This section aims to provide a practical information tool kit to people and organisations involved in implementing EMAS in the public administration sector.
The LA-EMAS Toolkit demonstrates the step-by-step implementation of an Environmental Management System according to the EMAS Regulation in a local authority. The guide explains the benefits of EMAS in a public authority, starting from the environmental review to the environmental statement. (available in English).
For a brief introduction on how municipalities can take action in the framework of EMAS, there is a factsheet on "The Implementation of EMAS in Public Sector Authorities".
The role of public authorities in promoting sustainable development does not stop in the implementation of EMAS. They can also influence the environmental performance of other economic actors, namely public sector contractors. Public procurement, which accounts for 14% of the European Union GDP, represents one major area which can contribute to sustainable development.
The Commission has published a handbook on Green Public Procurement in order to explain in details how environmental criteria are included in the technical specifications, selection criteria and award criteria. The role of EMAS in the assessment of technical criteria has been clarified by pointing out that Directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC explicitly recognise EMAS registration as a possible means of proof for companies in public procurement procedures.
Many authorities who would like to begin a green procurement policy find it difficult to get the right legal and practical information on how to proceed, and the right environmental information to place in their call for tenders. The EU has launched a Green Public Procurement dedicated website:
Under the 5th Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration, DG Research funds the RELIEF project coordinated by the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). This project aims at identifying the environmental relief potential of green purchasing in Europe. A detailed project description, information on project participants and the status reports can be downloaded from ICLEI's Eco-Procurement website. ICLEI's European Eco-Procurement Initiative aims at 'combining' the purchasing power of public authorities and creating a cumulative demand in order to increase the competitiveness of greener products and services. The initiative is particularly designed for local authorities, many of which have been pursuing Local Agenda 21 activities. In this context, cooperation among public authorities is fostered through BIG-Net, the "Buy it green"-network of municipal purchasers in Europe.
LIFE, the Financial Instrument for the Environment, introduced in 1992, is one of the spearheads of the European Union's environmental policy The programme supports environmental initiatives in the European Union, some candidate countries and certain third countries. LIFE-Environment actions contribute to the development of innovative techniques and methods by co-financing demonstration projects. One focus of this section of the programme is thus the funding of innovative projects directed at the implementation of environmental management systems and in particular EMAS.
The deadline for submission of proposals usually is autumn of each year; the Commission then selects projects to be funded during summer of the following year. For more information on the LIFE programme see the LIFE website.
The second issue of LIFE-Focus, the journal of the LIFE III programme (2000-2004) refers entirely to LIFE-EMAS projects. It explains what EMAS is all about, what the benefits are and what results it has obtained. The text will be illustrated with ten LIFE-EMAS projects, 3 of which involve local authorities.
A sustainable approach for the environment: LIFE and the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme PDF ( PDF 3,12 MB)
This Community Framework is a legal instrument allowing the Commission to provide financial and technical support to networks of local authorities in the promotion of sustainable urban development. Funds are earmarked for Commission support and assistance to encourage the conception, exchange and implementation of good practice in the following fields:
in which the following types of activities will be eligible:
The European Commission is developing a Strategy to improve the environmental performance and quality of urban areas and to secure a healthy living environment for Europe's urban citizens. The Strategy will reinforce the environment contribution to the sustainable development of urban areas. It relies on four pillars: sustainable urban design and construction, sustainable transport and environmental management systems. As regards management systems, future directives may propose cities and towns with more than 100,000 in habitants to implement environmental plans properly managed by systems such as EMAS. A Communication of the Commission on the future Strategy is available on: