Environment

EMAS Governance

Key actors ensure the HIGH QUALITY, PUBLIC CREDIBILITY and RELIABILITY of EMAS. Each actor fulfils their role within the key stages of the scheme: Development, Verification, and Registration.

For detailed information on the registration process, please check “Join EMAS”.

Developing EMAS and enhacing its applicability

European Commission

Representatives at Member State level: EMAS Committee

EMAS Helpdesk

Verification: ensuring the credibility of EMAS

Accreditation & Licensing Bodies

Environmental Verifiers

Registration: Guidance and Advisory Support on the entire process

Competent Bodies

Developing EMAS and enhancing its applicability

European Commission

The role of the European Commission is to facilitate the proper implementation of the EMAS Regulation and to promote the scheme at the EU level.

The European Commission oversees the activities of each Member State with the help of specific mechanisms in place, such as the biannual EMAS Committee Meetings. The EMAS Committee is the Steering Committee of EMAS. Chaired by the European Commission, it represents the Member States and interest groups.

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In terms of promotion, the European Commission considers how EMAS can be taken into account in the development of new EU legislation and the revision of existing legislation, in particular in the form of regulatory relief and better regulation. For example, the Circular Economy Package adopted by the European Commission in 2015 recognises EMAS as an instrument that can help speed the transition to a circular economy. Furthermore, the Commission has produced informational materials and has developed several initiatives to recognise and make visible the achievements of EMAS registered organisations: check out the Fact Sheets, the EMAS Awards, #EMASPerformers and the EMAS video.

The Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) develops guidance in the form of Best Environmental Management Practices for specific sectors, collated in so-called Sectoral Reference Documents.

The European Commission is also in charge of making publicly available a database of environmental statements, which you can find within the EU EMAS Register.

In order to help fulfil its obligations and to handle more complex enquiries, the Commission has created the EMAS Helpdesk.

The European Commission reports to the European Parliament and the European Council every five years on the actions and measures taken. You can find all provisions with regard to the role of the European Commission in Articles 42 to 49 of the EMAS Regulation.

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Representatives at Member State level: EMAS Committee (based on Article 49 of the EMAS Regulation)

Member State Representatives play a key role in implementing and supporting EMAS at national level.

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According to the EMAS Regulation, Member States:

  • shall support organisations’ participation in EMAS with measures at national level, such as setting EMAS as a criterion in procurement policies, or providing regulatory relief
  • shall ensure assistance in compliance with legal requirements relating to the environment (Art. 32)
  • shall undertake information and promotion activities, such as informing the public about EMAS, or collaborating with trade unions and other relevant stakeholders (see Art. 33 to 36 for details)
  • may submit a request for recognition of an existing EMS as equivalent to EMAS parts. See regional labels for details.
  • shall report about the above mentioned activities to the European Commission via Tour de Table Reports submitted biannually in conjuntion with the EMAS Committee Meetings.

To facilitate the work of the Member States, a Compendium on EMAS Promotion & Policy Support in the Member States was published in 2015.

Existing initiatives in Member States

If you would like to find out more about the activities in your country, please get in touch with your national Competent Body or visit their website.

Should you have difficulty in finding the contact information you need, you can get in touch with the EMAS Helpdesk.

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EMAS Helpdesk

The EMAS Helpdesk was created to handle more complex enquiries beyond the scope of the standard information available on this website. It is accessible to all interested parties within and outside the EU and the EEA, such as companies, public authorities, environmental groups, academic researchers, trade unions and the general public. In addition, the Helpdesk supports the effective collection and listing of data concerning all organisations participating in EMAS.

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Since 2001, the EMAS Helpdesk has also provided the Commission with support in the promotion of the scheme. This includes the creation of promotional materials such as videos, leaflets and factsheets, and writing and publishing articles on the implementation of EMAS. Finally, the Helpdesk is in charge of designing and maintaining the official EU EMAS website.

We aim to answer all your questions about EMAS directly and quickly, or to direct you to relevant information sources.

However, we recommend that you have a look at the FAQ section before contacting the Helpdesk. Also, for all questions concerning registration, we advise you to contact your national Competent Body directly.

We welcome enquiries, comments and input in English, French or German.

Please click here to contact the EMAS Helpdesk.

The EMAS Helpdesk is operated by adelphi in cooperation with Arctik and 21 Solutions on behalf of the European Commission, DG Environment.

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Verification: ensuring the credibility of EMAS

Accreditation & Licensing Bodies

An Accreditation & Licensing Body is an independent, impartial institution or organisation designated nationally by each Member State and is responsible for the accreditation and issuing of licences to and supervision of environmental verifiers. Member States may use their existing National Accreditation and Licensing institutions or designate any other appropriate body to fulfil these tasks. The Accreditation or Licensing Body establishes, revises and updates a list of environmental verifiers and their scope of accreditation (according to NACE codes) in their Member State. Changes to this list have to be communicated to the Competent Body and the Commission.

Environmental Verifiers

After an organisation has conducted an environmental review, set up an environmental policy and programme and carried out an internal audit, an environmental verifier ensures that an organisation seeking registration is in compliance with the requirements of the EMAS Regulation (verification). Environmental verifiers also verify the reliability, credibility and correctness of the data and information in the (updated) environmental statement and other environmental information provided by organisations (validation).

Registration: Guidance and Advisory Support on the entire process

Competent Bodies

Every Member State has designated a Competent Body who is the first point of contact for any organisation interested in registering with EMAS. The Competent Body can provide your organisation with useful information on the steps to implement EMAS and the administrative procedures and fees involved.

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A Competent Body is responsible for organising the registration process of sites within their own territory. They collect any payable registration fee and respond to enquiries from registered organisations in their country.

Competent Bodies can choose to offer EMAS Global for organisations with sites located outside of the EU that wish to register with EMAS. For more information on EMAS Global and a list of the Competent Bodies offering this service, please click here.

Consistency of procedures relating to the registration process is ensured by a peer review process of all Competent Bodies, who meet twice a year to exchange information.

You will find the contact details of your Competent Body on the contacts page of this website.

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