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EMAS - Performance, Credibility, Transparency

Eco-label Environmental Compliance Assistance Program Green Public Procurement

EMAS in the European Commission

The European Commission sets an example by reducing the environmental impact of its own activities through EMAS. Key priorities are the efficient use of natural resources (mainly energy, water and paper), the reduction of overall CO2 emissions, waste prevention, recycling and re-use, green public procurement, and sustainable mobility.

In September 2001 the Commission decided to pilot the implementation of EMAS in three services in Brussels. Since January 2010, this system has progressively extended to all the services' activities and buildings in Brussels and Luxembourg, significantly increasing the number of concerned employees from 4 000 to approximately 31 000 persons. The European Commission obtained the renewal of its EMAS Registration in 2011 and extended the perimeter of EMAS to all of its services in Brussels (in relation to the five pilot services of the previous EMAS registrations). In 2012, the scope of the EMAS registration has been extended to all Commission’s services in Luxembourg. In 2013, the JRC-Petten joined as well, while in 2014 the JRC-Geel and JRC-Seville were also included under the EMAS scope.

In 2015, the remaining JRC-sites in Karlsruhe and Ispra in addition to the DG SANTE’s site at Grange have also successfully completed the EMAS verification exercise. Currently, the Commission's environmental management system covers all major EU EC-sites, meaning 62 buildings in Brussels, 6 buildings in Luxembourg, and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) sites in Petten, Geel, Seville, Karlsruhe, Ispra and DG SANTE’s site at Grange. In total, reaching up to 1 513 075 m2 – or 92% of the EMAS sites.

For the coming years, the Commission aims to further extend the scope of its EMAS registration and by doing so to ensure the continuous reduction of its environmental impact.

Since the first EMAS registration in 2005, the Commission has achieved significant results
(These results refer to the Brussels’ site during the period 2005-2014):

  • Energy for buildings = - 65% (MWh/person)
  • CO2 emissions for buildings* = - 88%*(tonnes/person)
  • Water use = - 59% (m3/person)
  • Non hazardous waste = - 28% (tonnes/person)
* CO2 emissions reduction exceeds that of energy consumption as electricity has been purchased from 95% renewable sources since 2009

These impressive improvements result from a combination of technical measures and green public procurement as well as the personal commitment of our colleagues.

With direct costs of coordinating EMAS of under 66 € per person (2014), the European Commission has generated cumulative energy savings only in Brussels of 74 million € (around 336 € per person per year, 2005-2014).

For further information, see the EMAS Environmental Statement 2015 (period 2014) in English as well as the validated original version in English.

Lastly, find out more about "EMAS as a resource efficiency tool: EU Institutions' success stories" as presented during the EMAS side session during EU Green Week 2014.

Contact information:

Mr Celso Sanchez Martinez - EMAS Management Representative
Mr Michael Rourke – EMAS Officer
Mrs Sofia Gregou – EMAS Communication, Training and Documentation

European Commission - DG HR: Human Resources and Security
Unit D.2: Working Environment & Security
Rue Montoyer 34, MO34 01/78, B-1049 Brussels/Belgium

NOTE: Please only use this contact only when you want to get into contact directly with the team dealing with the Environmental Management System of the European Commission premises. e.g. when you are a Commission employee or contractor, or you are a neighbour who wants to make the environmental team aware of environmental issues.

More information can be found in the following documents:

  • Commission Decision of 18/11/2013 on the application by the Commission services of the Community eco-management and audit scheme, EMAS
    (C(2013)7708 final of 18/11/2013)
  • Greening the European Commission: Decision on the implementation of the eco-management and audit scheme, EMAS
    (IP/01/1258 of 11/09/2001)
  • European Commission recognised for its efforts to green its activities
    (IP/06/563 of 03/05/2006)
  • Practising what we preach: environmental management in the European Commission
    (IP/08/1678 of 11/11/2008)
  • The eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS) at the Commission: frequently asked questions
    (MEMO/08/688 of 11/11/2008)
  • The European Commission at Vélo-City
    (MEMO/09/231 of 12/05/2009)
  • Mobility policy for Commission staff travelling around Brussels
    (MEMO/09/395 of 16/09/2009)
  • The Commission greener than ever
    (IP/09/1349 of 23/09/2009)
  • The eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS) at the Commission: frequently asked questions
    (MEMO/09/410 of 23/09/2009)
  • Memorandum to the Commission from VP Siim Kallas on the application by the Commission services of the Community eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS)
  • Commission Decision of 23/09/2009 on the application by the Commission services of the Community eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS) <br>

EMAS in other Community Institutions and Bodies

Other EU institutions are also responding to the challenge of taking responsibility for their environmental impacts. As a matter of fact, the Commission EMAS team members are proud and honored to have served sometimes as 'mentors' to their colleagues in setting up the scheme in other institutions:

  • The European Environment Agency was the first EU body to introduce an environmental management system in 2004 and was registered under EMAS in spring 2005. Since then, EEA has helped other organisations introduce environmental measures. It was nominated for the EMAS Awards in 2009. More information can be found at

  • The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), the European agency in Alicante responsible for managing the registration systems for Community trade marks, and designs, is EMAS registered since September 2008. More information can be found on:

  • The European Parliament (EP) received EMAS registration for Luxembourg in November 2008. This completes the full house of environmental management registration for the Parliament. The EP is now the proud holder of ISO 14001:2004 and EMAS certificates for all three main working places. The Parliament decided in 2007 that it should cut its carbon emissions by 30% by 2020, and towards that goal commissioned a study on its actual footprint. That study has now been finished and the action plan based on the study is being evaluated. For more information please visit the website of the European Parliament.