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Latest News (last update November 2012)

 

Commission announces EMAS Award winners

European Commission announces 2012 winners of the EMAS Awards.

The theme for this year's EMAS Awards was: "Water management (including water efficiency & water quality)". The six winning organisations displayed excellence in respecting and safeguarding this most precious natural resource. This year's winners are:

  • Private micro-organisations: Abwasserverband Anzbach Laabental (Austria)
  • Private small organisations: Riechey Freizeitanlagen GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)
  • Private medium-sized organisations: Neumarkter Lammsbräu (Germany)
  • Private large organisations: Lafarge Cement UK (United Kingdom)
  • Public small organisations: Comune di Tavarnelle Val di Pesa (Italy)
  • Public large organisations: Bristol City Council (United Kingdom)

The EMAS Awards 2012 ceremony, which was hosted by moderator Katrina Sichel, took place in "Les Ateliers des Tanneurs", an exceptional architectural feature in the heart of Brussels, Belgium. The ceremony was opened by European Commissioner for the Environment Dr Janez Potočnik. In his keynote speech Commissioner Potočnik put this year's EMAS Awards theme in the context of the European Water Year 2012. Mr. Potočnik explained that the European Commission is developing a new strategy for the protection of Europe's water resources and that EMAS registered organisations are already implementing many of the recommended measures and approches. The commissioner emphasized that the EMAS Awards nominees and winners are role models that demonstrate that EMAS as a very useful tool for managing the transition to a more sustainable future.

Professor Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency (EEA) and chair of this year's EMAS Awards jury, also welcomed the audience and particularly highlighted examples of innovative techniques that the nominated organisations are using in their water management. The EEA itself, which is the central source of environment information for EU decision makers, recently drew renewed attention to the need to improve the quality of EU surface waters.

While the audience enjoyed a delicious three-course dinner, the 27 EMAS Awards 2012 nominees and their achievements in water management were presented. The ceremony culminated in the presentation of this year's winners who were handed their trophies by members of the jury. For the first time at the EMAS Awards, the jury decided to additionally honour two of the nominated organisations with special mentions. Although they were not among the winners, Abbott S.r.l. and CESGARDEN, S.L. stood out especially in certain respects. The jury recognized Abbott's environmental statement as the most comprehensive and readable document that they had received and CESGARDEN's water management as particularly integrated and comprehensive.

The environmental impact of the trophies themselves, which were designed by the German artist Floriana M. Ohldag, was minimised by using no chemical glues and by processing materials sustainably.

Congratulations to all winners and nominees!

EMAS Awards Winners

The winners of the EMAS Awards 2012: representatives from Abwasserverband Anzbach Laabental, Lafarge Cement UK, Neumarkter Lammsbräu, Comune di Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, Riechey Freizeitanlagen GmbH & Co. KG and Bristol City Council.


 

Registration for the EMAS Awards ends 19 November

Reminder: sign up now to attend the Awards.

If you have not yet registered to be a guest at the EMAS Awards you only have four more days to do so! There are only a few free seats left.

Please follow the link below to secure your participation at the Awards ceremony http://www.emasawards.adelphi.de/

After the online registration closes on 19 November, last minute applications must be made directly to emasawards@adelphi.de.


 

Programme for the EMAS Awards 2012 announced

The event programme for this year's EMAS Awards ceremony is now online.

There are only two more weeks to go until the grand event at "Les Ateliers des Tanneurs" in Brussels. Moderator Katrina Sichel, who has worked extensively in communication for the European Institutions, will host the evening and present this year's 27 nominated organisations. Awards guests can also look forward to insightful keynote speeches by European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik and the chair of the 2012 EMAS Awards jury, Professor Jacqueline McGlade, who will share her expertise as Executive Director of the European Environment Agency.

You can find the programme on the EMAS Awards website.


 

EMAS registration for Italian racetrack

Ferrari’s Mugello racetrack in Tuscany is the first of its kind in Italy to be EMAS registered.

Mugello has long been engaged in controlling the environmental impact generated by its activities. It acquired ISO 14001 certification in 2010 and went on to continuously improve its environmental management, using the latest technologies available in the industry. This finally led to the site’s EMAS registration on 15 September 2012.

Mugello has implemented a number of measures to reduce and optimize its resource consumption. Among others, it is now generating energy with photovoltaic cells on the central stand, which allows the organisation to reduce emissions by 200 tons of CO2 a year. It has also built a plant for the treatment of storm water and is collecting rainwater for use in sanitary facilities. Furthermore, Mugello is reducing air pollution through the choice of specific materials for the construction of its new grandstand, and is also managing its indirect environmental impact by raising awareness of environmental issues among its suppliers. Says CEO Paolo Poli: “Adopting an Environmental Management System is not just about the environment and protecting the health of the land, but also about urging all actors in the field to acquire a specific sense of social responsibility: managers, employees, suppliers and users of the system.”

Source: Megamodo


 

Scandic Hotel Berlin now EMAS registered

Just in time for its second birthday, the Scandic hotel Berlin Potsdamer Platz got its EMAS registration on 1 October 2012.

"Sustainability was an important part of our overall concept from the beginning,“ explains Hotel Manager Robert Schmiel. The Hotel had already been awarded other environmental certificates, but, says Schmiel: “We are especially proud to receive the EMAS certificate.”

Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz offers an impressive 563 hotel rooms, 19 rooms for special events with up to 1200 guests, two restaurants, a terrasse, bar, fitness area and underground parking lot.

All guest rooms and public areas are furnished with 80% eco-friendly materials; water saving faucets and waste separation in the rooms allow guests to actively contribute to environmental protection; the event rooms are equipped with movement detectors that regulate energy use through lighting. Water is also saved in the gastronomic area that does without tableclothes and cloth serviettes which would need to be washed daily. Most food is made of organic products and guests can rent bicycles from the hotel. And this is to name just some of Scandic Berlin’s environmental management measures. In addition, the hotel is also active regarding company-internal and external social responsibility.

The outstanding environmental performance of Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz that is reflected in their EMAS registration was also given recognition when they were awarded the prize as „Certified Green Hotel of the Year 2012“ by the German Association for Travel Management (VDR) this year.

Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz

Source: http://www.intergerma.de/news/newsdetail/article/scandic-berlin-potsdamer-platz-erhaelt-emas-zertifikat.html


 

“BRAVE” survey to assess EMAS simplification measures

The European project “BRAVE-Better Regulation aimed at Valorising EMAS” has launched an online survey among EMAS registered organisation to determine the success of the simplification measures introduced in the EMAS III regulation.

The BRAVE project aims to facilitate the adoption of EMAS and other voluntary certification schemes by helping to remove, reduce and simplify the administrative burdens for organisations that are registered with EMAS or other EU schemes. It does so by supporting the full integration of environmental certification schemes in the environmental legislation of EU Member States, and the simplification and improvement of existing regulations as envisioned by the approaches of Better Regulation policies, the latest EMAS Regulation and ECAP priorities. This will especially benefit SMEs by making it easier for them to comply with environmental legislation. In addition, registered organisations are to be granted administrative and economic benefits.

Now the BRAVE implementing organisations, headed by project leader Sant’Anna, an Italian research Institute, have launched a survey to assess the difficulties and advantages experienced by organisations adopting and maintaining EMAS. The survey focuses on the impact of simplification measures, such as regulatory relief, and of better regulation tools, such as the extension of the permit period or the reduction of inspections for SMEs.

Respondents are asked to express their opinion on the relevance and value of existing simplification measures in their countries, at national and at regional level. The survey results will allow the BRAVE partners to promote the introduction of new simplification measures in European environmental legislation and in the Member States. The results will be available on the project site http://www.braveproject.eu/ without reference to specific companies.

You can access the survey here.

www.braveproject.eu

The BRAVE project started in October 2011 and will finish in December 2014. It is co-financed by the Life Plus Programme.


 

First Brussels hotel EMAS registered

Martin’s Central Park Hotel implements EMAS

Want to make your next business trip or holiday in Brussels a bit “greener”? No problem. Now you can stay at Belgium’s first EMAS registered hotel. The Martin’s Central Park Hotel just joined the list of European hotels whose environmental management is up to EMAS standards.

After already registering as an 'Ecodynamic Business', a label issued by the Brussels Institute for Environmental Management, the next logical step was to register with EMAS this year. The hotel’s approach to limiting their environmental impact includes activities and commitments such as the reduction of water, electricity and gas consumption, as well as the reduction of waste, noise and light pollution, and also the rationalisation of transport and of raw materials.

Located in the cosmopolitan and historical heart of Brussels on Boulevard Charlemagne, the Martin’s Central Park Hotel offers a variety of accommodations, from cosy rooms covering all the high-tech needs of business travellers to luxurious suites. There is also a bar and restaurant, and the hotel offers special deals that include sightseeing tours or special events in Brussels.

Find out more about the hotel on their website and check the list of other EMAS registered hotels in Europe.


Latest News (last update October 2012)

 

EMAS goes global! UPM registers first non-European site

A UPM pulp mill in Uruguay is the first company site outside of Europe to be included in the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme.

Two years after the last revision of EMAS opened the scheme to world-wide application, UPM is the first organisation to register one of its international sites with EMAS. Along with all of UPM’s European pulp and paper mills the company also introduced EMAS in its Fray Bentos pulp mill in Uruguay and was granted EMAS registration in September of this year.

“We’re delighted to see that EMAS is moving from European to global use and hope that the efforts of UPM to continually improve their environmental performance show the way for other international companies,” states Soledad Blanco, Director of Sustainable Resources Management, Industry & Air at the European Commission’s DG Environment. Tuula Varis, Director General of the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, also applauded UPMs ground-breaking step, explaining: “We believe that openness in environmental reporting is beneficial and should be promoted globally”.

Read more about UPM’s EMAS Global registration in their official press release.


 

Register now to attend the EMAS Awards 2012!

Registration for this year’s Awards ceremony is now open.

Participation at the EMAS Awards 2012 is restricted to 135 guests and will be allocated on a “first come – first served” basis. So sign up now under http://www.emasawards.adelphi.de/ to not miss the most prestigious awards event in environmental management!

In addition, you can also sign up for two exciting side events: an interesting sight seeing tour to the highlights of Brussels, and a visit to an EMAS registered internationally operating automotive company in Brussels the following day.

The programme for the Awards ceremony will soon be posted here on the EMAS Awards website.


 

Commission announces nominees for the EMAS Awards 2012

The application period for the EMAS Awards 2012 is closed, and we are proud to announce this year’s nominees.

Member States have received many applications from EMAS registered organisations and have officially nominated 27 organisations from 14 European countries in 6 categories.

We thank all participants for their efforts and applications!

This year’s eight jury members have started their work and will evaluate all nominees’ performance with regard to this year’s topic “Water management (including water efficiency & water quality)”.

The nominees have demonstrated their dedication in the field of water management in a number of ways. For example, through innovative ways of using rain water, establishing water cycles, or developing new production technologies that need less water in the first place.

An EMAS Award is the most prestigious award in environmental management and is only handed out to top performing companies and public authorities. The winners of the 2012 edition will be announced at the official EMAS Awards ceremony on 29 November 2012 in the ”capital of Europe”: Brussels, Belgium.

To find out who this year’s nominees are, please visit the facebook page of the Sustainable Production & Consumption Unit of the Directorate-General Environment of the European Commission where the nominees of each category are announced.

You can also find a list of all nominees by category on the official EMAS Awards website. More information about the exemplary ways in which the nominees are managing their water use will also be presented on the website shortly.

Congratulations to all EMAS Awards nominees!


 

Latest News (last update September 2012)

 

Give your input to the next ISO 14001 revision!

DG Environment is inviting EMAS registered organisations and EMAS environmental verifiers to take part in an online survey concerning the impact an ISO 14001 revision could have on EMAS. The deadline is 31 December 2012.

ISO 14001:2004, the international environmental management system standard, is shortly to undergo its second revision. The European Commission would like to bring a European perspective to the revision process and present the results at official revision meetings.

Since ISO 14001 requirements are already an integral part of EMAS, future revisions of ISO 14001 will also influence the standard’s relation to EMAS. The survey is therefore designed to collect information on how an ISO 14001 revision could:

  • make sure that ISO 14001 certification is a suitable stepping stone towards EMAS registration, particularly for international company sites (outside the Community); and
  • affect EMAS’ role as the premium environmental management instrument and its ability to sustain this position in the future.

The results of the survey will be fed into the official ISO 14001 revision process and also provide valuable input for upcoming EMAS revisions.

The revised ISO 14001 standard is set to be finalised in 2015 and will be in effect until the mid-2020s.

Environmental managers of EMAS registered organisations and accredited/licensed EMAS environmental verifiers are invited to take part in the survey under this link:

http://ec.europa.eu/yourvoice/ipm/forms/dispatch?form=ISO14001


 

Save the Date! EMAS Awards 2012

The 8th EMAS Awards ceremony will take place on 29 November in Brussels, Belgium.

The European EMAS Award is the most prestigious award in environmental management and has been presented to top-performing companies and public authorities since 2005. Every year, the Awards focus on a different aspect of environmental management. This year, EMAS registered organisations will be recognized for outstanding achievements in the field of “Water Management (incl. Water Efficiency and Water Quality)”.

Life is impossible without a sufficient supply of clean water. Water bodies provide drinking water as well as process water for manufacturing goods. Aquatic ecosystems are also habitats for many plants and animal species and contribute to preserving biological diversity.

Therefore, a sound water management is necessary. EMAS puts a strong emphasis on the continuous improvement of registered organisations’ environmental performance. For example, by using the EMAS key environmental core indicator on water, organisations can measure their environmental performance in this area. This provides a basis for managerial decisions that lead to improvement of the water efficiency and the water quality.

From a group of outstanding EMAS organisations from across Europe, an international expert jury will choose the winners of the EMAS Awards in the following six categories:

  • Micro-organisations
  • Small organisations
  • Medium organisations
  • Large organisations
  • Small public administrations
  • Large public administrations
The nominees for the 2012 EMAS Awards will be announced at the end of September. Watch this space!

Information about this year’s venue, jury members, nominees and Awards ceremony programme will also be available shortly on the official EMAS Awards website:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/emas/emasawards/index.htm.


 

Austrian EMAS Conference 2012: "Zero Emission – from Vision to Reality"

On 19 / 20 June EMAS stakeholders met in Vienna for this year’s Austrian EMAS Conference with a special focus on electromobility. They were joined by German stakeholders who informed attendees about EMAS implementation in Germany in a separate panel. In addition, the Austrian EMAS Awards 2012 were handed out.

The conference programme started the day before with a site visit to the EMAS registered Viennese sewage-works ebs Simmering.

The following day participants came together for a number of information and discussion panels. Experts from Germany and Austria discussed scientific scenarios for a zero-emissions future in the fields of energy and mobility, as well as practical strategies already being developed and applied in the two countries to reduce emissions. In particular, solutions in the field of electromobility were presented – such as vehicles powered by renewable energy sources.

In addition, speakers from the German Ministry for the Environment and from the Schaeffler Group presented information and examples of more general aspects of EMAS implementation in Germany, such as the use of environmental core indicators.

The conference was concluded with the presentation of the 2012 national EMAS Awards for Austria which recognized outstanding achievements in environmental management by EMAS registered organisations as well as the work of environmental verifiers.

The winning organisations were: BAUMANN/GLAS/1886 GmbH, Hackl Container, Pfarre St. Sulpitius in Frastanz, Salzburger Flughafen GmbH, and via donau – Österreichische Wasserstraßen-Gesellschaft mbH.

The work of these environmental managers was recognized: Johann Jachs and Martin Much of the Austrian National Bank; Walter Kogler of Schweighofer – Fiber GmbH; and Gudrun Bannert, Hermann Rauscher and Herwig Otto of voestalpine Schienen GmbH.

The conference itself was certified as a “green meeting” under the Austrian ecolabel scheme.

For further information and a PDF download of the conference programme go to: http://www.emas.gv.at/article/articleview/91345/1/16773/

The conference proceedings are available at http://www.emas.de/fileadmin/user_upload/06_service/PDF-Dateien/EMAS_Konferenz_2012_Wien.pdf


 

Latest News (last update July 2012)

 

Towards a green economy with EMAS

European companies are on track towards Rio+20 goals thanks to EMAS.

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the German EMAS Advisory Board (UGA) have just published a flyer highlighting the connections between EMAS and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development’s (Rio+20) goal of a “green economy”.

The concept of the “green economy” focuses on the intersection between environment and economy as one of the most important areas for action if sustainable development is to be achieved. Sustainable development as such emphasises a holistic, equitable and far-sighted approach to decision-making at all levels.

EMAS provides such a systematic approach for “greening” business activities. It gives organisations a practical tool with which they can enhance their business’ success - in achieving good environmental performance, including stakeholders as well as in making a positive contribution to the sustainable development of society as a whole.

Currently, about 1,350 German organisations with approximately 1,900 sites are using EMAS to enhance their environmental performance, credibility and transparency. Within the EU, more than 8,150 sites are EMAS registered. Moreover, since the latest revision of the EMAS Regulation, EMAS is no longer restricted to Europe. Organisations worldwide can now join this star management instrument. This kind of global development is also called for by Rio+20, which emphasizes the need for worldwide efforts to make the global economic system “greener” and more sustainable.

While other internationally applicable standards pertaining to sustainability such as those developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), only provide non-binding recommendations and suggestions, EMAS registered companies are already provably implementing these standards through their management system structures and principles of action.

For instance, the Guidance Standard on Social Responsibility, ISO 26000, just like the “green economy” concept, addresses the interrelatedness of social, economic and ecological impacts of the economic system. In implementing EMAS, organisations cover a similarly diverse range of objectives, such as energy efficiency, resource efficiency and social responsibility, including employee involvement. However, EMAS’ robustness - building on environmental core indicators and externally validated environmental statements - make EMAS registered organisation’s improvements continuous, verifiable and, thus, credible.

The flyer is available here.

greeneconomy


 

 

EMAS Day in Barcelona

On 5 June, the EMAS Club of Catalonia held their second annual EMAS Day - an open door activity for the promotion of EMAS and good environmental practices. It was carried out at Parc de la Barceloneta in Barcelona and organized in collaboration with the Municipality of Barcelona.

The aim of the event is to inform the general public about what environmental management is and to provide a platform for Barcelona’s EMAS registered organisations, of which there are currently forty-four. The EMAS day also forms part of the activities that the municipality of Barcelona is carrying out in the framework of their Local Agenda 21 efforts.

The EMAS Day is a perfect chance for EMAS registered organisations and the EMAS Club of Catalonia to make the topic of environmental management more accessible to the public. Visitors are not only sensitised to the efforts being made by their local businesses, but also informed about what they as consumers can do to contribute to environmental protection. Apart from information on how local businesses are using EMAS to continually improve their environmental performance, visitors at this year’s EMAS Day also learned about the scheme through fun games and art activities. In addition, there were different exhibitions on issues such as waste prevention, good environmental practices and eco-labeled products.

 

emasday


 

 

The internet becomes greener! The European Commission congratulates EURid for its first EMAS registration

EuRid, the European Registry of Internet Domain Names, is the first European top level domain registry (.eu) to be EMAS registered. EuRid introduced EMAS in its headquarters in Brussels in May of this year.

“We are proud of the EMAS seal of approval. It honours .eu’s continual efforts in making the internet more environmentally friendly and shows that sustainability is also an issue for organisations managing cyberspace.” said Marc Van Wesemael, General Manager of EURid.

EURid has been pursuing an environmentally conscious approach for many years in its management of .eu. The registry’s environmental policy is based on the maxim “reduce, reuse, recycle” and pays particular attention to sustainability in its selection of suppliers. The organisation’s EMAS registration particularly acknowledges the following of EURid’s current activities:

  • Partnership with energy efficient data centres: EURid’s data center in the Netherlands aims to keep its energy consumption, and hence CO2 emmissions, low. In addition, the organisation uses renewable energy sources and innovative technologies that also enhance efficiency in its cooling systems.
  • Reduced paper consumption: Since May 2012 EuRid issues its invoices via e-mail only. Marketing publications are printed with biodegradable colour on sustainably produced paper.
  • Minimizing the ecological footprint of events: When organising and participating in conferences, fairs and meetings, EURid follows the criteria laid out by the United Nations Environmental Programme’s “Meeting Guide” to keep such events and concomitant travel as environmentally friendly as possible.
.eu is one of the ten largest top-level-domains world-wide, providing 500 million people in 27 EU countries with a central online identity. EURid is a non-profit organisation that was established by the European Commission to manage the .eu top-level-domain. Apart from its headquarters in Brussels, EURid also has regional offices in Pisa, Prag and Stockholm.

You can read more about EuRid’s sustainable activities in their environmental statement: http://www.eurid.eu/files/emaseu.pdf

Source: EURid

EURid


 

 

Italian government supports EMAS

The Italian government is allocating 2.5 million euro in support of environmental certification. In a recent announcement small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) were promised a grant if they adopted an environmental management system.

The grant will vary from 40% to 80% (between 7,500 and 30,000 euro), depending on the type of intervention. Organisations can use it either to register with EMAS or to be certified under the international standard ISO 14001.

"In a market that requires compliance with environmental laws and control of consumption, a system of environmental management and monitoring ensures consistent results and provides significant benefits to businesses”, said Louis Brusamolino, Managing Director for Southern Europe of the BSI Group, a leading global business services organisation which develops, assesses and helps implement standards and management systems.

Brusamolino emphasised the economic benefits for organisations that use environmental management systems. These result mainly from a reduced risk of sanctions for breaching environmental laws and from increased resource efficiency within business operations. Brusamolino also drew attention to a further advantage in relation to consumer perceptions, saying that businesses demonstrating good intentions regarding environmental issues are viewed more favourably by consumers.

 

emasday


 

Latest News (last update June 2012)

 

Eco-friendly hotels profit

Environmental protection pays off financially for hotels! Hotels in Spain that have environmental management systems in place are more profitable than those that do not, according to a recent study from Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research (CHR).

Of more than 2,000 Spanish hotels surveyed those that had sustainability certification recorded stronger sales and earnings. “Our findings challenge the often-heard contention that adopting sustainability programmes will diminish hotels’ performance. Instead, these data show the reverse to be the case”, said co-author Rohit Verma, professor at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration and CHR’s executive director.

Tourism is a resource-intensive industry that leaves a big footprint on the environment. More and more European hotels are thus adopting environmental management schemes. While the eco-friendly hotels that were surveyed in Spain had adopted ISO 14001 as their eco-management scheme, EMAS includes and goes beyond ISO 14001’s requirements, making it an even more credible and robust environmental management instrument. Dozens of hotels all over Europe have already chosen to upgrade to EMAS. EMAS is particularly strong when it comes to boosting resource efficiency and, in contrast to ISO 14001, EMAS adds value regarding:

  • Stricter requirements on the measurement and evaluation of environmental performance against objectives and targets, and the continuous improvement of that environmental performance;
  • Legal compliance with environmental legislation ensured by government supervision;
  • Strong employee involvement;
  • Environmental core indicators creating multi-annual comparability within and between organisations;
  • Transparent communication: Provision of information to the general public through the validated environmental statement; and
  • Reliability: Registration by a public authority after verification by an accredited/licensed environmental verifier.

A list of EMAS registered hotels is available at
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/emas/pdf/EMAS Registered Hotels List by Country.pdf


 

Revision of ISO 14001

ISO 14001, the international environmental management system standard, is shortly to undergo its second revision. Since it was first published in 1996, ISO 14001:2004, Environmental management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, has been adopted by well over 250 000 certified users in 155 countries worldwide. Planned improvements to the standard will bring it closer to EMAS’ requirements, which already include and supersede those of ISO 14001.

Recently, over 40 experts from 25 countries, members of ISO/TC 207, Envi- ronmental management, the ISO technical committee that developed ISO 14001, gathered at the Berlin headquarters of DIN, the German Institute for Standardization, to discuss key issues related to the mandate for the working group responsible for the revision process.

In particular, the working group is to take into account the recommendations made by an expert group (in the final report of the ISO/TC 207 SC 1, Environmental management systems, “Future Challenges for EMS Study Group”). The report evaluates the potential implications of evolving stakeholder expectations and new developments in the field of environmental management systems since 1996. The recommendations flowing from the report’s analyses aim at improving ISO 14001 in many of the field in which EMAS already offers advanced standards in environmental management.

  • stricter measurement and continuous improvement of environmental performance,
  • improved transparency and accountability in environmental management performance,
  • stronger commitment to legal compliance,
  • increased uptake of environmental management systems in small organisations,
  • control of the environmental impact in the value/supply chain,
  • improved engagement of stakeholders, and
  • requirement of an external communication strategy.
We would warmly welcome the integration of these features in a revised ISO 14001 standard. However, it remains to be seen how many of the report’s recommendations will actually be translated into requirements for ISO 14001 certified businesses.

The complete recommendations made by the Future Challenges Study Group can be found at
http://digital.iso.org/Olive/ODE/ISO-Focus-Plus-Org/?href=ISOFP/2012/04/01


 

Latest News (last update May 2012)

 

EMAS internal auditors network

The EMAS Club Catalonia has created the first network for internal auditors of EMAS registered organisations.

The association of EMAS registered organisations in Catalonia was the first regional EMAS network in Europe. Created in 2006, it now has 57 member organisations.

In March of this year, the Club carried out a joint training session for internal EMAS auditors of some of its EMAS registered member organisations. Following the training, the participating auditors carried out a day of auditing activities in two EMAS registered companies. The auditors who are part of the new network will meet once a year (starting this September) in order to share their experiences and be informed about any issues that could affect EMAS audits (for example items related to the interpretation of the EMAS Regulation, etc.). The auditors will have access to check lists and other documents that will help them to improve upon the tools that they are already using in their audits. In future, the network also plans to develop a system of carrying out cross-audits among the participants so that they can avoid contracting external consultants and thereby reduce EMAS-related costs for their organisations.

More information about the EMAS Club Catalonia can be found here: http://www.clubemas.cat/en/index.html

internal_auditors


 

EMAS connects international schools

The German Kuniberg business college and five other schools from Belgium, Finland, Italy, the Czech Republic and Hungary are working together to introduce EMAS in their places of learning.

The idea to introduce EMAS in international schools was put forth by two students of Kuniberg business college. Building on existing networks from previous international environmental projects, the college quickly brought on board its European partner schools and the joint project “EMAS-KNX-EU” received funding from the EU’s Comenius Programme in 2011. The Comenius Programme has been supporting cooperation and exchange between European schools since 1995.

Four teachers and 31 students make up Kuniberg college’s EMAS project team that regularly meets with the other schools’ teams to discuss the steps taken thus far. Following a joint implementation plan, the schools have already conducted environmental reviews and put environmental management systems in place. They have now begun writing their environmental statements. The Finish partner school had previously implemented the international environmental management norm ISO 14001 and thus is able to give the others valuable advice on how to go about conducting environmental reviews or determining environmental objectives.

Between project meetings, the teachers and students communicate via email, videoconferences and the platform eTwinning that connects schools from all over Europe in a virtual classroom. Kuniberg college is also communicating its environmental activities to other colleges in the region via a joint environmental network.

EMAS-KNX-EU has a number of benefits for the participating schools and students: Students’ awareness about sustainability issues is being increased. Once they enter the job market they will be able to transpose what they are learning about environmental management in schools to similar challenges in other organisations. In addition, the international format of the project will equip them with the necessary qualifications to work Europe-wide.

For Kuniberg college, implementing EMAS will allow teachers and students to realise a number of environmental initiatives at the same time and to use the school’s limited resources more effectively for its environmental goals.

Detailed information can be found on the project homepage at www.spse.pilsedu.cz/comenius/EMAS/index.html

international_schools

This article is based on a news item from the German EMAS Website: www.emas.de/aktuelles/2012/05/emas-knx-eu-emas-connects-you/


 

Metropolitan Solutions Conference 2012

On 23 April, Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, gave the keynote speech at the opening of the "Metropolitan Solutions Conference 2012" at Hannover Messe, Germany.

The Metropolitan Solutions Conference, which will take place in fall 2012 under the tagline "Safety and reliability in urban infrastructures", will address the two major challenges faced by the world’s growing cities: to create infrastructures that are safe and reliable, and to develop sustainable urban design that lives up to regional and global responsibilities. This takes into account that urban areas are responsible for 60-80% of global energy consumption and CO2 emissions and four out of five Europeans already live in cities. Moreover, 90% of the world’s future urban population growth will take place in developing countries and millions of people are affected when cities suffer the effects of climate change, like extreme heat or flooding.

The European Commission’s Roadmap for 2050 shows that a low-carbon society that is more sustainable and better adapted to the effects of climate change can be built by further developing technologies that already exist today and by developing and mainstreaming new ways of producing and using energy. The overall objective is to have urban development and climate action go hand-in-hand. In order to support cities in reaching these goals, the EU has launched a variety of actions, from promoting networking and sharing of experience and best practices, to providing financial assistance. For the first time, the EU budget explicitly foresees that climate action would be 'mainstreamed' into all sectors and at least 20% of the EU budget is to be earmarked for climate-related action. The €80bn EU research programme Horizon 2020 will help to identify innovative energy solutions and new concepts of mobility, with a strong focus on urban areas.

More information on the Metropolitan Solutions Conference is available at www.hannovermesse.de/en/metsol-conference

climate action logo
© EU Commission Climate Action


 

CHAMP: Sustainability Management for local and regional authorities based on EMAS III

On 30 April, the EU’s three year project “Local Response to Climate Change” (CHAMP) came to an end. The objective of CHAMP was to train and support local and regional authorities in implementing an Integrated Management System (IMS) for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and to promote the model Europe-wide.

In order to deliver high-quality support to local and regional authorities a total of seven national training hubs were established thus far in Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Romania. These serve as the main contact points in their country for authorities seeking support in the implementation of an Integrated Sustainability Management System. CHAMP continues to invite new partners to join their growing network of organizations interested in offering IMS trainings to local authorities.

The training hubs are organized within the framework of the European Partnership for Integrated Sustainability Management. The Partnership aims at developing common references and recommendation on IMS implementation within European policies, as well as in management structures and methodologies. This harmonization of European approaches will reflect the fact that sustainable development is a fundamental principle of the EU and promoting sustainable urban development is a vital part of the European Cohesion Policy.

The IMS is based on EMAS III in its structure and requirements. Practical experience with the system has shown that EMAS is a good basis for further developments in sustainability management. Being based on EMAS, IMS’ environmental section is already certifiable, guaranteeing minimum requirements and comparability and providing proof of the tangible advantages made within local and regional authorities. CHAMP has drafted a proposal for the standardization of the entire Sustainability Management System.

CHAMP offers a freely available capacity development package (CDP) for local and regional authorities, which gives a comprehensive overview over available tools in the field of climate change mitigation and adaptation and also contains special guidance for auditors and consultants who work with local authorities.

The CDP in English, German, Hungarian, Italian, Finish and Swedish, as well as further information on CHAMP, can be found at www.localmanagement.eu.


 

Latest News (last update April 2012)

 

Promoting greener products through Environmental Product Declarations

EMAS registered organisations are successfully addressing indirect environmental aspects, such as the environmental impact of product life cycles.

Acting as a responsible organisation involves systematic and strategic management of both direct and indirect environmental aspects. EMAS provides registered organisations with practical tools to address both direct environmental aspects such as CO2 emission reductions or waste management and indirect ones such as supply chain or product-related matters.

Especially in the production sector, a product’s life cycle, such as design, packaging, transportation or possibilities for recycling, can cause significant environmental impacts. In order to promote the development of environmentally-friendly products, information about their life cycle impact should be collected and communicated to customers and consumers.

EMAS registered organisations can publish Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) (e.g. based on ISO 14025 – environmental labels and declarations, and ISO 14040 – life cycle assessment). These contain information about the environmental impact that products have on the environment. These EPDs can be validated externally by the independent environmental verifiers in the context of validating the companies’ environmental statements.

The international rail systems manufacturer Bombardier, whose German and an increasing number of other EU sites are EMAS registered, uses EPDs to provide product-related information to stakeholders. Depending on their main use, many of these EPDs are validated according to EMAS requirements.

Further information on Bombardier’s approach can be found at: http://www.bombardier.com/en/transportation/sustainability

bombardier

 

 

 


 

 

Eurobarometer survey: Resource efficiency a top priority for many European SMEs

On 27 March, European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani officially presented the results of the Flash Eurobarometer 342 on “SMEs, Resource Efficiency and Green Markets”. The extensive survey is the first of its kind aimed at understanding the views and attitudes of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) towards resource efficiency and green markets.

emas_logoRepresentatives of companies, both SMEs and large companies as reference group, were interviewed across the EU, the US and the ten CIP countries (the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme supports eco-innovation throughout Europe in line with the renewed Lisbon Strategy).

The contribution of SMEs was found to be essential for pursuing EU goals towards sustainable growth. 93% of EU SMEs currently take actions to be more resource efficient, with more than 60% of SMEs saving energy, recycling or minimising their waste, respectively. For a third of SMEs improving resource efficiency is a top company priority. Motivations for taking actions to improve their resource efficiency include financial and fiscal incentives or other forms of public support, creation of a competitive advantage/business opportunity and demand from customers or providers, respectively.

One of the most effective ways to achieve resource efficiency is the application of an environmental management system. Companies have recognized the resulting benefits and reported in the Eurobarometer that their main reasons for employing such a management system are:

  • It is a useful tool for improving company performance (39%);
  • It enhances credibility towards the outside world (30%).

EMAS as the premium environmental management instrument is particularly strong in enabling companies to reach this goal.

However, the Eurobarometer found that not many SMEs are taking advantage of this opportunity thus far. A mere 2% of SMEs in the EU are currently EMAS-registered. Only slightly more use ISO 14001 (6%).

ec_logoMore demanding environmental management instruments such as EMAS are still more likely to be used in large companies. Comparatively high implementing- and running costs in particular often are a higher discouragement for SMEs when compared to large(r) companies.

Others reported that they are not yet using an environmental management system because there was ‘No demand from legislation’ (29%), ‘Lack of information (20%) and ‘No demand from customers or suppliers’ (30%).

However, if companies are given more incentives to take up EMAS, once registered, they find that EMAS in fact offers many advantages for SMEs. In contrast to larger companies, SMEs can extend the audit cycle (verification & validation), which significantly reduces administrative and financial costs for them. Various EU Member States also take measures to support SMEs in the EMAS implementation process, such as promoting technical assistance measures, providing support funds specifically adapted to SMEs and facilitating access to information.

The complete report in English and factsheets in all EU languages are available at: /public_opinion/archives/flash_arch_344_330_en.htm


 

Impressive performance of EMAS-registered companies in sustainability ranking

EMAS-registered businesses come in first in the 2011 IÖW/future Ranking of Sustainability Reports of 150 large and 41 small and medium sized German enterprises.

The Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) and the business initiative future e.V. – Verantwortung Unternehmen (“Business as Responsibility”) have been jointly evaluating sustainability reports of Germany’s 150 largest industrial and service enterprises since 1994. In addition, since 2009 German SMEs (max. 5.000 employees, or max. 500 million EUR annual turnover) have been able to enter their sustainability reports for competition in a separate ranking.

Based on a comprehensive set of social, environmental, management and communication-related criteria, the biannual ranking evaluates independent environmental, sustainability and CSR reports or comparable company reports, and compiles a ranking of the best reporters. The reports must refer to the entire company and cover a clear reporting period.

The 2011 IÖW/future ranking ended with an awards ceremony on 27 February 2012, and EMAS- registered companies took five of the six prizes in the SME category (Neumarkter Lammsbräu, Märkisches Landbrot, Bremer Straßenbahn AG, apetito AG and Studiosus-Reisen GmbH), and came in first and third place among large enterprises (BMW and BASF). Three more large enterprises ranking in the top ten are also EMAS participants: Daimler AG, the Federal Bank of Baden-Württemberg and Volkswagen AG.

Being EMAS-registered has proven to be a clear advantage when it comes to compiling sustainability reports. Having an environmental management scheme in place provides useful tools for systematically documenting the ecological aspects of business activities. SMEs in particular benefitted from their previous experience in writing environmental statements for EMAS, as they were able to use these as a template for evaluating additional social, ecological and economic aspects in their sustainability reports. Thus, 18 of the 41 SMEs participating in the ranking are EMAS-registered.

The selection of the 150 largest enterprises is based on the list of the top 500 German companies compiled by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ; as of July 2009) and covers:

  • the 100 largest industrial enterprises and service-providers, measured by turnover
  • the 15 largest banks, measured by total assets
  • the 15 largest insurance firms, measured by total premiums
  • the 20 largest trade companies, measured by turnover.

Further information is available at: http://www.ranking-nachhaltigkeitsberichte.de/en.html

The results of the ranking of large companies can be viewed here (in German). The full report will soon be available as well.

iow


 

Conclusion of RIFE 2 Project – Companies implement EMASeasy

On March 20th, a conference titled “Good Environmental Practices in Enterprises” marked the conclusion of the European transregional development project RIFE 2 (Réseau transfrontalier d'Information, de Formation et d'accompagnent d'entreprises à la gestion de l'Environnement). Participants reflected on the successful implementation of environmental management and resource efficiency schemes in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the “Grande Région” bordering France, Luxembourg and Belgium.

rifeOver the course of three years, RIFE 2 (Cross-border Network for Information, Training and Support of Enterprises in Environmental Management) developed networks between environmental experts in public research and in chambers of commerce, and local SMEs from Luxemburg and its two neighboring regions of Lorraine (France) and the Province of Luxemburg (Belgium).

Stakeholders shared information about best practices in the fields of environmental management and of water and energy efficiency, and developed strategies for promoting and implementing these in regional SMEs who hadn’t been able to afford the guidance of a full-time environmental consultant.

The 49 participating SMEs were able to choose between a range of available support measures, implementing new environmental strategies according to their respective needs and resources. Among these measures were the EMASeasy methodology, which is a lean and standardised version of EMAS developed particularly to facilitate EMAS registration for small and micro businesses. This methodology, which covers all requirements of EMAS (and/or ISO 14001),is based on the Eco-mapping concept and adapts particularly well to the smaller and less formal organisational structures of small companies.

The Luxemburg Resource Centre for Environmental Technologies (CRTE) trained the business partners and environmental consultants on the EMASeasy methodology< and performed the internal audits in the participating SMEs. As a first step, 9 companies opted to register for the ISO 14001 scheme, but the implementation of the EMASeasy standards will allow them to register for EMAS in the future.

RIFE 2 was co-financed by the European Fund for Regional Development, in the framework of its programme INTERREG, which seeks to improve the effectiveness of regional policies and instruments by promoting interregional cooperation and exchange between economic and policy stakeholders.

Presentations given at the conference can be downloaded here:

http://www.sitec.lu/cms/sitec/content.nsf/idgen/FGIS-8QSL5D?opendocument&language=fr

Video testimonials of some of the RIFE 2 partners can be viewed here (in French):

http://www.atypic-prod.com/AtYpIC_Prod/CRTE.html


 

Opening Conference of the EMAS Club Europe

On 8 February, the first meeting of the members of the newly founded EMAS Club Europe took place at the Federal Ministry for the Environment in Bonn, Germany. The Club also set the dates for the first regional members’ conferences in Germany and invites all EMAS-registered or soon-to-be-registered companies to join.

emas_club_euThe EMAS Club Europe was founded in September 2011 by VNU – Verband für nachhaltiges Umweltmanagment e.V., the German Association for Environmental Management Professionals . The EMAS Club is an exclusive and effective information and discussion forum for EMAS-registered companies. In addition to offering a platform for networking activities between businesses, the Club will also invite environmental experts and representatives of relevant public institutions to its meetings to support Club members with their expertise.

More than eighty company representatives attended the opening conference of the EMAS Club Europe. Experts gave presentations on topics such as CSR, sustainability, and energy efficiency. The European Commission’s EMAS Policy Officer Mr. Hoeve also addressed the Club’s members.

Regional EMAS Clubs already exist in Spain and Italy. Now further regional networks are to be formed, while the EMAS Club Europe offers a platform for exchange between the regional Clubs and gives all European EMAS-registered companies a unified voice vis à vis the European Commission. Membership in the EMAS Club Europe will thus provide companies with a direct connection to policy makers and relevant committees in Brussels, enabling them to actively participate in the further development of the EMAS scheme and receive first-hand information.

A first meeting of EMAS Club Europe representatives with the Commission has already taken place, the result of which will be discussed at the upcoming regional Club meetings, scheduled to take place in western and southern Germany in May.

For information on upcoming EMAS Club meetings and how EMAS-registered/interested companies can sign up, go to http://www.vnu-ev.de/.


 

Latest News (last update March 2012)

 

German Federal Cabinet adopts German Resource Efficiency Programme

In February 2012 the German Federal Cabinet adopted the German Resource Efficiency Programme (ProgRess) – the first comprehensive programme to address the sustainable use of raw materials. ProgRess aims at continuously increasing raw material productivity in German industry through strengthening voluntary measures and initiatives as well as supporting environmental management systems. EMAS is considered in detail in the programme.

ProgRess provides an overview of existing activities, identifies need for action and describes examples of increasing resource efficiency. The programme approaches Resource Efficiency from the following five angles:

  • Secure a sustainable raw material supply
  • Raise resource efficiency in production
  • Steer consumption towards resource efficiency
  • Develop a resource efficient circular economy
  • Use overarching environmental management instruments (e.g. EMAS in particular)

de_resouce_efficiency“The [German] Federal Government […] is committed to EMAS as the most comprehensive environmental management and environmental audit system to improve environmental performance. The government recognises EMAS as an excellent tool to increase the resource efficiency of businesses and organizations.”

EMAS provides a systematic, strategic and practical management approach to reduce both the consumption of resources and the related operating costs. In fact, the financial benefit cited most frequently by EMAS-registered businesses is linked to more efficient resource use and reductions in energy consumption. Through the collection of reliable data, EMAS helps analysing input-output flows in the production process and identifying the areas of highest resource consumption (‘hot spots’).

ProgRess supports initiatives in industry and society with measures such as:

  • Strengthening resource efficiency advice for small and medium-sized enterprises;
  • Integrating resource aspects into technical standardization processes;
  • Placing greater emphasis on resource-efficient products and services in public procurement;
  • Strengthening voluntary product labelling and certification systems;
  • Enhancing closed cycle management and facilitating the transfer of technologies and knowledge to developing and emerging economies.

German Federal Environment Minister Dr. Norbert Röttgen described the program as a “master plan for sustainable growth”. He emphasized that the efficient use of finite resources was “one of the biggest economic, ecological and social challenges of our time” and a “key competence of future-proof societies”.

The German Resource Efficiency Programme can be downloaded here (in German).


 

EMAS survey in Germany

A survey among the 1400 EMAS-registered organisations in Germany is being carried out by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) in 2012.

The survey will create a solid data-base of German organisations’ specific experiences with EMAS. On the basis of this detailed and wide-ranging information about EMAS practice, the German Government and the European Commission will be able to better align national and European EMAS measures. At the same time, information from EMAS participants provides impetus for the next revision of the EMAS Regulation.

A similar survey was already carried out by the German Federal Environment Agency in 1999. Its results are summarized in the report “EC Eco-audit in Germany – Field reports 1995-1999” and can be downloaded here (in German).

All German EMAS-registered organisations are encouraged to participate in the survey, which started in March 2012 and is being jointly conducted by Arqum GmbH and Infratest dimap. This is an excellent opportunity for businesses to exert influence on upcoming revisions of the EMAS Regulation, by feeding back to legislators information about the practical challenges and effects of EMAS that registered organisations experience in their daily work. For instance, survey participants will be asked about their participation motives, the cost-effectiveness of EMAS, their experience with the environmental verifier and the verification and validation process, and their wishes for further environmental policy developments.

The results of the survey will be presented in an anonymous form in late 2012 and will be available to participants of the survey in advance. If you have questions about the evaluation or wish to participate in the survey (only organisations which are EMAS-registered in Germany can participate), please send an email with your contact (name, address, email, telephone number) to Arqum at emas-umfrage@arqum.de.

The standard questionnaire can be viewed here (in German).

survey


 

The 2012 edition of the EMAS Awards focuses on “Water Management”

The European EMAS Awards are the most prestigious awards in environmental management and have been handed to top companies and public authorities since 2005.

The European Commission has selected the following theme for the 2012 European EMAS Awards:

“Water Management (incl. water efficiency & water quality)”

Life is impossible without a sufficient supply of clean water. Water bodies provide drinking water as well as process water for manufacturing goods. They are also habitats for many plants and animal species and contribute to preserving biological diversity.

Therefore, a sound water management is necessary. EMAS puts a strong emphasis on the continuous improvement of registered organisations’ environmental performance. For example, by using the EMAS key environmental core indicator on water, organisations can measure their environmental performance in this area. This provides a basis for managerial decisions that lead to improvement of the water efficiency and the water quality.

Overview of next steps:

  • Opening of the national pre-selection process: end of March 2012
  • Development of selection criteria by the European Commission: early July 2012
  • Member States Competent Bodies to select one national winner for each of the 6 categories proposed : early September 2012 (exact date will be announced soon)
  • Jury to select European winners: mid October 2012 (exact date will be announced)
  • Date / location of European EMAS Awards 2011 ceremony : evening of 29 November 2012 in Brussels, Belgium

Participation in the European EMAS Awards is open to all EMAS registered organisations that are nominated for this Award by the Competent Bodies of their country, either following a national EMAS Award contest or on the basis of an assessment made by the Competent Body of the organisation’s performance in the light of the current Awards theme. EMAS Awards winners are selected in a three-step approach, including evaluations by an independent expert jury.

Please do not hesitate to contact the European Commission (dina.van-mulders@ec.europa.eu) and/or the EMAS Helpdesk (emas@biois.com; weiss@adelphi.de) if you have any questions or comments.

trophie2
© Floriana M. Ohldag, 2011.


 

 

Earth Hour 2012: How will go beyond the hour?

