The Flemish region of Belgium, Flanders, has become the number 1 region of waste management in Europe. It boasts the highest waste diversion rate in Europe—almost ¾ of the residential waste produced in the region is reused, recycled, or composted, and it has managed to stabilize waste generation. Thanks to far-reaching regional policies that are highly coordinated with local programs, waste management has remained decentralized, efficient, and highly effective.

It is not surprising that the Flemish Government also aspires to create a better and healthier environment for present and future generations. The Environment, Nature and Energy Department is charged with this task. Taking the key position in the environmental administration, it is responsible for planning and evaluating the environmental policy in compliance with economic and social demands and for the co-ordination of all environmental actors as well as the implementation and enforcement of the environmental legislation in Flanders.

Preventing a shortage of raw materials through smart design and recycling is also a major objective. In order to face the increasing scarcity of raw materials and the rising raw materials prices and to maintain a healthy living environment, Flanders wants to excel in the field of sustainable materials management. One of Flanders’ central strategies to prevent waste goes to the root of the waste problem, the design of products. To address this, OVAM ( Flemish Public Waste Agency http://toep.ovam.be/jahia/Jahia/pid/973

The agency has created a set of tools to promote clean production and sustainable design.

The energy issue is worldwide one of the biggest societal and economic challenges. Flanders wishes to play also a pioneering role in here.