to provide flexibility to SMEs.

5. SESSION 2: CORE PERFORMANCE ELEMENTS OF ESM GUIDELINES

The second session opened with a presentation of an OECD paper, "Core Performance Elements
of the Guidelines for ESM of Wastes" [ENV/EPOC/WGWPR(2001)4/REV2]. The presentation reviewed
the process for developing the current version of CPEs, which suggests that:

1. Adequate regulatory infrastructure and enforcement should exist to ensure compliance with
applicable regulations;

2. The recovery facility should be authorized;

3. The recovery facility should take adequate measures to safeguard occupational and
environmental health and safety;

4. The recovery facility should have an applicable EMS in place;

5. The facility should have an operative monitoring, recording and reporting programme;

6. The facility shall have an appropriate and operative training program for personnel;

7. The recovery facility should have an information exchange program to optimize recovery;

8. The recovery facility should have a verified emergency plan;

9. The recovery facility should have a plan for closure and after-care.

Workshop participants were left with a number of key issues to be considered:
-Can the "level playing field" be reached through these elements?
-Scope of the core performance elements: hazardous waste or all waste?
-How can "performance" be measured?

The presentation was followed by a Panel Discussion on CPEs by various players in ESM
(Industry, Environmental NGOs, Government, European Commission). While there was general support
for the OECD approach to ESM by members of the panel, there were differing perspectives on the scope or
degree of flexibility required in the regime.

The second day opened with a presentation on the newly established International Association of
Electronic Recyclers certification process and its link to CPEs and EMS.

6. SESSION 2: BREAK-OUT GROUP DISCUSSIONS

Instructions to the Session 2 break-out groups varied slightly from the original Agenda, in that
discussion of the CPEs was divided between two groups, and Group 3 discussed a proposed combination
of elements for an ESM framework.

Group 1: Core Performance Elements

Group 1 addressed elements 1, 2, 3 and 4 [ENV/EPOC/WGWPR(2001)4/REV2] and considered
the following questions:

1. Are there elements which should be added or deleted?
2. How much detail should be used to describe the content and requirements of each element?
3. Should ESM be solely management-based or should a defined level of quantity/quality in
recovery operations met?
4. If the prescriptiveness of the elements should be increased or reduced, what are the
instructions for considered elements ?

Group 2: Core Performance Elements

Group 2 addressed CPEs 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 and considered the same questions as above.

Group 3: Draft OECD Council Decision-Recommendation on ESM
Group 3 discussed the content of a possible OECD Council Decision-Recommendation on ESM.

Group 1: Outcome of discussions
Members of Group 1 commenced with a discussion on the Background section of the OECD
paper on Core Performance Elements, and agreed that it is difficult to address questions concerning the core performance elements without having settled on the scope of the EMS framework. Decisions will need to be made on whether this process will lead to legally binding instruments or a voluntary system, or whether it applies to hazardous waste only or to all waste and recyclables. The group suggested that prescriptiveness would increase for a voluntary system and decrease for a mandatory system. Specific suggestions included substituting "applicable" for "useful" in the last sentence of paragraph 3 and adding language to paragraph 9 noting the special circumstances of SMEs. Group 1 continued with a discussion of CPEs 1-4:

CPE 1

The group discussed the application of this element to SMEs, and it was proposed that the
meeting should address "small and micro" enterprises as opposed to medium-sized enterprises. One
participant recommended that CPE 1 should make reference to the special circumstances of SMEs.
Another participant noted that some countries allow for some flexibility for SMEs when it comes to
meeting environmental performance objectives. Other members of the group responded that making
special provisions for SMEs would exempt most facilities and not allow for a level playing field. There
was consensus that the objective for the CPEs is to level the playing field among OECD member countries.
A participant suggested that CPE 1 should be improved, and that it should explicitly state that the waste should not be exported to countries or facilities that do not manage waste in an environmentally sound manner.

CPE 2

The group did not come to a consensus on this CPE. Some members of the group did not see
added benefit in listing waste categories that can be recovered in paragraph 12, arguing that the focus
should be on emissions and environmental performance. Others felt that listing waste categories that can be recovered was prudent. Some expressed a view that the focus should be primarily on compliance with domestic regulations and leveling the playing field, as opposed to imposing prescriptive requirements for authorization and best available technology (BAT).
There was a consensus to modify sentence 2 of paragraph 12 to substituting "emission limits" for
"emission controls".

