May 24, 2019

How do the BAT requirements steer industries towards becoming more sustainable?

There are several reasons as to why industrial companies today choose to improve their energy and water management. One of the driving factors is new requirements aiming to reduce the harm caused by industries on the environment and the climate. These guidelines are gathered under the name BAT (Best Available Techniques) which means more uniform requirements on emissions from industries within the EU.

There are different driving forces behind making changes in a company’s energy and water management. Either energy costs are becoming too high or unpredictable, or there is a strong ambition to, or even legal requirements to, transform into a more sustainable business.

BAT means more uniform requirements regarding emissions from different industries

On an EU level these requirements are gathered under the concept BAT (Best Available Techniques), a foundational principle stating that all industry actors should take every feasible preventive measure to avoid pollution.

Actors from each industrial sector have together created a common document called BREF (BAT Reference Document), that concludes the available environmental technique and what actions should be taken regarding energy efficiency, water treatment or chemical use.

This concluding document also contains requirements called BAT conclusions. Requirements are partly posed on a general level, such as water consumption should be reduced, and in some cases with specific values attached to them, which are called BAT-ael;s (BAT Associated Emission Level). BAT conclusions for a certain industry must be obeyed by affected industries within four years, the latest after they have been made public.

In parallel with BAT, there are often additional requirements on a national level. Depending on the conditions in the geographical area, the national requirements can be stricter than BAT.

Continuous and more predictable development towards a more sustainable industry

For large industry actors, the BAT requirements mean that businesses will have to continuously renew themselves in everything from technical equipment to working methods. From a wider perspective, the requirements will result in a more predictable and uniform development within the EU and the opportunity to start working more proactively instead of reactively.

Hampus Bellander, Technical Concept Developer at Adven in Sweden, often discuss BAT with suppliers and customers.

“We have experienced that the awareness about these environmental EU-level requirements can be rather low among some industrial actors, explains Bellander. Those who are aware have learnt the hard way when the deadlines are getting closer, and for some they come out of nowhere. The BAT conclusions enable proactivity, something that all actors should use in their advantage.“

Adven’s expertise secures fulfillment of environmental requirements

Adven can help companies fulfil the BAT conclusions, both initially and continuously. As the energy and water solutions are delivered as a service, requirements on each specific business on local and European levels are already considered at the development stage. Since Adven also concludes long-term agreements of about 10-15 years, there will likely be new sets of requirements published within the contractual period, something Adven takes into consideration when dimensioning the solution.

“With extensive experience from different businesses and industrial sectors in different countries as well as the application of these requirements, we feel confident with taking responsibility for our customers fulfilment of these requirements, says Bellander. In the best case, examining the business with the BAT conclusions in mind could also lead to discovery of bottlenecks in energy consumption, material use or water treatment. This could in practice lead to even new opportunities to make the business more effective, profitable and sustainable.

Find out more:

The European Commission’s compilation of BAT Reference Documents (BREF-s) for all industries

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