The challenge

A household name manufacturing company producing thousands of different products asked us to help them decide where to invest R&D budgets for their range of photographic and imaging systems. What way was EU policy going regarding polluting emissions to water and, more important, how were local authorities all across Europe implementing existing rules in practice? And what would the future bring… The challenge was to decide whether to invest in new chemistry to reduce the impact of anything that might get discharged into sewers or to invest in “closed systems” that would be taken back for treatment and disposal.

The action

We briefed the client on the key relevant European legislation and explained how it is implemented in practice. The EU’s water rules are transposed by national governments but responsibility for implementing and policing it often lies at regional, local or city level. Eamonn Bates Europe – working on this occasion with a specialist technical consultancy – researched the sewer codes in many regions and cities across Europe. At the end we were able to paint a fairly good picture of the relevant law and practice across the continent.

The outcome

The report delivered at the end of this research process generated some clear conclusions that enabled the client to cross check its own internal assessments and take informed decisions about what way to go. What did they do? They hedged their bets and looked at both options.