Environmental Performance of Waste-Handlers


Despite numerous studies that propose environmental performance (EP) indicators for manufacturing firms, little attention is given to measuring the EP of individual companies in the waste management sector (WM sector). Existing literature on the WM sector relies on aggregate, city and municipal data. This study makes use of a disclosure regulation in the European Union to construct an EP measure that can be used to compare the environmental impact of waste-handlers across time and within the sector. The EP indicator introduced in this study measures the plan of a waste-handler to reduce undesirable output such as emission and waste disposal by relying on the recovery and recycling of wastes. Based on a sample of European waste-handlers we find that one-third of waste-handlers in Europe have zero recovery rate while only 16% rely exclusively on recovery and recycling of harmful wastes. In addition, the study builds on existing theories to explain differences in the EP of waste-handlers in Europe. Among several factors identified by the literature, we find that waste-handlers in Europe are most affected by supra-national regulations, national policies and spatial factors in that order. Policy makers can draw lessons from the findings of this study to improve existing disclosure regulations.



Keywords and Phrases

E-PRTR; Environmental performance; European Union; Supra-national regulation; Waste management; Waste policy

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2014 Elsevier Ltd., All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2014