The EU's Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive stipulates as one of its basic tenets that "Best Available Techniques" (BAT) should be employed to limit environmental pollution resulting from production processes. Accordingly, for some sectors and process steps BATs are specified in order to serve as a guideline for the approval of industrial plants. The project investigated the extent to which the essentially quite successful regulatory scheme could be applied to developing and emerging countries.
The study focused on the textile and leather industry, and specifically on the principal suppliers to Germany and the EU: China, India and Turkey. The extent to which European environmental standards, laid down in so-called BAT reference documents (BREFs), might be applied to the sectors and countries in question, what step would be required for that, where the opportunities of such a development lie, and what obstacles to it currently still exist.
The study showed that, although there are a number of promising national schemes aimed at making production processes in the two sectors more environmentally friendly, there are still major deficiencies in terms of implementation in all three countries. One possibility for improving environmental protection was seen as being to promote BATs in the individual countries more strongly through the globally dominant market players in the textile and leather retail trade.