Environment

EMAS in the European Institutions

The European Commission was the first EU Institution to become registered with EMAS. Currently, 11 EU Institutions and bodies are EMAS-registered, namely: the European Commission (since 2005), the European Environment Agency (since 2005), the European Parliament (since 2007), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (since 2008), the European Central Bank (2010), the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Committee of the Regions (since 2011), the European Council and the Council of the European Union (since 2016), the Court of Justice of the European Union (since 2016), the European Court of Auditors (since 2017) and European Food and Safety Authority (since 2017).

The European Commission EMAS team members are proud and honoured to have served sometimes as 'mentors' to their colleagues in setting up the scheme in other institutions – “Walking the talk", as we say!

EMAS in the European Commission

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.

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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), 17 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 1,540,596 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 2005-2015):

  • Energy for buildings = - 61% (MWh/person)
  • CO2 emissions for buildings* = - 85%* (tonnes/person)
  • Office paper = - 56% (sheets/person/day)
  • Water use = - 56% (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, green public procurement and the personal commitment of the European Commission’s staff.

The Commission has generated cumulative energy savings of 86 million € (around 355 € per person per year, 2005-2015) in Brussels alone, at a direct cost of under 68 € per person for coordinating EMAS in 2015.

For further information, see the EMAS Environmental Statement 2016 (period 2015) in English, as well as the original signed version by the EMAS Verifier in English.

For reference, see the EMAS Environmental Statement 2015 (period 2014) in English, in French, in German, in Dutch, in Italian and in Spanish.

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
Email: EC-EMAS@ec.europa.eu

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.

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European Environment Agency

The European Environment Agency was the first EU body to introduce an environmental management system in 2004 and received its EMAS registration in spring 2005. Since then, EEA has helped other organisations introduce environmental measures and was itself nominated for an EMAS Award in 2009. More information can be found at https://www.eea.europa.eu/about-us/emas/index_html

European Parliament

The European Parliament is EMAS registered for its three places of work (Strasbourg (FR) - Luxembourg and Brussels (BE)) since December 2007. In 2016, President Martin Schulz and Secretary-General Klaus Welle signed a new environmental policy reaffirming the EP’s administration commitment to “maintaining its EMAS registration and its environmental approach to continuous improvement with a view towards achieving environmental sustainability in all its administrative activities”.

The EMAS project in the EP was launched by the Bureau in 2004, with the aim to continually improving its environmental performance.

By relying on the commitment of every single employee and the support of all its services, EMAS provides the framework for the European Parliament to save resources for future generations.

More information can be found at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/aboutparliament/en/20150201PVL00096/Environmental-management.

European Union Intellectual Property Office

EUIPO is the European Union Intellectual Property Office responsible for managing the EU trade mark and the registered Community design and has been EMAS registered since September 2008.

The EUIPOs Integrated Management Policy states the following: “Our commitment to making management standards better includes both learning from international best practices and establishing an integrated policy to ensure all our processes are efficient. This means combining operational efficiency with advanced human resource capabilities, information systems as well as the physical infrastructure.”

More information can be found at: https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/quality.

European Central Bank

Since their registration with EMAS in 2010, the ECB has constantly improved its environmental management system under their Green ECB initiative and is always looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and make their environmental performance even stronger. Check out the Green ECB initiative video.

More information: https://www.ecb.europa.eu/ecb/orga/escb/green/html/index.en.html.

The European Economic and Social Committee and the European Committee of the Regions

The European Economic and Social Committee and the European Committee of the Regions are two consultative bodies of the European Union. They are unique in that they share joint services and infrastructure. They have also jointly undertaken to implement an environmental management system, formalised by EMAS registration and ISO 14001 certification in 2011. This approach has made it possible not only to obtain these certifications but also to make all stakeholders aware of the environmental aspects associated with everyday activities. Implementing EMAS also provides an opportunity to take account of the principles of sustainable building management, to optimise heating, lighting and paper consumption, to develop a more sustainable canteen, to select environmentally friendly cleaning products and paint, to reduce and sort waste, to reduce food waste at events, etc.

All measures and results are set out in the environmental statement:
http://www.eesc.europa.eu/?i=portal.en.environmental-statement
http://cor.europa.eu/en/Pages/environmental-statement.aspx

European Council and Council of the European Union

Many of the General Secretariat of the Council's (GSC) activities have some impact on the environment. The GSC has been working since 2010 to reduce this impact and protect the environment, through high quality environmental management which applies to all GSC activities in the buildings it occupies in Brussels. The GSC obtained ISO 14001 certification and the EMAS registration in 2016.

The main goals of the GSC's environmental programme include:

  • cutting primary energy consumption through renewable energy production and efficient energy use
  • ensuring efficient use of water and preventing water pollution
  • waste prevention and reduction, re-use of materials and promoting recycling
  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • reducing paper consumption and using recycled and eco-friendly paper

The GSC also promotes environmentally-friendly mobility among employees and visitors and incorporates environmental criteria into public procurement procedures.

For more information, please consult GSC's Environmental statement.

Court of Justice of the European Union

The European Union is at the forefront of commitments to ensure protection of the environment worldwide. The Court of Justice of the European Union, as an institution, attaches great importance to this question and it has decided to commit itself to that endeavour with vigour and conviction by using the Eco Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) and being EMAS-registered since 2016.

More: https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/P_134088/en/

European Court of Auditors

The Court was officially EMAS-registered on 10 March 2017, and we successfully operate an environmental management system in line with EMAS Regulation (EC) No 1221/2009 and ISO 14001. Our registration number is LU-000004.

For additional information, please see the Court’s corporate environmental management webpage, where you can find our environmental statement, in which we present our environmental performance results and any future plans for improvement.

European Food Safety Authority

Since 2015, EFSA has been working on the implementation of an environmental management system, obtaining in November 2016 the ISO 14001:2004 certification and, in February 2017, the EMAS registration. Being EMAS registered has contributed to the implementation of EFSA’s key values such as openness and transparency, meeting the expectation of the local communities; innovation, pushing EFSA to be pro-active encouraging the green economy; and cooperation, establishing a strong dialogue with the other organisations part of the EMAS community.

For more information, check out EFSA's Environmental Statement:
http://www.efsa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/dichiarazione-ambientale1619.pdf

The first "Interinstitutional EMAS Week": Lessons-learned and the way forward…

From 23 to 27 May 2016, just before the Green Week 2016, the Commission, the Parliament, the General Secretariat of the Council, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee, joined forces by organising the first Inter-institutional EMAS Week in Brussels. "Institutions invest for a greener future" was dedicated to sustainable infrastructures, alternative mobility, green purchasing and staff involvement. A unique opportunity to share environmental best practices and know-how. The programme included thematic debates, info-fair stands, film screenings, staff forums, photography and drawing competitions and much more. The interinstitutional EMAS week culminated with the EU Open Days event on Saturday 28 May 2016. For an insider's view about the events of the week, have a look at the special of the EMAS Reflex and the relevant video (below). Moreover, see video by European Parliament's Vice President Ulrike Lunacek concerning the event. All EMAS teams agreed that it was an experiment worth repeating, so there will be another interinstitutional EMAS week next year!