Waste management & Circular Economy

Assisting you in waste and resource management:
policy development and strategy

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Waste Management has been high on the agenda of both public authorities and private companies over the past three decades. With Europe historically leading the pack, more and more emerging countries and regions are developing their own policies and practices.

In recent years, the concept of the Circular Economy has brought forward a framework where management of waste and materials is increasingly becoming a cornerstone of a broader ‘sustainability and resource management story. The focus is shifting towards preventing waste and reusing materials, be it as a resource for new products or for energy generation. These complex challenges therefore require new-thought, integrated solutions.

At EY we have been active in assisting private and public sector entities in developing, implementing and optimising:

  • environmental policies
  • resource strategies
  • compliance management
  • governance, risk and control challenges and
  • collection & recycling organisations.

We have experience in a wide range of product categories; solid waste, household and industrial packaging, batteries, electronic waste, tyres, non-woven cotton, solar panels, lamps, etc.

For more than twenty years we have been developing competencies in all those fields across the globe. As a result, today EY is consultant to the OECD in the framework of the review and development of a new policy guidance document on EPR and sustainable resource management.



  • Extended Producer Responsibility

    At EY we have more than 20 years of experience in the development of EPR policies and implementation of EPR strategies. We serve both public entities, private companies as well as industry associations.

    In addition, EY’s EPR leader, Christoph Vanderstricht is a trusted advisor to the OECD in the field of EPR.

  • Eco-Taxation

    Financial incentives drive behavior of companies and consumers. An eco-tax is one of the policy instruments to create incentives for more sustainable management of products, materials and waste.

    EY advises governments and industrial corporations on the benefits and costs of eco-taxes. EY also supports in the implementation of eco-taxes at company level.

  • Circular Economy

    Due to resource scarcity and environmental concerns, the markets for products and materials are changing. The circular economy goes beyond the environmental effects of the ongoing transition and highlights the business opportunities in the new environment.

    In the last decade, the concept of the circular economy has gained importance quickly and has become a centerpiece of many forward-looking policies and business strategies worldwide.

    EY assists governments, industry associations and companies to develop strategies that exploit the available opportunities of the circular economy.

  • Eco-Design

    The most decisive step in the environmental impact of a product is the design. Eco-design implies that environmental effects are already taken into account in the design stage.

    Eco-design requires a careful balance between financial and environmental priorities such as use of recycled resources, energy consumption during production and use, durability and waste management. Key policy instruments to foster eco-design are public procurement and financial incentives.

    EY has extensive experience on this topic and has written studies for among others the OECD. EY advises governments and industry associations on the framework to incentivize eco-design and on the role of procurement processes.

  • Waste to Energy and Public Private Partnerships

    EY is an experienced financial adviser to Governments and industry bidders in large scale waste management PPP / infrastructure projects around the world, and covering a range of technologies including recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, mechanical biological treatment, waste to energy and advanced thermal treatment. Our activities include:

    • Business case development
    • Procurement design and management
    • Commercial documentation development
    • Contract negotiation
    • Finance raising
    • Financial modelling
    • Infrastructure tax and incentives advice

    We also advise corporate transactions in the waste management sector, including acquisitions, disposals and operational division carve outs and operational reviews for waste management companies seeking to refine strategy and enhance shareholder value.

  • Strategic Compliance Management

    Organisations are faced with following challenges - all of which have an important impact on their operations and business model:

    • an increase and extension of rules and regulations like producer responsibility, eco-design, re-use criteria and reporting;
    • pressure and change in the expectations of stakeholders like use of certain materials and recycled content;
    • market and technological developments like resource scarcity and new recycling technologies.

    EY assists organizations in providing a sustainable, integrated and structured approach and answer to allow organizations to deal with these changes in a controlled manner ensuring compliance with its strategy, stakeholders and rules and regulations.


  • Waste Policy Development, Implementation and Enforcement
    • Analysis and comparison of laws and regulations;
    • Development of implementation policies and guidelines for the different (Member) States;
    • Development of legal frameworks to enable the organisation of public markets for collection and recycling activities aligned to competition laws;
    • Discussions with Ministries and governmental representatives to see how cooperation is possible to fight free riders and fraud;
    • Discussions and development of suggestions for the Ministries on interpretations of the applicable laws;
    • Drafting position papers in order to optimise the legislative framework;
    • Formulate enforcement, control and communication strategies.
  • Industry Positioning

    EY is a trusted partner in industry positioning towards the government, especially in the field of waste management and related topics. Given our global experience in developing, reviewing, improving and assessing of environmental policies, we are a best-of-class advisor both for public authorities, private companies and associations.

    Our activities include:

    • Risk Analysis of the proposed policies and amendments;
    • Development of comments and suggestions; clearing and discussion with relevant experts (e.g. legal, finance (if relevant));
    • Assistance in presentation and negotiation with governmental bodies,
    • Inclusion and alignment of the country specific/company position with the policies;
    • Development of position papers;
    • Stocktake calls;
    • Status overview reporting;
    • Etc.