CPE 3

There was general consensus in the to support CPE 3 as drafted. Experts believed that
occupational safety and health are adequately addressed by appropriate regulators in their member
countries for all manufacturing activities, including recycling facilities.

CPE 4

Some members of the group expressed concern with EMS being a mandatory requirement.
Others emphasized the benefits of a "tailored" EMS appropriate to the nature and scale of the activity, as opposed to a formal/institutional EMS (i.e. ISO or EMAS). Some participants argued that the focus should not be strictly on ISO/EMAS, but that other systems including self-certification should be acceptable on a case-by-case basis. Others expressed doubt over the effectiveness of self-certification. Individual suggestions included the need for public participation in environmental auditing, and the need for an initial review and employee involvement.

Group 2: Outcome of Discussions

Group 2 addressed the specific questions posed in the Agenda.

1. Are there elements which should be added or deleted (within elements 5-9)?

Group 2 was in general agreement with the 5 elements but suggested that there is a need for
limitations in applying elements based on the level of concern and specific conditions.

2. How much detail should be used to describe the content and requirements of each element?

Group 2 recommended an approach that strives for simplicity and ease of implementation. In
particular, the group felt that CPE content should allow for differences in risk, types of wastes and
facilities. There was also support for less detail or prescriptiveness in the CPEs for SMEs, but that
guidance materials would be necessary to ensure effective implementation.

3. Should ESM be solely management based or should a defined level of quantity/quality in
recovery operations be met?

The group generally preferred the management based approach and felt that quantitative
measures are better dealt with through national requirements.

4. If the prescriptiveness of the elements should be increased or reduced, what are the instructions
for elements 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9?

CPE 5

The group felt that reporting should be left to national requirements and kept appropriate for the
level of hazard.

CPE 6

The group had a number of suggestions for additions/clarifications concerning this CPE:
-The types of training allowed (e.g. on-the-job, formal) should be specified;
-The auditor should review the need for "increased training";
-Difference should be made between the training programmes and training plans; and
-Training should in particular focus on the prevention of incidents.

CPE 7

The group valued the concept of an information exchange program at the aggregate level, and
suggested that there are different ways to fulfill this requirement. One example is a system run by a
recovery industry association and selected operators of recovery facilities.

CPE 8

The group felt that verification of emergency plans is a difficult requirement to meet, and
proposed alternate wording - "adequate, written emergency plan". The group also felt that this element
should allow for common, cross-cutting parts of the emergency plan. It was also suggested that the plan be shared with relevant authorities.

CPE 9

The group had a number of suggestions concerning this CPE on closure and after-care. It was
suggested that this plan requirement should be driven by risk, and should reflect other precautions taken: if the risk is low, this should be reflected in a simple closure plan.

The group also felt that insurance (financial guarantee) needs should be based on risk, regardless
of the size of the facility. The difficulties this requirement poses for SMEs were recognized, and it was
proposed that there be a case study prepared on insurance and SMEs.

Group 3: Outcome of discussions

After a discussion on a methodology for selecting appropriate instruments for various
components of an OECD ESM framework (based on the objectives established at the beginning of the
workshop), the group agreed to draft a proposal for an OECD Council Act, combining both decision and
recommendation elements. The decision elements would be binding on Member countries. The first draft presented to the plenary is provided below:

Decision Elements

1. Principle objectives of ESM:

-Progress to a minimum common playing field within the OECD zone ensuring fair access to
materials and fair competition;
-Ensure saving of resources and protection of human health and the environment from adverse
effects that may result from the treatment of wastes
-Encourage recycling and recovery
-Contribute to waste reduction policies (however, how to include this objective in the present
approach must be elaborated)

2. Member countries policies:

-Member countries shall elaborate national programmes/policies to implement the objectives
of ESM.
-They shall include the necessary steps and instruments, including mandatory and/or voluntary
measures as appropriate.

3. Monitoring mechanism:

-Member countries shall report to the Secretariat on the adopted programmes and the progress made (frequency to be discussed)
-On the basis of the above and any further necessary studies, the WGWPR shall report to EPOC on the progress made by Member countries on the implementation of ESM
programmes and recommend necessary further action.

Recommendation elements

It is recommended that Member countries:

-Integrate in their programmes measures to implement the CPEs annexed to this Act
-Ensure implementation to the greatest extent possible of the ESM guidelines on specific
waste streams adopted by EPOC (possibly to be referenced in the Act)
-Take the steps/measures to ensure that transboundary movements within the OECD area are
directed to ESM facilities
-Advantage ESM facilities inter alia through appropriate instruments such as simplification of
procedures.

