Environment

Sectoral Reference Documents

The Sectoral Reference Documents (SRDs) on Best Environmental Management Practice provide guidance and inspiration to organisations in specific sectors on how to further improve environmental performance.

The European Commission, in consultation with EU Member States and stakeholders from the sectors addressed, produces two documents for each sector: a concise Sectoral Reference Document (SRD), and a detailed technical report on Best Environmental Management Practices ('best practice report'). These documents are being developed for different sectors which have been identified as priority sectors.

Each SRD includes the following elements:

  • Best environmental management practices;
  • Environmental performance indicators;
  • Benchmarks of excellence.

In this way, the SRDs are aimed at encouraging organisations to consider the most advanced and effective techniques, measures and actions being implemented in their sector by front-runner organisations in terms of environmental performance.

Official SRDs have been adopted and best practice reports have been finalised for the following sectors:


For the following sectors best practice reports have been finalised and SRDs are in progress:


For other sectors, the development of the best practice reports and SRDs is still on-going but preliminary documents exist which may be used as a source of information on the scope and development process:


The development of the SRDs is led by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission's in-house scientific service. To be involved in the development of one of the SRDs or to access the documents developed so far and find more information and updates on the status of the SRDs, you can contact the JRC at JRC-IPTS-EMAS@ec.europa.eu or visit the following website.

Please note that EMAS registered organisations have an obligation to take into account their respective SRD when assessing and reporting on their environmental performance. The same applies to the EMAS environmental verifiers when verifying if an organisation meets the requirements of EMAS.