Industrial Pollution & Chemicals

Our Work

IEEP has long been involved in industrial policy issues, playing a central role in developing the EU's integrated approach. We undertake a wide variety of research, reviewing implementation of industrial legislation, examining potential future changes and analysing its interaction with other policy areas, such as water policy or smart regulation. We are, therefore, actively working to shape and improve industrial pollution control policy in Europe.

Although traditional ‘heavy’ industry has declined significantly in most parts of the EU in recent decades, industrial production still consumes large quantities of resources, including energy and water. A major by-product of the production process is the generation of pollution – particularly to air, water and land – with industrial pollution responsible for some of the most extreme pollution incidents in recent years.

Some European pollution policies are specific to individual types of plant or activities (e.g. combustion plants, incinerators), while the Industrial Emissions Directive (formerly the  Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive (IPPC)) has established a more comprehensive approach to the environmental management of a wide range of industrial activities.

IEEP has long been involved in industrial policy issues. We were instrumental, for example, in contributing to a trans-Atlantic dialogue on integrated approaches to pollution control in the late 1980s, which ultimately led to the adoption of IPPC within the EU. We have worked with national governments and EU institutions on policy development, the implementation of specific Directives, the nature of policy instruments to change industrial performance and a whole range of interactions with wider economic issues. Today, IEEP is actively engaged in the ongoing challenge of interpreting and implementing the EU legislation already in place as well as considering novel issues such as unconventional gas extraction. There is also a need to think more widely, for example about how industrial legislation interacts with the Europe 2020 Strategy and objectives on 'smart regulation'. IEEP recognises all these issues as important when trying to deliver effective and efficient environmental protection.

Our work on industrial pollution includes research on a number of aspects of this wider strategic agenda and more specific issues and support measures related to pollution control. Particular interests include:

  • Pollution control policy
  • Regulatory Structures and Approaches
  • Air Quality
  • Chemicals

Latest in Industrial Pollution & Chemicals

  • Nature, Health and Jobs: IEEP at Green Week 2015

    Drawing on recent work by the Institute, IEEP’s Patrick ten Brink will present at Green Week 2015 on Jobs & Growth through Green Infrastructure (3 June 2015 - 16:30-18:00, Session 2.2) and on Health and Social Benefits of Nature and Biodiversity Protection (4 June 2015 - 09:30-11:00, Session 3.3).

  • The Manual: Front pages

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This chapter provides information on the authors, editors and editorial board involved in the Manual, as well as guidance on how to use it, and a brief outline of its content.

  • The Manual: Chapter 8 - Chemicals

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This chapter on chemicals focuses on the two main strands of EU chemicals policy: REACH – (Registration, evaluation, authorisation of restricted chemicals) and CLP – (classification, labelling and packaging).

  • Environmental policy and the UK’s review of the EU Balance of Competences

    The UK Government’s Balance of Competences review has now taken evidence on 25 subject areas, including the 6 with the most relevance for the Environment. We take stock of the IEEP’s contributions, and consider what a possible UK renegotiation might mean for the environment.

  • The future of EU environmental policy: challenges & opportunities

    IEEP has produced a special report for the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPEG) on ‘The future of EU environmental policy: challenges and opportunities’. The report provides a brief review of key environmental challenges facing the EU, the main policy and strategic discussions currently underway and assesses some of the prospects and challenges for the future.

  • Assessment of the 6th Environment Action Programme

    This report presents the results of an independent evaluation of the 6th Environment Action Programme (6EAP). The overall objective of this evaluation was to provide an in-depth assessment of the achievements of the 6EAP since its adoption in 2002 to the end of 2010.