Instruction to the WGWPR:

-Update as necessary the CPEs (approval procedure of revised CPEs by the appropriate OECD
body to be checked) and specifically address the issue of application of CPEs according to
the various sizes of enterprises.
-Update as necessary the waste stream specific ESM guidelines according to technological
progress (approval procedure of revised guidelines by the appropriate OECD body to be
checked).

7. SESSION 3: WASTE STREAM SPECIFIC ESM GUIDELINES FOR PERSONAL COMPUTERS

During the third session a paper on Waste Stream Specific ESM Guidelines for Personal
Computers was presented, followed by a plenary discussion where the participants expressed general
support. There was discussion on the scope of the guidelines versus the scope of CPEs, and that there may be a need to clarify applicability of the CPE to certain types of low risk facilities (e.g. refurbishment facilities).

8. SESSION 4: ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS AS A KEY
ELEMENT OF ESM

Three papers related to EMS were presented during this session:

-Use of Environmental Management Systems as a Key Component of ESM within the OECD
area [ENV/EPOC/WGWPR(2001)5/REV2];
-The Possibilities of ISO 14 000 and ISO Technical Report to incorporate the developed ESM
guidelines, and thus play a key role in ensuring ESM of wastes and materials destined for
recovery operations; and
-The Possibilities of the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) to play a key
role in ensuring ESM of wastes and materials destined for recovery operations.

Following a brief overview presentation on the OECD paper, Ms. Katie Altoft of the ISO
Secretariat and Mr. Matthias Fritz of the European Commission Directorate General-Environment gave
informative presentations on ISO options and EMAS options, respectively. Ms. Altoft described the
various ISO products available, but cautioned that ISO work will be highly focused over the next few
years. As a result, new ISO products potentially relevant to the OECD ESM effort will not be pursued
during that time. Mr. Fritz described the elements of EMAS and their advantages and applicability to
SMEs.

9. SESSION 5: HOW CAN SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZED ENTERPRISES
IMPLEMENT ESM

This session commenced with the presentation of a series of papers that had been commissioned
by the OECD on the subject: ENV/EPOC/WGWPR(2002)5, ENV/EPOC/WGWPR/RD(2002)5,
ENV/EPOC/WGWPR/RD(2002)6, ENV/EPOC/WGWPR/RD(2002)7.

10. SESSION 5: BREAK-OUT GROUP DISCUSSIONS

During Session 5 there were three break-out groups addressing the following topics:

Group 1: EMS as a Key Element of ESM

1. Should a formal EMS be a component of ESM?
2. How could EMS support an ESM approach (environmental policy, goal, scope)?
3. Should the OECD relate the core performance elements to the EMS as an integrated part of
ESM?
4. Possibilities of an ISO Technical Report to incorporate ESM guidelines within the OECD
area?
5. Does EMAS have elements which would be a useful contribution to ESM in addition to ISO
14 000?

Group 2: Applicability of ESM to SMEs

1. Which core performance elements are particularly difficult to implement by SMEs?
2. What can be done to help SMEs implement core performance elements?
3. How could waste stream specific ESM guidelines be applied to SMEs?
4. What can be done to improve the applicability?
5. What are the potential mechanisms to help SMEs implement ESM?

Group 3: Draft OECD Council Decision-Recommendation on ESM

Group 3 continued its work on a Draft OECD Council Decision-Recommendation on ESM.

Group 1: Outcome of Discussions

1. Should a formal EMS be a component of ESM?
The group felt that it is a good idea to include EMS as an element of ESM, but that it should be
voluntary. Furthermore, the level of detail should be proportional to the activities of the facility.

2. How could EMS support an ESM approach (environmental policy, goal, scope)?
Again, the group generally supported EMS as a tool to promote ESM, and to provide evidence
that a facility is managed in an environmentally sound manner. It was proposed that market incentives and public awareness should be used to encourage certification.

3. Should the OECD relate the core performance elements to the EMS as an integrated part of
ESM?
The group felt that if an EMS is in place, it should address all CPEs. It was also suggested that
both ISO and EMAS allow for the inclusion of CPEs, if desired.

4. Possibilities of an ISO Technical Report to incorporate ESM guidelines within the OECD area?
The group generally felt that an ISO Technical Report will not be necessary.

5. Does EMAS have elements that would be a useful contribution to ESM in addition to ISO
14 000?

The group focused discussion on the main differences between EMAS and ISO:

1. Initial environmental review:
For ISO, a baseline and gap analysis is a precondition, but not mandatory. The group felt that it
is included inherently in CPE 4.