  • Market Forecasting and Financial Sustainability Modelling
    • Development of mathematical financial models to enable the calculation of the financial contribution of the Producers in view of complying with the applicable waste laws;
    • Development of black box structures to implement the reporting obligations on the put on the market data in full compliance with the applicable laws: competition laws, tax laws, privacy laws etc.;
    • Discussions with Accountancy bodies on the implication of waste laws on the accounting treatment (IFRS / IFRIC) of the obligations of the Producers;
    • Advice regarding the financing of operations, including pricing strategy and sustainable reserve management.
    • Calculation of the sustainability of the financing taking into account market trends, different scenarios for fee levels for the different product types , the reserve level, etc.
    • Development of reporting, including an analysis of the different scenarios calculated and with a conclusion on the financial sustainability of the producer/collection & recycling organisation compared to their legal obligations.
    • Development of position papers towards authorities to justify fee levels and reserve levels of collection & recycling service organisations to cover their liabilities.
  • Internal Control, Compliance and Process Management and Optimisation

    EY provides assurance to clients and the general public on governance processes, risk management processes and internal control.

    • Development of control and monitoring guidelines;
    • Set-up of collective collection & recycling compliance schemes;
    • Stakeholder analysis and identifying common positions.
    • Benchmarking performance of different service organisations, identifying key success factors and sharing best practices;
    • Organise meetings, expert panels, teleconferences and workshops with representatives of governmental institutions, sector organisations, local organisations and other key stakeholders;
    • Optimise supply chain management;
    • Perform operational process audits in different domains:
      • Governance;
      • Strategy;
      • Logistics and Recycling;
      • Marketing and Communication;
      • HR;
      • Finance;
      • Contracting; and
      • IT.
  • Socio-Economic and Environmental Valuations

    We are experienced in measuring the total impact of businesses and policies, both from an environmental, social and economic perspective. This includes:

    • Impact on GDP;
    • Air pollution, and associated healthcare costs;
    • Employment;
    • Waste;
    • Taxes;
    • GHG emission;
    • Preservation of natural ecosystems;
    • Etc.

  • Waste Management Master Planning

    EY assists governments (be it on a federal, local, regional, provincial or national level) around the globe with state-of-the-art policy advise, also in the field of waste management. Our waste consultants assist in strategy development, operational planning, policy and regulatory development, impact calculations, risk assessment and stakeholder engagement.

  • Implementation and Optimisation of Collection and Recycling Schemes

    We have been assisting producers and industry associations in setting-up cost efficient and effective collection and recycling compliance schemes. Ever since we have been advising both shareholders and management of those schemes on a range of complex challenges in relation to legal, governance, policy, operations, finance and strategy. The majority of our work so far has focused on packaging and plastics, batteries, paper, oil, tyres and electronic products.

How can we help YOU?

  • Private Sector Company
    “We understand the take of businesses on Waste Management both from a compliance, CSR, financial, resource efficiency and risk perspective”At EY we understand the challenges that private sector companies and by extension industry associations are facing in identifying, complying and effectively dealing with Waste Management regulations. In addition, we go beyond the waste stage by helping companies organizations to identify and grasp the opportunities of the circular economy. Depending on the region and the status of the legislation, we assist in:
    • Impact assessment of (draft) waste management policies;
    • Support in discussions with authorities and positioning;
    • Implementation of compliance schemes for collection and recycling;
    • Setting up control management systems for compliance monitoring;
    • Optimisation of collection and recycling compliance: cost efficiency while keeping control;
    • Waste Market forecasting, modelling and financial sustainability of C&R;
    • Extended producer responsibility; 
    • Support in PPP and Waste to Energy; 
    • Advise on business models and service lines for the circular economy;
    • The strategic (regional; compliance) concerns of the industry beyond the technical operational logistics and treatment challenge (e.g. antitrust, competition law issues; level playing field; free riders and illegal import, cost of compliance, green marketing, hazardous substances, rare earth materials and other resources; cost of compliance, reputation and sustainability challenge, etc.); 
    • Internal control of Industry owned collection & recycling organisations.  
  • Industry Association
    “At EY we grasp the delicate position of industry associations”We advise industry associations and confederations on policy positioning, risk analysis, stakeholder management, governance and control issues.
  • Public Authority

    “We are a trusted advisor for authorities in EPR, the circular economy, Waste Management Master Planning and strategic waste policy development”
    Depending on the policy maturity, public authorities face different challenges in respect to Waste Management and the circular economy. Those challenges relate to a variety of topics that impact the policy strategy and effectiveness.
    Since 2012, EY is the consultant to the OECD and an expert member of the Working Party on the Resource Productivity and Waste project inside the OECD focusing on the development of guidance documents on Extended Producer Responsibility.
    EY is also executing waste policy projects in Chile, Colombia and the Middle East.
    We assist in:

    • The development and review of position papers;
    • Circular economy development;
    • Development of questionnaires for governments on following aspects: institutional; regulatory; governance, environmental performance; the economics and financing; and market effectiveness;
    • Development of case studies and feasibility studies;
    • Development, implementation and control strategies for waste regulations;
    • Waste Management Master Planning.

  • Collection & Recycling Compliance Scheme

    “Over the last two decade we have been intensively assisting more than 20 C&R compliance schemes across Europe”

    With the upcoming Waste Management and extended producer responsibility regulations in Europe back in the ‘90s and early two-thousands, we have been assisting producers and industry associations in setting-up cost efficient and effective collection and recycling compliance schemes. Ever since we have been advising both shareholders and management of those schemes on a range of complex challenges in relation to legal, governance, policy, operations, finance and strategy. The majority of our work so far has focused on packaging and plastics, batteries, paper, oil, tyres and electronic products.

Scroll over the map to see a selection of our experience: