An extensive set of best environmental management practices (BEMPs)  has been identified and analysed by the JRC to allow organisations  within the retail trade sector to minimise their direct and indirect  impact on the environment. In its comprehensive report, the JRC  describes several techniques, measures and actions to improve the energy performance, the sustainability of the supply chain, transport and  logistics, waste and water management, and to influence consumer  behaviour and consumption.

For each BEMP a benchmark of excellence was derived. Retailers could aim for a heat consumption of 0 kWh/m² year, for example, by recovering the waste heat from the refrigeration  cycle and maximising its use. A 100% guarantee of supply chain  environmental sustainability could be achieved by excluding worst  performing products and by requiring widespread certification according  to third party environmental standards. Implementing take-back systems,  for PET or PE bottles for instance, and integrating them in the company  logistics could lead to an 80% return if the consumer does not pay a  deposit, and up to a 90% return with deposit. For each benchmark the  economic viability and technical feasibility is also described,  providing a clear picture of the investment and operation costs and of  the conditions under which a certain technique can be implemented.

In addition, the report presents a table on the applicability of the  different BEMPs to small and medium enterprises (SME’s) within the  retail trade sector. SMEs wishing to improve their environmental  performance will be able to work with this user-friendly analysis of  costs, applicability and environmental benefits.


The JRC identifies, evaluates and documents BEMPs for different sectors in  close co-operation with the relevant stakeholders, as there is  significant scope for improving their environmental performance. It  follows the frontrunner approach, studying those techniques, measures or actions that are implemented by organisations within the sector that  are most advanced in terms of environmental performance in each of many  areas, such as energy efficiency, resource efficiency, emissions, and  also supply chain management.