2. External Communication and Verification
Again, the group felt that these requirements were covered by paragraph 23 under CPE 5, but that
audit requirements should be proportional to the activities or risks at the facilities.

3. Commitment and Requirements
The group discussed the issues of compliance with environmental legislation and employee
involvement and came to no final conclusions. It was recommended that these issues need to be addressed
and studied further.

4. Continuous Improvement of Environmental Performance
The group felt that this was adequately addressed by CPE 4.

Group 2: Outcome of Discussions

1. Which core performance elements are particularly difficult to implement by SMEs?
The group identified the following CPEs as being difficult for SMEs to implement:
-CPE 4 - The requirement for an initial assessment under EMAS, or aspect identification
under ISO, as well as the requirement for verification or auditing by a third party;
-CPE 5 - Monitoring and reporting;
-CPE 6 - Training;
-CPE 8 - Emergency Planning; and
-CPE 9 - Financial Guarantees.
With respect to CPE 2, the group felt that facilities should be authorized by applicable legislation,
recognizing that micro facilities are not permitted in some countries, and that the OECD will not define an
SME. It was suggested that industry associations could address certification for SMEs.

2. How could waste stream specific ESM guidelines be applied to SMEs? What can be done to
improve the applicability?

The group felt that guidelines benefit SMEs because they are information-based, and suggested
that trade associations should be the vehicle for promoting them. It was also suggested that the guidelines
be made available on the OECD website in many languages.

3. What are the potential mechanisms to help SMEs to implement ESM?

The group proposed a number of mechanisms to help SMEs implement ESM including:
-Partnership programmes;
-Larger companies requiring suppliers to apply minimum ESM requirements;
-Government assistance or support;
-Incentives/financial support;
-Relief of regulatory burden; and
-Assistance through SME industry associations.

Group 3: Outcome of discussions

The group continued work on an OECD Council Act on environmentally sound management of
wastes, containing both decision elements (that would be binding for Member countries) and
recommendation elements. A draft paper illustrating the elements to be included in such a Decision-
Recommendation, prepared in a break-out group and endorsed by the workshop, is annexed to this report.
There was general consensus that certain elements of the Act should be a formalized as a decision, while
other elements may be left to the discretion of member states and included in a recommendation.

11. CONCLUSIONS

During the Workshop, substantial progress was made towards development of a framework for
an ESM programme within the OECD area, including the drafting of a potential Council Act, identifying
both OECD and Member country objectives and activities. Although some important issues are not yet
fully resolved, the Workshop enabled significant discussion and understanding of the major issues by the
participants. The papers prepared for the Workshop were found to be of great value to advancing the
work.

Workshop participants again reinforced the importance of the three main elements of an OECD
ESM programme:

-environmental management systems and processes;
-core performance elements; and
-waste stream specific guidelines.
It was seen that member countries should ensure implementation of these three main elements as
far as possible, allowing for needed flexibility in domestic programmes and considering issues of
practicability for SMEs.

Goals

It was recognised that the general goal is to establish a common threshold level for ESM amongst
the OECD countries, which could be considered as an international model. More specific goals were
mentioned:
-Economic goal: to have an even level playing field amongst OECD countries to ensure fair
competition between countries and enterprises and fair access to material; and
-Environmental goal: to protect the environment by:
encouraging environmentally sound recycling/recovery through the use of CPEs; and
diverting waste streams from low-standard recovery facilities to those facilities that
manage wastes in an environmentally sound manner.
It was noted that:
-CPEs/ESM should apply to different waste streams and be acceptable to different levels of
government (national/regional);
-ESM can have a counter-productive effect such as hindering recovery and favouring a less
costly option for managing wastes, as disposal for example; and
-ESM should concern recovery of both wastes that are imported or locally generated.

Scope: what should ESM cover?

1. Activities covered

It was agreed that all activities related to waste recovery should be covered in principle. The
following activities were discussed:
-Storage: should be covered, to avoid stockpiles;
-Treatment of wastes: the recovery of waste is the most important activity to be covered by
ESM. Disposal of residues from recovery operations should also be covered;
-Transport of wastes should not be covered by the OECD ESM approach because it is already
regulated by national and international transport rules;
-Production and consumption should not be covered because other programmes deal with this
issue (EPR) but there is an important link to keep in mind (e.g. product design can facilitate
recycling and reduce recycling costs); and
-Collection: No agreement was reached whether collection should be covered or not by ESM
However it is still questioned if the scope of the ESM approach should also be extended to cover
materials going to refurbishment and wastes destined for disposal operations.

