The trade & services sector (also called the tertiary sector) can be divided into six sub-sectors:
- hotels and restaurants,
- offices and administration (administrations, financial institutions, etc.),
- healthcare, social services and community provisions,
- socio-cultural and personal services.
The last sub-sector also includes activities related to waste collection and treatment and waste water treatment.
Trade & services on an economic level is by far the largest sector in Flanders. Furthermore it also provides a large proportion of the employment. The impact of the tertiary sector is also not negligible on an environmental level. Trade & services produces almost twice as much primary waste as households and almost a fifth of the total waste in Flanders. If the secondary waste – generated by the waste treatment industry (which also belong to the sector) – are included this share even amounts to 35 %. The energy use of trade & services is less important compared to the other sectors (share of 6.3 % in 2007). However this has increased by 90 % compared to 1990; this is an increase by more than double as much as for the whole of Flanders. Nevertheless large savings potentials are possible in this sector according to multiple studies.