Environmental costs gradually increasing for enterprises

15/11/2004 10:00

The environmental costs incurred by enterprises in mining, industry and the energy sector increased for the tenth year in a row. The annual increase has been 4 percent ever since 1999. Environmental government subsidies decrease the net environmental burden for enterprises by 2 percent to a total of nearly 2.3 billion euro in 2003.

Net environmental burden for enterprises

Net environmental burden for enterprises

High costs due to environmental provisions

Over the last five years, two thirds of the environmental costs for enterprises consisted of cost for environmental provisions. In 2003 the interest and depreciation costs were 790 million euro. Current costs came to 650 million euro, such as operating costs, maintenance and supervision cost. The other costs (865 million euro) were mainly paid to other enterprises and institutions. These consisted mainly of cost for waste disposal, sewage charges and water pollution levies.

Environmental costs, 1999-2003*

Environmental costs, 1999-2003*

Waste costs rising substantially

The costs of disposing and processing waste increased substantially over the last few years. Enterprises paid over 400 million euro for this in 2003, including 160 million euro for hazardous waste. In 1999 the costs for waste was 278 million euro, including 100 million euro for hazardous waste. Over the last five years, waste constituted 16 percent of the total environmental costs.

Major industrial investors in the environment, 1999-2003*

Major industrial investors in the environment, 1999-2003*

Chemical industry main investor in the environment

Environmental investments contributed substantially to the environmental costs of enterprises in recent years. The top five investors in the environment are headed by the chemical industry, investing 715 million euro in the period 1999-2003. This is one third of the total figure, placing the chemical industry well ahead of other branches of industry. The oil industry with 320 million euro and food with 310 million euro follow at some distance.

About 55 percent of the total of 2.2 billion euro in investments in the environment was spent on the abatement of air pollution. About 19 percent was spent on better water quality and 10 percent on the protection of the soil. In 2003 the sectors mining, industry and the energy sector invested over 500 million euro in the environment.

Jaap van Riessen