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Better environmental performance: European eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS)

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Better environmental performance: European eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS)

The European Union eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS) aims to encourage companies and other organisations to continually improve their environmental performance. It is open to any organisation inside or outside the EU, spans all economic and service sectors and is applicable worldwide.

ACT

Regulation (EC) No 1221/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 on the voluntary participation by organisations in a Community eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS), repealing Regulation (EC) No 761/2001 and Commission Decisions 2001/681/EC and 2006/193/EC.

SUMMARY

The European Union eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS) aims to encourage companies and other organisations to continually improve their environmental performance. It is open to any organisation inside or outside the EU, spans all economic and service sectors and is applicable worldwide.

WHAT DOES THE REGULATION DO?

It establishes the voluntary EMAS. This is the premium environmental management tool for users to evaluate, report and improve their environmental performance.

KEY POINTS

To receive EMAS registration, an organisation must:

conduct a review of all the environmental aspects of its activities, products and services;

adopt an environmental policy containing a commitment to comply with all the relevant legislation and to achieve continuous improvements;

develop a programme with information on specific environmental objectives and targets;

establish an effective management system to achieve its environmental policy and ensure continuous improvement;

carry out an environmental audit assessing the management system in place and overall conformity with its policy and programme;

provide an environmental statement of its performance, set against its objectives, and the future steps to be taken.

The environmental review, management system, audit procedure and statement must be approved by an accredited environmental verifier.

The validated statement is registered and made publicly available.

An organisation successfully completing all these stages may use the EMAS logo on its letterheads, products, activities and services to demonstrate its commitment to improving its environmental performance.

BACKGROUND

EMAS helps give registered organisations enhanced performance, cost savings and a positive public image. By mid 2015, over 4,000 organisations and approximately 7,500 sites were EMAS registered worldwide. They included multinationals, smaller companies and public authorities.

The European Commission employs EMAS to reduce the environmental impact of its own activities, particularly by using natural resources more efficiently, reducing CO2 emissions, preventing, recycling and reusing waste, applying green public procurement and promoting sustainable mobility.

For more information, see the section on EMAS on the European Commission's website.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1221/2009

11.1.2010

-

OJ L 342, 22.12.2009, pp. 1-45

Amending act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EU) No 517/2013

1.7.2013

-

OJ L 158, 10.6.2013, pp. 1-71

RELATED ACT

Decision 2013/131/EU of the Commission of 4 March 2013 establishing the user’s guide setting out the steps needed to participate in EMAS, under Regulation (EC) No 1221/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the voluntary participation by organisations in a Community eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS) (OJ L 76, 19.3.2013, pp. 1-39).

Last updated: 19.06.2015

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