2. Wastes covered

All hazardous wastes subject to recovery operations should be covered as well as hazardous
residues from recovery operations. It was debated whether non hazardous wastes should be covered, in
particular wastes that are considered "problematic" without being hazardous per se, e.g. used tyres and
high volume wastes (construction & demolition wastes). No final agreement could be reached on this issue
but flexibility was recommended in the application of ESM to non-hazardous wastes, if any.

Should ESM be prescriptive or not ?

Prescriptiveness is difficult to apply to a concept. Flexibility is necessary because of:
-different local conditions amongst countries;
-different laws and regulations in place amongst countries; and
-industry has to fulfill both cost efficiency and environmental efficiency.

Should ESM be voluntary and/or mandatory?

Flexibility is also necessary in this regard according to circumstances:
-ESM should be mandatory when legislation already exists;
-ESM may become mandatory when voluntary approaches have not been successful
(evolutive process); and
-Mandatory ESM is sometimes requested by industry to ensure a fair level playing field and
avoid free riders (backstop regulations).

On the other hand an ESM voluntary approach may result in raising the bar due to the role of the
market forces while also achieving environmental results.

At that stage it was difficult to reach consensus on a mandatory approach but countries
recognised the need to pursue the effort towards a common ESM approach and agreed on what should be the OECD role:
-harmonise as much as possible existing elements of ESM between countries;
-create economic incentives for enterprises to implement ESM;
-develop and recommend instruments to help industry implement ESM; and
-seek for an appropriate combination of instruments according to different situations.

Core Performance Elements as part of ESM

Experts agreed that the CPEs as presented in the document ENV/EPOC/WGWPR(2001)4/REV2
address the relevant issues and that no additional CPEs are needed. Finally there was general agreement that flexibility should be provided in the implementation of CPEs by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Outcome for PC Guidelines

The Waste Stream Specific Guidelines for ESM of Personal Computers were discussed. The
guidelines were noted by the member countries and industry observers to be of particular value. Although the scope of the guidelines was seen by most delegates to be quite appropriate, it was agreed that some revisions would be needed regarding applicability of the core performance elements to refurbishment facilities.

Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and ESM

For the first time, the participants in the Washington ESM workshop held detailed discussions on
environmental management systems (EMS) as a component of the OECD ESM framework under
development.

At the second ESM workshop in Vienna, country representatives recognized the need for more
information on the ISO or EMAS EMSs as a likely component of the OECD ESM framework being
developed. Ms. Katie Altoft of the ISO Secretariat and Mr. Matthias Fritz of the European Commission
Directorate General - Environment gave informative presentations on ISO options and EMAS options,
respectively. Ms. Altoft described the various ISO products available although ISO work will be focused
over the next few years so new ISO products potentially relevant to the OECD ESM effort will not be
pursued during that time. Mr. Fritz described the elements of EMAS and their advantages.

The workshop participants generally agreed to the following: It would be useful to have an EMS
as a component of the OECD ESM framework while recognizing the need for flexibility given the large
proportion of recovery facilities which are small and medium sized enterprises. Having an EMS should be voluntary tool which promotes ESM and should also be proportional to the activities of the facilities.
EMSs under the OECD framework should address all CPEs given that both ISO and EMAS allow the
inclusion of CPEs if desired. EMAS could contribute to the OECD ESM framework in the following
areas: preliminary environmental review; external communication and verification; audit methods; and
continuous improvement commitments as these are described in relevant sections of the core performance elements. The workshop participants noted that the relevance of the EMAS element on employee involvement to the ESM framework would benefit of further discussions.

Market incentives and increased public awareness can encourage certification. An ISO Technical
Report (TR) on the recovery sector is not necessary since such a Report probably will not add much to the OECD ESM framework and because ISO will not begin to consider further TRs until 2004 at the earliest.

Applicability of ESM to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

There was a wide agreement that recovery facilities should be authorised, licensed, or permitted
according to applicable domestic legislation since not all Member countries have a permitting programme for micro-facilities. It was also widely recognised that certain CPEs, such as those on training, monitoring, reporting, auditing and emergency preparation, may be difficult for SMEs to implement. Due to lack of adequate resources and knowledge, SMEs, in particular micro and small recovery facilities, may need tailored solutions Therefore, it was recommended that governments and industry associations establish supportive programmes or policies to promote implementation of the CPEs by SMEs. Further, governments should encourage large enterprises to establish partnerships with SMEs to support the implementation of ESM.

