About us

One-stop laboratory for degradation and toxicity testing

Normec OWS is the global market leader in the biodegradability and compostability testing of different types of material. We also offer a wide range of additional services such as auditing, controlling & sorting waste, life cycle assessments and other sustainability studies. We work according to high quality standards. Over the past 35+ years, we have built up a lot of expertise and are recognized by all certification bureaus worldwide in the field of biodegradable or compostable materials. We actively participate in many certification and standardization committees, as well as European projects and international conferences.

Normec employee holding a tablet.

Main activities

Normec OWS offers lab & consulting services to various clients from the public and private sector. Consulting services are offered in the field of biodegradation and compostability, waste composition, waste separation, recycling, integrated waste management, and related legislation in both Europe and the US. To this end, we have separate auditing, controlling & sorting, and sustainability assessment services divisions.

Normec OWS also provides contract research laboratory testing for the determination of the biodegradability and compostability of different materials under strict quality-controlled conditions. Read a statement about our Environmental Management System.


Normec OWS is an active member of several normalization organizations, such as the International Standards Organization (ISO), the European Standards Organization (CEN), and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and is the official Belgian delegate on several ISO and CEN committees. In this capacity, Normec OWS has developed several standard methods and is project leader of some new standards in development.

In addition to the aforementioned standardization and normalization groups, Normec OWS is also a member of several industrial associations and is involved as an expert in a number of certification committees active in the field of biodegradable, compostable, and/or biobased materials and products. Here you can find an overview of the working groups in which Normec OWS participates.

Our history

The growth we experienced

Normec OWS was originally founded in 1988 as Organic Waste Systems (OWS), a private company under Belgian law. Our headquarters and main laboratories are in Ghent (Belgium), while a subsidiary laboratory was opened in 2021 in the USA. We also have long-lasting collaborations with partners in Japan, China, and Korea.

Since December 2022, OWS has been part of Normec, which tests, inspects, and certifies so that organizations can innovate safely, quickly, and (cost) efficiently. Hence, we are now called Normec OWS.

Our team

Knowledgeable, experienced
and ambitious

Normec OWS is part of Normec

Normec is a leading organisation in the Testing, Inspection, Certification, Compliance (TICC) industry. Our areas of expertise range from water, air and soil quality to fire safety, food safety and management systems. With over 4,000 employees, we work on a safe and healthy working and living environment. For this and future generations.

Inside office Normec in Utrecht.