Economic activities in the environmental sector

Last modified:

Thursday 31 October 2019

It is difficult to talk about the environmental sector specifically, because this term covers very diverse activities.  Various studies have determined what is meant by eco-activity or eco-company. Nevertheless, this is a very heterogeneous sector comprised of many sub-sectors.

The environmental sector includes the following activities:

  • Water pollution management and treatment
  • Water resource management
  • Air pollution management and treatment
  • Soil pollution management and treatment
  • Waste management and treatment
  • Noise pollution management and treatment
  • Pollution control and monitoring
  • Engineering and design offices specialising in the environment and rational energy use.
  • Renewable energies

There are also activities which belong to other more traditional sectors working toward a more sustainable product, service, or operating mode, and commonly called "green companies".  Sustainable construction and agriculture companies are examples of this.

Eco-tourism or bicycle delivery services are examples of eco-services.

Eco-products are more difficult to differentiate from classic products because their appearance is not different.  However, they have been designed so that their impact on the environment is reduced throughout their life cycle, from the extraction of raw materials, including production, packaging, distribution, use, to end of life.

The environmental sector as a whole is not easily identifiable through the classification of economic activities.  Alone, waste management and its recovery, as well as the collection and treatment of wastewater, are the subject of a separate NACEBEL code.

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