CEN recognizes the importance of environmental protection and sustainable development for current and future generations and therefore believes that all standards must take the environment into consideration.

Standards, whether they are product standards, service standards or process standards, all have an impact on the environment. The environmental impact of a product standard, for example, will vary according to the different stages of the lifecycle that can be distinguished (production, distribution, use and end-of-life). Standardization can play a major role in reducing environmental impacts by influencing the choices that are made in connection with the design of products and processes.

CEN faces environmental challenges posed by the operational activities of the CEN Sectors as well as by developments within the European Union.

According to the Treaty that establishes the European Community "Environmental protection requirements must be integrated into the definition and implementation of the Community policies and activities, in particular with a view to promoting sustainable development".

Standards are supporting the implementation of the EU policies and as such should also be a tool supporting the protection of the environment.

Environment is an interdisciplinary topic, therefore, all CEN sectors deal with environmental issues.

CEN has in place an organizational structure to respond to the challenges posed by the developments within the various sectors as well as by the evolution of the legislation within the European Community. The main bodies within CEN are the:

We also have

  • a dedicated environmental body (Sector Forum) in the construction field  to address environmental matters associated with their specific needs: the Construction Sector Network Project for the Environment (CSNPE).
  • two European partners providing a particular focus on environment within standardization: the 'Environmental Coalition on Standards '(ECOS), and the 'European Association for the co-ordination of consumer representation in standardisation' (ANEC).

Do you have any questions, ideas, remarks or requests? Then let us know by sending a message to environment@cencenelec.eu

News and events

NEW - CEN Workshop proposal on Recommendations for making Climate Adaptation Plans for marine capture fisheries, marine aquaculture and freshwater lake and pond production” (ClimeFish)

News in 2017

Guides released in 2016 and 2017

Brochure 2016

News 2016


News released in 2015

Technical bodies and activities

CEN Environmental Technical Committees:
  • CEN/TC 223 - Soil improvers and growing media
  • CEN/TC 230 - Water analysis
  • CEN/TC 264 - Air quality
  • CEN/TC 292 - Characterization of waste
  • CEN/TC 308 - Characterization of sludges
  • CEN/TC 345 - Characterization of soils
  • CEN/TC 351 - Construction Products - Assessment of release of dangerous substances
  • CEN/TC 366 - Materials obtained from end-of-Life Tyres (ELT)
  • CEN/TC 406 - Project Committee - Mechanical Products - Ecodesign Methodology
  • CEN/TC 444 - Test methods for environmental characterization of solid matrices

Related committees;


  • WS 72 - Sustainable Value Creation in manufacturing networks - SustainValue
  • WS 74 - Glossary of Terms for Holistic Management of Brownfield Regeneration (GoT-HOMBRE)
  • WS 76 - Batch-based Calculation of Sustainability Impact for Captured White Fish Products - WhiteFish BCSI
  • WS 82 - Virus sensor system for monitoring rotavirus, norovirus and hepatitis A virus in various types of water intended for human use - AquaVir
  • WS TOP-REF - Methodology for Improving the Resource Efficiency of Energy Intensive Industrial Processes

Sector Forum

A Sector Forum is a platform aiming at facilitating the exchange of information between the different stakeholders, coordinating and identifying the standardization needs in a specific field of CEN work.
CEN Strategic Advisory Body on Environment (SABE)
SABE acts as a platform where the sectors and major stakeholders address environmental topics.
Its mission is to:
  • strengthen its relationship with CEN/BT, and the wider CEN community, in order to better provide it with strategic advice on environmental matters;
  • develop mechanisms for identifying future relevant topics that are significant and of a nature that allows SABE and its teams to actually address them;
  • stimulate SABE members to become active, especially those that do not regularly attend SABE meetings;
  • inform the wider community of the activities of SABE and its teams in order to demonstrate how environmental progress can be made through the use of standards and promote standardization within the Environmental Policy framework.

Download the revised 2011 SABE strategy (pdf format), 2014 edition

Learn more about SABE organization

European legislation and mandates

European Standards are developed in the context of European legislation and sometimes come in direct support to particular Directives or Regulations.
EU Legislation

CEN has developed European Standards covering a wide range of environmental issues supporting the implementation of the different European environmental legislation such as:
  • Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (Water Framework Directive);
  • Directive 2009/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to improve and extend the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme of the Community;
  • The Energy and Climate package;
  • Sustainable Consumption, Production and Industry Action Plan, COM(2008) 397 final of 16 July 2008;
  • Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe (Air Quality Directive)
  • Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 on industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control)(Industrial Emissions Directive);
  • Directive 2001/81/EC of the European Parliament and the Council on National Emission Ceilings for certain pollutants (NEC Directive);
  • Directive 94/63/EC on the control of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions resulting from the storage of petrol and its distribution from terminals to service stations;
  • Directive 2006/21/EC on the management of waste from extractive industries and amending directive 2004/35/EC('extractive waste')

Standardization work carried out since 2007 under the European Commission standardization requests (Mandates) related to environment, which was accepted by CEN :
  • M/395 - development of standardised methods relating to the characterization of wastes from the extractive industries
  • M/401 - creation of a European standard on volumetric flow from stationary sources in the field of air emissions
  • M/424 - development or improvement of standards in support of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC)
  • M/431 - establishment of a programme of standards for assessing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in energy- intensive industries
  • M/478 - development of EU technical standards in the field of greenhouse gas emissions
  • M/503 - support of the implementation of the ambient air quality legislation
  • M/513 - automatic determination by measurement of the concentration of gaseous hydrogen chloride (HCl) in waste gases emitted by industrial installations into the air 
  • M/514 - under Directive 2010/75/EU for a European standard method to determine fugitive and diffuse emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from certain industrial sources to the atmosphere
  • M/526 or C(2014) 3451 final -  in support of implementation of the EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change [COM(2013) 216 final]

Useful links and documents