SMEs (companies with fewer than 250 employees or a turnover of less than €50 million euro) and micro-enterprises are the backbone of the European economy, driving economic growth and providing jobs for a significant number of people. Despite these benefits, they collectively create a substantial impact on the environment. Therefore, encouraging SMEs towards more sustainable practices is essential in lessening this environmental impact, as well as saving energy and resources.
To this end, EMAS has elaborated several provisions to meet the needs of SMEs in order to facilitate their meeting the requirements of the scheme.
As an SME, your organisation can benefit from the several advantages:
SMEs who have implemented EMAS have consistently benefited financially from the resulting increases in energy efficiency and saving of resources due to their participation in the scheme. More information on the benefits attained by EMAS-registered organisations is available in the “Study on the Costs and Benefits of EMAS to Registered Organisations”.
SMEs can become EMAS registered by using the EMAS Easy method. Based on the Ecomapping concept, EMAS Easy is a way to implement EMAS that takes into account the size, financial capacity and organisational culture of small businesses. It brings a number of new features to the table in order to guide SMEs into compliance with EMAS, while still focusing on what matters: environmental protection in their everyday production.
EMAS Easy also supports the EMS implementation in a group of SMEs, facilitated by a consultant. This approach is useful for organisations in the same sector of activity or located in the same geographical area. Local authorities, in cooperation with chambers of commerce, industrial associations and others, can provide support for SMEs that are seeking to implement EMAS by facilitating a cluster and step-by-step approach.
The EMAS Easy guidance is available here.