EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS)

Last updated: 5 November 2017
The EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is a management tool for companies and other organisations to evaluate, report and improve their environmental performance. The scheme has been available for participation by companies since 1995 and was originally restricted to companies in industrial sectors. Since 2001 EMAS has been open to all economic sectors and all types of organisations in the public and private sector which want to improve their environmental performance. It applies to all 27 Member States of the European Union, to the European Economic Area (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and to the Candidate countries for EU membership (Croatia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey). Since 2004 EMAS allows organisations to progress from ISO 14001 to EMAS without duplicating their efforts. Organisations must only ensure that on top of the ISO 14001 requirements, they fulfil the following:

continual improvement of environmental performance;

compliance with environmental legislation ensured by government supervision;

public information through verified annual reporting;

employee involvement and openness to the public In order to be able to benefit from EMAS registration, an organisation must carry out the following steps: - Conduct an environmental review - Establish an environmental management system (EMS) - Carry out an internal environmental audit - Prepare an environmental statement - Independent verification by an EMAS verifier - Register with the Competent Body of the Member State - Make use of verified environmental statement to report performance data in marketing, in assessment of the supply chain and in procurement An EMAS registration allows organisations to demonstrate to all interested parties (customers, regulators, citizens) that they evaluate, manage and reduce the environmental impact of their activities. The EMAS logo can then be used as a marketing or sales tool, and organisations may incur benefits in the form of deregulations that governments are offering for 'greener 'companies. A number of Member States have arranged deregulation incentives for EMAS organisations. For example, depending on where they are located, EMAS organisations may benefit from longer inspection intervals, reduction of permit fees, fast lane permits and improved access to funding.

Want to know more about this policy ? Learn more