EMAS’s achievements in the first quarter of 2018

Every three months, the European Commission looks back on progress made in promoting EMAS and environmental management

The European Commission spent the winter reviewing its action plan to foster the development of EMAS in 2018. The Commission has set the following priorities:

  • Increase regulatory authorities’ knowledge of EMAS, and convince them to adopt incentives for EMAS-registered organisations
  • Increase organisations’ awareness of the added value of EMAS (communicating more about EMAS’s achievements and its potential in some sectors)
  • Make access to EMAS easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • Demonstrate EMAS’s relevance by tying it to key topics

Progress towards these objectives has already been made. In February, the Commission published a study that highlighted the links between EMAS and other environmental policies, encouraging policymakers to reward EMAS-registered organisations for their environmental performance. The RAVE study (Reinforcing Added Value for EMAS) inventoried best practices in the Member States and analysed the needs of public authorities and organisations. Have a look at this ambitious study here!

To support SMEs, the Commission has developed four tools to help them implement EMAS. The tools were released last December and are to be tested by companies this year. They make it easier to identify environmental impacts, and have been designed to be easy to use and save time for companies. For example, they automatically calculate key environmental indicators. They can be downloaded in one click from the EMAS website.

EMAS communication materials have also been updated. Two Powerpoint presentations are available to explain EMAS in simple terms to organisations and public authorities. They address questions like: What is EMAS? How is it different from other instruments? How can you benefit from it? Please share these presentations to raise awareness of EMAS.

New content is also being prepared: case studies, videos and news articles will be published throughout the year and will offer specific insights on EMAS. Stay tuned!

In terms of policy, in March the European Commission published a notice on the consequences of Brexit for EMAS. One option for EMAS-registered organisations in the UK that want to join or stay in the EMAS network will be to apply to EMAS Global. More information on this process is available here, and we encourage all affected organisations to get in touch with the EMAS Helpdesk.

Finally, the European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE) are in progress and will turn the spotlight on EMAS-registered organisations. This competition rewards companies that have made an outstanding contribution to sustainable development; the tenth round of winners will be announced this autumn. Germany has organised national EMAS Awards and selected five champions from its EMAS-registered organisations. They have already been nominated for the EBAE, and we wish them the best of luck! Follow the competition here.

The first months of this year were a time of reflection for the European Commission, and now many EMAS promotional activities lie ahead. We would like to thank all of the organisations sharing EMAS’s vision and promoting the scheme at their level. Stay up-to-date with the European Commission’s publications and share your achievements with us!