Environment

EMAS’s achievements in the second quarter of 2019

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

EMAS initiative in Andalusia: With EMAS, everybody wins

The Regional Ministry on Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Local Development of Andalusia launched an inspiring campaign to boosts EMAS. Around the hashtag #ConEMASTodosGanamos, the Ministry will raise awareness in social media and on digital channels for EMAS and its decisive importance for environmental management. The campaign does not only highlight EMAS’ three basic pillars: commitment, transparency and responsibility. It also seeks to encourage efficient use of resources and show EMAS’ role in order to move towards a Circular Economy.

The Regional Ministry’s initiative is responding to improvements proposed by EMAS-registered organisations. Users themselves have highlighted the importance to disseminate EMAS among citizens and potential organizations. One the main barriers encountered by EMAS is the lack of knowledge of competitive advantages for EMAS organisations and the added value EMAS organisations contribute to society in general and enterprises in particular.

At the heart of this campaign is great informative and promotional material. Several videos, infographics, brochures and presentations visualise the EMAS system, its added value and its opportunities. Find everything here.

This promotional campaign in digital channels is under the framework of Interreg ENHANCE Action Plan, which aims to promote EMAS registration by Public Authorities as a tool to encourage the efficient use of resource.

EMAS in Estonia

Another exciting EMAS campaign is happening in Estonia, also as a part of the Interreg. ENHANCE Action Plan.

Although EMAS can give organisations many benefits, currently only four Estonian enterprises have adopted EMAS. Therefore, the potential that EMAS offers is untapped for most Estonian organisations.

One of Estonian organisations that has been adhering to the EMAS schemes for years is the biggest water company in the country, AS Tallinna Vesi (Tallinn Water). Offering a vital service to nearly half a million Estonian residents, EMAS is a crucial tool for Tallinn Water to communicate its environmental actions to its customers and the wider public. Tallinna Vesi also supports state initiated proposals that would simplify the process for companies that have implemented EMAS to apply for an environmental permit, make the reporting system more effective and reduce bureaucracy. In their opinion, such measures could motivate many more companies to implement EMAS.

Find Tallinna Vesi’s complete EMAS story in this video here and learn more about ENHANCE here.

EMAS Club Wallonia’s annual meeting explores the updated Annex IV and the new SRDs

The 2019 edition of the annual Wallonian EMAS Club meeting took place in the premises of Intradel on 18 June. Intradel is an EMAS registered intermunicipal association that currently includes 72 municipalities in the Province of Liège, Belgium. Intradel provides municipalities with a complete service for household and similar waste management: prevention, reuse, collection, sorting, recycling, recovery and disposal.

The meeting focused on the new requirements of Annex IV of the EMAS regulation. The updated Annex IV provides EMAS organisations new opportunities to report on their environmental performance. The EMAS Helpdesk offered advice on how to make use of these new opportunities for the environmental statement. These practical recommendations illustrated how to structure and write an environmental statement in order to make it more attractive for different interested parties. The more inviting the design of the environmental statement, the more likely it is that it will be read. The Helpdesk shared some learnings of the best environmental statements by EMAS organisations which are also available here. Examples of good dissemination practices were also given.

The meeting participants shared best practices among themselves and agreed to a vast majority that their environmental statements needed a deep revision. Both in terms of layout and in terms of simplification of the content. For the participant, an ideal environmental statement is straight to the point, includes informative case studies and it meets the expectations of different stakeholders.

Another issue discussed by the participants was how to include the relevant best environmental management practices and the specific environmental performance indicators presented in the Sectoral Reference Documents. It was agreed that these references could be made in a simple manner, visually for the performance indicators and should not overload the environmental statement.

The EMAS Club also realized the collective value of all the verified data collected and reported by the 40 active members of the club. The Club will further explore how to aggregate and visualize the most relevant data to report on the collective environmental benefits of all members of the EMAS Club.