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Studies around EMAS and other EMS

"Step up to EMAS": Study on Guidelines for Transition from Non-Formal EMS and ISO 14001 to EMAS

This study, launched by the European Commission (DG Environment), provides valuable information for organisations that have already implemented an Environmental Management System (EMS) different than EMAS. It, analyses the differences between EMAS and twenty of the most relevant regional, national or sector specific non-formal EMS, as well as EN/ISO 14001, and outlines a step-by-step approach organisations can take in order to move from each EMS to EMAS. Implementing the premium standard EMAS can significantly add value to organisations.

The study can also prove useful for Member States who are considering submitting a request for recognition of an existing EMS as equivalent to EMAS parts. Once the EMS is formally recognised as being equivalent to some EMAS parts, organisations implementing that specific EMS are not obliged to carry out those parts when registering to EMAS.

Apart from factsheets and transition guidelines for each EMS the study also includes summary brochures with information on all the EMS.

  1. Overview of the study
  2. Specific Information on each of the selected EMS


Study on costs and benefits to organisations of EMAS registration

This study analyses the costs and benefits as well as the incentives and barriers encountered by EMAS registrants. The study also identified best practices that help organisations to realise maximum benefits from the application of EMAS.

The study can be downloaded here.


Pevious Studies and Publications


Manual de Implementao do EMAS no Sector da Indstria Grfica Guide for EMAS implementation in organisations from the printing industry

In order to promote the SMEs participation in the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) the Portuguese Environment Agency, EMAS Competent Body, in cooperation with Faculdade de Cincias e Tecnologia of Universidade Nova de Lisboa, developed the Project PMEmas addressed to organisations from the printing industry. The manual produced under this project is a step-by-step guide to prepare the organisations willing to be registered under EMAS for the external verification and validation of the environmental statement. The manual includes some practical examples that show the necessary documents concerning the different phases of the implementation of an environmental management system and provide all the applicable environmental legislations to the printing industry. This may result in an added value to disseminate the best practices among the organisations from this sector.

The manual (in Portuguese) is available for download here.


Spanish handbook on Environmental Statements

The Spanish Ministry of the Environment has published a handbook to facilitate the elaboration of environmental statements by organisations who wish to implement EMAS. In addition to presenting, step by step, the requirements established by the EMAS Regulation and clarifying how to approach them, the handbook shows a series of "good ideas", suggestions and best examples based on input from the regional Competent Bodies and analysis of different environmental statements.
The handbook (in Spanish) can be downloaded here (pdf PDF, 2,886.KB).

Spanish Opinion Study on the Revision of the EMAS Regulation

The Spanish Ministry of the Environment launched an opinion study on the revision of the EMAS Regulation. Organisations, Competent Bodies, the Accreditation Body, consultants and verifiers provide their input. The study was published in June 2006 and gives useful suggestions from stakeholders of a leading EMAS country. The study is available here pdf ( PDF EN 10,123 Kb)

Studies on environmental protection in enterprises (Bavaria, Germany)

The Bavarian Environmental Agency (LfU) submits two studies as a result of extensive inquiries on environmental protection in enterprises; there are nearly 700,000 employees working in more than 3,200 enterprises in Bavaria which have introduced an environmental management systems. The EMS helps to save money and has positive effects on the environment. The studies deal with:
"Employees in enterprises with environmental management systems in Bavaria" and "ecologic and economic effects of environmental management systems in Bavaria". The studies in German can be downloaded from:


Study analysing the influence of different characteristics of EMAS on technical innovations

The German study titled “The influence of different characteristics of the EU environmental management and auditing scheme on technical environmental innovations and economic performance” analysed the influence of different characteristics of the EMAS on the technical environmental innovations and economic performance of the facilities that implement this system. The study reports that environmental management systems are having a positive influence on the environmental process innovation of companies.
Download the article here (PDF 4,992 kb) . The study is available online at

Incentives for EMAS in the Member States

The Commission has completed a survey amongst the Member States and Norway in order to find out about activities undertaken on a national level to promote the scheme. The study reports on marketing and promotion, regulatory and financial benefits, the registration of the Competent Bodies themselves, studies analysing the impact and development of the scheme and last but not least information sources and contact points. The results have been available since November 2004 in a Commission Communication and its Annex.

Evaluation of EMAS and Eco-label for their Revision (EVER) study final report

As part of the normal legislative process, the EMAS and Eco-Label Regulations are due to be revised. In order to prepare this revision, the European Commission has contracted out an external evaluation study on the performance of both schemes (EVER study: Evaluation of EMAS and Eco-label for their Revision – EVER). The interim and final reports of the study have been published.

