ECN e.V.

Network for Organic Resources and Biological Treatment
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ECN E-BULLETIN No. 10_2022
01 september 2022
EU Commission │ Survey on Integrated Nutrient Management Plan

ECN highlights the importance of soil organic matter on soil fertility

ECN submitted its views on the Integrated Nutrient Management Action Plan, responding to the Commission’s questionnaire before the deadline set for August 26th.
The action plan, designed to bring the level of nitrogen and phosphorus in the environment back to safety levels, has now passed its consultation phase. In addition to answering the survey, we highlighted the importance of soil organic matter in contributing to soil fertility, which is one of the main objectives of the action plan. Therefore, we suggested to consider soil organic matter alongside nitrogen and phosphorus within the initiative, since they synergistically improve and maintain soil health. Indeed, nutrients work differently when applied to the soil through compost and digestate, making them a sustainable alternative to mineral fertilizers.
Furthermore, ECN stressed that EU policies and legislation are not sufficiently coherent with one another, referring more specifically to the Fertilising Products Regulation (EU 2019/1009), the Animal By-Products Regulation (EC 1069/2009) and the Waste Framework Directive (EU 2018/851). Regulatory constraints are in fact the major obstacles to the recycling of nutrients. Bottlenecks still exist with regard to bio-waste derived organic soil improvers and organic fertilizers’ presence on the EU market, consequently hampering as well the proper nutrient recycling. We pointed out that these hurdles need to be properly addressed to also ensure the effectiveness of measures aiming at reducing the loss of nutrients and soil pollution.
The Commission is now expected to publish its Communication before the end of this year.
Joint Research Centre (JRC) │ Study results on sewage sludge

Results of risk assessment study on sewage sludge expected to be published end of September

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) expected to publish the results of its study on sewage sludge by the end of September, most likely feeding into possible revision of the Sewage Sludge Directive.
The EU Commission’s science and knowledge service informed that it plans to present the results of its study on risks from contaminants and chemicals in sludge by the end of September 2022 in the absence of unforeseen delays. The study focuses on the threats posed by pollutants contained in sludge when applied to land and the impacts of sludge management and handling on climate change.
The investigation forms part of a broader evaluation by the Commission of the current legislation on sewage sludge, which dates back to 1986 (Directive 86/278/EEC). Since the Directive is outdated and not in line with best available technologies, the Commission is considering a proposal to revise it. The evaluation was firstly expected to be finalised by the third quarter of 2021, but it has been now pushed back to October 2022.
On the basis of the evaluation and the JRC study, the Commission will decide whether or not to come forward with a proposal for the Revision of the Sewage Sludge Directive and if so, it will be presented next year.
EU Commission I EUSO

Report of the EU Soil Observatory 2021

The purpose of this report is to provide a synthesis of the achievements of the EU Soil Observatory (EUSO) during its first year of existence.
The EUSO aims to become the principal provider of reference data and knowledge at EU-level for all matters relating to soil. The EUSO will be a dynamic and inclusive platform that supports EU soil-related policymaking by providing its stakeholder base with the knowledge and data flows needed to safeguard and restore soils. The first EUSO Stakeholder Forum was attended by over 1,000 participants over a three-day period in October 2021. It succeeded in bringing together an EUSO community and in establishing a two-way dialogue with its user base.
A summary of the event is presented in this report.

2nd EUSO Stakeholder Forum I 24-26 October 2022
The 2nd European Soil Observatory (EUSO) stakeholder forum will be a 3-days event in October. The developments of the various working groups will be presented in this second Forum. Save the date for 24-26 October.
EP AGRI Committee │ 31 August 2022

Study on Farm Certification Schemes for Sustainable Agriculture presented

During the EP AGRI Committee meeting held on the last day of August, the first after the summer break, the outcome of the study conducted by the Policy Department for Structural and Cohesion Policies of the European Parliament was presented to the MEPs.
The research focused on providing information on the state of play of farm certification schemes and their contribution to sustainable agriculture, as well as analysing how these schemes can help the EU reach its sustainability objectives in the farming sector and be instrumental to the implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy. The department investigated in depth 15 certification schemes and to what extent they would fulfil the statutory management requirements (SMR) and the standards for Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAEC). Risks of greenwashing and distortion of competition arising from the schemes have also been considered in the research.
MEPs welcomed the study, and thanked the experts for the work done. Nonetheless, all the political groups within the committee expressed doubts and raised concerns regarding a series of different elements such as the substantial quantity of CS present in the EU, the effectiveness of private schemes and the need of a public certification authority, while also focusing the attention on the lack of financial reward for farmers and the possible misinformation of consumers. Another point regarding the reliability of audit and checks systems was raised. The Commission also shared its opinion, highlighting the shortcomings of the study and calling for a thorough assessment of its outcomes.


