Firms´ Pollution


The largest industrial installations account for a considerable share of total emissions of key atmospheric pollutants and also have other important environmental impacts, including emissions to water and soil, generation of waste and the use of energy.

Guiding Question

Will it lead to businesses becoming more or less polluting through changes in the way in which they operate?

Relevant Policies

Emissions from industrial installations are subject to EU-wide legislation.
The IPPC-Directive (Integrated Product Policy Control, Council Directive 96/61/EC)
The REACH – European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use (EC 1907/2006) The REACH – European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use (EC 1907/2006) deals with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances.


Web Resources

Further sources of data

European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR)

Further sources of information

DG Environment, Industrial emissions:
The EEA pages on industry:

Eurostat Indicators

This question exhibits similarities to the question “Does the option lead to more sustainable production and consumption?”, but it includes more clearly innovative changes in firms’ products and production processes. Three groups of Eurostat indicators can mainly be used as the basis of comparison.

The first group is patent statistics. Eurostat presents for example statistics about patents by year, region, and International Patent Classification (IPC) classes (pat_ep_ripc). When using these data, it should be analyzed if they are disaggregated enough to see if they contribute to less polluting production or not. More data on patents is available from the European Patent Office (EPA).

Eurostat secondly publishes extensive data about expenditure for Research and Development, as well as about personnel involved in R&D activities (rd_e, rd_p). Data is for example disaggregated into NACE sectors, sources of funds, for research, fields of research, or characteristics of the personnel. As for the patents, it needs to be checked if indictors can tell if they really aim at more environmentally friendly production and if they do contribute to this goal eventually.

The third group of data stems from the Community Innovation Survey (CIS). It often includes questions which have a clear reference to innovation with an environmental background. An example is innovations with environmental benefits (inn_cis6_eco) from the CIS from 2008. Unfortunately, the questions related to the environment are not repeated in every wave of the survey, reducing the comparability. Note that the surveys conducted on the national level might include questions beyond those available at Eurostat.

Other Official Indicators

Please insert indicators relevant to the question, choose indicators provided e.g. by International Organizations like the OECD, IEA, ILO or academic institutes