The European Commission (EC) 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 EC decided to pilot the implementation of EMAS in four services in Brussels. The Commission was the first EU Institution to achieve an EMAS-registration already in 2005. Since January 2010, this system has progressively extended to all the services' activities and buildings in Brussels, Luxembourg, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) sites and DG SANTE's site at Grange, significantly increasing the number of concerned employees from 4,000 to approximately 32,000.
Currently, the Commission's environmental management system covers its eight largest sites which are located in seven European countries, meaning all occupied buildings in Brussels (62), 10 buildings in Luxembourg, and the five Joint Research Centre (JRC) sites in Petten, Geel, Seville, Karlsruhe, Ispra and DG SANTE's site at Grange. In total, this reaches up to 1,586,960 m2 – or 92% of the EC sites.
For the coming years, the Commission aims to further extend the scope of its EMAS registration to include executive agencies under Commission facilities management control 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 2005-2016):
- Energy for buildings = - 62% (MWh/person)
- CO2 emissions for buildings* = - 86%* (tonnes/person)
- Office paper = - 62% (sheets/person/day)
- Water use = - 59% (m3/person)
- Non hazardous waste = - 27% (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, green public procurement and the personal commitment of the European Commission's staff.
The Commission has generated cumulative energy savings of 96 million € (around 363 € per person per year, 2005-2016) in Brussels alone, at a direct cost of under 70 € per person for coordinating EMAS in 2016.
For further information, see the EMAS Environmental Statement 2017 (period 2016) – Corporate Volume in English, as well as the relevant Annexes: Annex A for Brussels, Annex B for Luxembourg, Annex C for JRC Petten, Annex D for JRC Geel, Annex E for JRC Seville, Annex F for JRC Karlsruhe, Annex G for JRC Ispra and Annex H for DG SANTE-Grange.
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.
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 information if you would like to get in touch directly with the team dealing with the Environmental Management System of the European Commission premises. For example, this may apply if you are a Commission employee or contractor, or you are a neighbour who wants to make the environmental team aware of environmental issues.