ICAW Contests I 01 September - 01 November 2022

Start of the ICAW Poster and Video Contests

Each year, the organization that runs International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) in the US offers two contests. One is a poster contest which is open to anyone in the world to enter age 14 or older. The other is a video contest for ages 10 – 13, that too is an international contest. Prizes are given to both winners.
The winning poster design and the video are both used to help promote ICAW and the theme for 2023, which is For Healthier Soil, Healthier Food…Compost! The theme highlights how compost can have a role in helping feed the world, by making soil healthier which produces healthier food. Both contests run from September 1st to November 1st.
Details on the contests can be found here:
Specific questions can be sent to:


ROOTS Policy Conference I 27 September 2022

Circular Policies for Changing the Biowaste System

ROOTS Policy Conference SaveTheDate 2
As up to 50% of European municipal waste is organic, valorisation of biowaste is a key tenet of a circular economy. However, numerous regulatory bottlenecks hinder the full deployment of revolutionary solutions in the field.In this framework, five Horizon 2020 projects have teamed up to promote innovative solutions and bring down the regulatory barriers blocking a more sustainable future. This joint initiative is named ROOTS – circulaR pOlicies for changing the biOwasTe System. On 27 September the ROOTS group will host a Policy Conference in Brussels to present their recommendations and discuss them with European policy makers and stakeholders.
Click here to register for the event.
Nordic Biogas Conference I 3-06 October 2022

Nordic Biogas Conference 2022

The Nordic Biogas Conference is held in Linköping, Sweden, 4-5 of October 2022 with a reception in the evening on the 3rd and study visits on the 6th. It is a great opportunity to meet companies, researchers and public organizations involved in development of biogas solutions in the Nordic countries and beyond. The conference will consist of plenary and parallel sessions with leading representatives from companies, the academy and public organisations, a reception, conference dinner, an exhibition space, research poster conference, vehicle exhibition, study visits and ample opportunities for networking.
Click here for more information.
Click here to register.
BGK Humustag I 06 October 2022

BGK Humustag

This event will be held in German. Click here for more information.
EU Bioeconomy Conference I 06-07 October 2022

EU Bioeconomy Conference 2022

The high-level conference on 'The Bioeconomy - Enabling the European Green Deal in Challenging Times' will take place in a hybrid format in Brussels’ Charlemagne building and online on 6 and 7 October. Alongside hearing the findings of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy Progress Report, participants will have the opportunity to discover bioeconomy success stories from EU research and innovation, and get to know other professionals working in the field. Register by 1 October to guarantee your spot if you are not already involved!
Austrian Compost Congess I 3-4 November 2022

1st Austrian Compost Congress - Register now

The Compost & Biogas Association Austria is organizing its first Austrian Compost Congress. Our industry is currently facing challenging times and with this top‐class specialist congress we want
to offer composting plant operators the opportunity to stay up to date on important special topics.
In addition, the leading technology providers will be there in order to network with the specialist
industry in the best possible way at this congress.
Current challenges and central topics will be:
  • Law/Quality Assurance
  • State of the art
  • Microplastics/status of biodegradable materials
  • Technology for removing impurities
  • Biowaste fermentation and composting technology
Click here for more information.
Click here to register for the event.
Biogas Convention I 07-11 November 2022

BIOGAS Digital Convention 2022

The BIOGAS Convention (conference part) will be organised as an online event this year from 07-11 November 2022. In addition to the German lectures, a parallel English programme will be offered. Afterwards, the trade association will set up its joint stand at the EnergyDecentral trade fair in Hanover from 15-18 November 2022 and present lectures on biogas as part of the exhibitor forum.
Click here for more information!

S.O.S Save Organics in Soil

This international initiative S.O.S. SOIL – Save Organics in Soil, led by the European Compost Network (ECN) and the Italian Composting and Biogas Association (CIC), aims to highlight the importance of soil organic matter to encourage policy makers to develop instruments to move Europe towards implementing sustainable, climate proof soil management practices.
Sign the manifesto 'Save Organigs in Soil' here.

European Compost Network ECN e.V.
Im Dohlenbruch 11, D-44795 Bochum
T: +49 (0) 234 438 9447
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ECN-QAS Trade Mark No 011007168
Trade mark for certified quality assurance
organisations, compost and digestate products

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