ESM Framework - Proposed Council Decision-Recommendation on ESM

The workshop participants considered different options for combinations of components for an
OECD framework on the environmentally sound management of wastes as presented in document
ENV/EPOC/WGWPR(2002)6. The workshop agreed to explore further the possibility to prepare an
OECD Council Act on environmentally sound management of wastes, containing both decision elements (that would be binding for Member countries) and recommendation elements. A draft paper illustrating the elements to be included in such a Decision-Recommendation, prepared in a break-out group and endorsed by the workshop, is annexed to this report.

The workshop recognised that the main purpose of the draft paper is to list the concepts that
would need to be addressed in the new Council Act. Further elaboration of the concepts and the wordings used will need to be done at a later stage, if the proposed approach in general is endorsed by the WGWPR.


It was further noted that at this stage the draft has mainly been prepared in personal capacity of the
workshop representatives, and consultation of the interested parties within Member countries is still
needed, e.g. with regard to the most appropriate format of the Act.

It was debated whether the Act should apply to all movements of wastes or only to those taking
place within the OECD area, but no final agreement could be reached on this issue.

Main Recommendations from the Workshop

The workshop participants recommend the WGWPR to take the following next steps:

1. Further develop the proposed draft Council Decision-Recommendation on ESM of wastes
with the intention of final adoption in the future by the OECD Council;

2. Prepare the Core Performance Elements (CPEs), according to the comments of Member
countries, for eventual finalization; and

3. Consider developing new waste stream specific guidelines for environmentally sound
management of wastes only after completing the OECD ESM framework under the proposed
Council Decision-Recommendation.

ANNEX

DRAFT OECD COUNCIL DECISION-RECOMMENDATION
ON ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF WASTES

The Group agreed to propose the preparation of an OECD Council Act combining both the
Decision elements and Recommendation elements. The Decision elements would be binding for Member
countries.

Preamble

References to relevant OECD Council Acts on transboundary movements of wastes

Principle objectives of ESM:

-Progress to a common playing field within the OECD zone ensuring fair access to materials
and fair competition;
-Save natural resources and protect human health and the environment from adverse effects
that may result from the recovery [and disposal] of wastes;
-Encourage recycling and recovery;
-[Ensure that requirements for disposal are as stringent as those for recovery, in order not to
create an incentive for disposal]; and
-Contribute to waste reduction policies (however, how to include this objective in the present
approach must be further elaborated)

Scope

This Decision-Recommendation shall apply to recovery [and disposal] of wastes.
However, for micro and small enterprises and/or for certain non-hazardous wastes, some
elements of this Decision-Recommendation may need [adjustment].("adjustment" needs some further
elaboration)

Decision elements

1. Member countries policies:

Member countries shall elaborate programmes or policies to implement the above mentioned
objectives of ESM. They shall include the necessary steps and instruments, including mandatory and/or
voluntary measures as appropriate. In particular, Member countries shall ensure the existence of adequate
regulatory infrastructure and enforcement, including an appropriate authorisation regime, as described in
core performance elements 1 and 2 of the Annex.

2 Monitoring mechanism:

-Member countries shall report to the WGWPR on the adopted programmes or policies and
the progress made (frequency and form to be discussed); and
-On the basis of the above and any further necessary studies, the WGWPR shall report to
EPOC on the progress made by Member countries on the implementation of ESM
programmes or policies and recommend necessary further action.

Recommendation elements

It is recommended that Member countries :

-Integrate in their programmes or policies measures to implement the CPEs annexed to this
[Act];
-As far as possible ensure implementation of the ESM guidelines on specific waste streams
adopted by EPOC (possibly to be referenced in the Act);
-Take all practicable steps/measures to direct transboundary movements of wastes within the
OECD area to facilities which fulfill the core performance elements annexed to this [Act];
and
-Provide incentives, such as simplified control procedures, for facilities that fulfill the core
performance elements annexed to this [Act].

Instruction of the OECD Council to the EPOC

-Update as necessary the CPEs, addressing in particular the issue of application of CPEs
according to the various sizes of enterprises; and
-Develop and update as necessary the waste specific ESM guidelines according to
technological progress.

ANNEX
This ANNEX would include the Core Performance Elements as presented in the Document
ENV/EPOC/WGWPR(2001)4/REV2, but adjusted for the purposes of this Council Act.
***************************************************

 

 

 

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