You can read the final recommendations, the research findings, and the executive summary. In addition, Annex 1 summarises the interviews, Annex 2 the EVER workshop and Annex 3 collects case studies.

You can read the executive summary in Spanish now, too.


Stakeholder consultation on the Revision of the EMAS Regulation

As a standard procedure, the Commission contacted stakeholders during the revision process of the EMAS regulation. The results can be found in the report and the statistics about who has answered the stakeholder consultation questionnaire.

You can read the following documents (in PDF format):

In parallel, the results are published on/environment/emas/consultation_en.htm


The IEMA good practices guide - Managing Compliance with Environmental Law

This Guide has been published by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment in the UK and is part of its contribution to assisting organisations in complying with environmental regulations. It sets out what the regulators expect from organisations using an EMS, and provides help and assistance in managing legal compliance. For those who choose to have their EMS certified to ISO 14001 or registered under EMAS, additional guidance is provided on what certifiers and verifiers expect.


Catalan report on "Participation Process for the improvement of the EMAS Regulation"

The revision of the EMAS Regulation has started with an evaluation of the EMAS and Eco-Label Schemes. With the report Catalonian organisations, consultants and verifiers provide their input. It gives useful hands-on suggestions from a leading EMAS region. The report was debated during the workshop "Proposals for Improving the EMAS Regulation, Towards EMAS III", held in Barcelona on 25th October 2005. Find the full report and its summary in English and Catalan.


Annual Peer Review 2005: Function of the Competent Bodies Eco-Management and Audit Scheme EMAS

The annual peer review of the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) 2003/2004 aims at assessing the various administrational schemes for the successful implementation of EMAS in the EU Member States and the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA). The annual peer review is a monitoring report and situational analysis of the current status of EMAS implementation in the participating countries. It therefore specifically looks at how EMAS is administered at national level in the EU Member States and the EEA countries. A detailed questionnaire was used to assess the various registration schemes of EMAS. The peer review gives a encompassing overview of the various administrational schemes of the countries participating in EMAS.

Read the peer review here pdf (PDF, 409Kb)


AIMS-EMAS implementation study

The report "An Assessment of the Implementation of Council Regulation (No 1836/93) Eco-Management Audit Scheme in the Member States" presents the results of the AIMS-EMAS telephone survey of Competent Bodies, Accreditation Bodies, Accredited Environmental Verifiers and EMAS registered sites in 15 Member States, carried out in 1998. The report also presents conclusions and recommendations for the revision of the first EMAS Regulation.

pdf EN (PDF, 369Kb)


Studies show EMAS organisations are more innovative and perform better with regard to turnover and exports

Three studies were released on EMAS in 2003: A German study of ZEW (Centre for European Economy Studies) found German EMAS organisations to be more innovative and significantly better performing if a high learning process and a R&D department are involved in the management system. A Swedish report provides an overall picture of how environmental management has developed and functions at present both in Sweden and internationally. The report also presents the shortcomings and problems associated with the application of environmental management systems at the corporate level and proposes measures to develop and improve them. An English summary can be found on page 11 pdf. The Austrian Ministry for the Environment has identified current effects of voluntary agreements in environmental protection. Read more pdf.


Literature Study: the State of EMAS in the EU

This Study pdf (PDF 502 Kb) was carried out in the framework of the EMAS conference "Benefits and Challenges of EMAS II", held in Brussels on 26 and 27 June 2002.


EMAS and other tools for Sustainable Development

Business and Sustainable Development: A global Guide: This site explains strategies and tools, such as EMAS, that companies can draw on to translate an aspiration of sustainability into practical, effective solutions. Case studies from around the world are provided as an example of each measure. Go to

EMAS in America: The European Union's Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS)
by Michael S. Wenk

The book breaks down each component of the EMAS regulation, including the appendices and applicable EU guidance documents on the topic, providing a step-by-step analysis of the Scheme. In addition, the work provides examples of four of Akzo Nobel Incorporated’s manufacturing locations which have been registered to EMAS, providing "real life" examples of how to meet the requirements of the Regulation. The target audience is threefold: first, environmental managers who are considering implementing EMAS in their firms, but who have little knowledge of the Scheme. Secondly, the book will provide background to university students and professors who are seeking a solid overview of the EMAS Scheme and programmes which focus on environmental auditing as part of their coursework. Finally, verifiers in the new Member States may use the work to familiarize themselves with the requirements of the Scheme.

The book “The European Union's Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS)” has been published by Springer. More information is available here.