By switching off your lights for one hour (20:30-21:30), on Saturday, March 31, you acknowledge and celebrate your commitment to do something more for the planet.

earthhourThe European Commission supports this action by symbolically switching off the lights at the facades of the main Commission's buildings in Brussels. Will you join us?

To go "beyond the hour", you simply have to re-consider your daily actions and opt for "greener" alternatives…the EMAS way!

In 2007, the first ever Earth Hour event took place in Sydney, Australia. In Sydney, 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights out for one hour to take a stand against climate change.With the invitation to ‘switch off’ extended to everyone, Earth Hour quickly became an annual global event. It’s scheduled on the last Saturday of every March. In 2011, Earth Hour saw hundreds of millions of people across 135 countries “switch off” for an hour.

Further information on the Earth Hour 2012 is available at http://www.worldwildlife.org/sites/earthhour/index.html

The official Earth Hour 2012 video is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FovYv8vf5_E


Latest News (last update February 2012)

 

 

EMAS Brochure published in France

There are many good reasons for registering with EMAS, the premium environmental management scheme. In February 2012 France’s Environment Ministry (Ministère de l’Écologie, du développement durable, des transports et du logement), the French EMAS Competent Body, produced a brochure on the characteristics, benefits and experiences of organisations registered with EMAS.

The eight-page publication summarises the key benefits of EMAS, including the credibility ensured by legal compliance checks and independent, third-party verification of environmental performance plus the transparency ensured by the use of standardised environmental Key Performance Indicators and the environmental statement which registered organisations publish annually.

The brochure emphasizes five arguments showing why EMAS is a perfect environmental management instrument for French organisations:

  • With resources used more efficiently, both environmental and financial performances of the organisations are enhanced.
  • Under French legislation the regulatory requirements for organisations registered under EMAS are less stringent.
  • EMAS registered organisations benefit from optimised risk management with regard to the avoidance of environmental accidents as well as legal compliance checks preventing legal disputes due (even unconsciously) to failure to comply with French laws.
  • Using the EMAS logo helps improve an organisation’s reputation. Thus, its share in ecologically sensitive markets is increased and stakeholder relations are improved.
  • Within an organisations’ structure EMAS contributes to employees’ motivation, team spirit and the working atmosphere in general.

Six testimonials from organisations of different sizes and sectors in France report on their positive experience with EMAS.

To give interested organisations a head start, the brochure lists in a very straight forward way the steps necessary for registering under the scheme.

The French Ministry has also opened up an EMAS section on its web site and will soon provide an extranet extension for the benefit of French registered organisations.

http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/EMAS-un-outil-au-service-de-l.html

The brochure is available here.

oree

 

Mark your calendar: Green Week in Brussels

The 12th “Green Week”, Europe’s biggest annual conference on environmental policy, will take place from 22 to 25 May 2012 in Brussels, Belgium. This year's theme is "Water".

greenweekwaterAccess to fresh water is already critical in some parts of the world. Due to an increasing world population the situation is expected to become even worse. Water must be used properly and sparingly, and water pollution of needs to be avoided.

The Green Week offers a unique opportunity to share experiences, exchange ideas, debate best practices and network with environmental professionals. The conference is meant to enhance discourse on ideas, products and innovations in regard to the challenges of water scarcity and pollution. Last year’s occasion attracted more 3,100 participants from government, business and industry, non-governmental organisations, academia and the media.

This year Green Week’s debating sessions and workshops will be accompanied by an exhibition of over 50 stands representing green business projects, NGO activities and public authority programmes. Applications for a stand at the Green Week Exhibition can still be made (via the web link below).

As the Conference itself is located in Brussels, the European Commission will support a range of “satellite events” all over the European Union. Examples are open door days, seminars, and youth initiatives which are related to water. It is still possible to hand in proposals for satellite events. So, join the debate on how to protect the vital resource, water!

Further information is available at /environment/greenweek/


 

 

So many good reasons for EMAS! New publication in Germany

An English version of the “7 Good Reasons for EMAS” brochure is now available. It was prepared by the Office of the German EMAS Advisory Board (Umweltgutachterausschuss, UGA), and is based on the German publication “7 gute Gründe für ein Umweltmanagement nach EMAS”. It summarizes seven advantages of being registered under EMAS.

After a short introduction outlining objectives, characteristics and the legal background to the scheme, the brochure lists seven aspects of EMAS that contribute to an improved environmental performance. Testimonials from EMAS registered organisations of different sizes, branches and types make the case for the scheme. The seven good reasons are:

  • More climate protection: EMAS registered organisations are better equipped to respond to the challenges of climate change.
  • More resource efficiency: A central requirement of EMAS is the constant and detailed monitoring of resource consumption. By uncovering and realising efficiency potentials the cost of energy, water, waste, and material can be substantially reduced.
  • More legal certainty: EMAS participants demonstrate legal compliance and therefore reduce their risk of liability.
  • More sales opportunities: Regulations relating to Green Public Procurement (GPP) mean public authorities are obliged to consider the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions. EMAS registered enterprises have a clear advantage in that they can provide credible evidence of their commitment.
  • More employee involvement: EMAS supports employee involvement on a high level and makes employees a component of modern management, leading to improved employee motivation and identification.
  • More credibility: EMAS environmental statements are validated by an accredited/licensed environmental verifier, which enhances public credibility and trust.
  • More sustainability: The structure and tools of EMAS can help management understand corporate responsibility more comprehensively. This because social and environmental aspects of the company’s activities are systematically monitored on every level.

reasons_for_emasThe English version of the brochure is available at: http://www.emas.de/fileadmin/user_upload/06_service/PDF-Dateien/7-good-reasons-for-EMAS.pdf (in English)

The German version of the brochure is available at: http://www.emas.de/aktuelles/2011/11/aktualisierung-und-uebersetzung-der-broschuere-7-good-reasons-for-emas/


 

 

EMAS gains momentum in France! Seventeen medical facilities on their way to premium environmental management

The Committee of Sustainability and Health (Comité de Développement durable en Santé, C2DS) and the French Ministry of the Environment are cooperating to support organisations in the French medical sector in the EMAS registration process.

Last November the C2DS launched a new EMAS project aimed at medical facilities. The C2DS encouraged its member organisations to consider registering with EMAS. Seventeen hospitals, retirement homes and similar organisations immediately responded to this appeal. At the initial meeting on 5 January, 2012 representatives of these 17 made a commitment to carry out a “dry run” audit within the next twelve months in preparation for the EMAS verification and validation process.

The C2DS is an association of organisations in the French medical sector that pays particular attention to sustainable development. The French Ministry of the Environment and the C2DS are going to share the costs of the programme.

The 17 organisations eager to continuously improve their environmental performance are:

  • Clinique du Parc de Cholet, Cholet
  • Polyclinique Saint-Roch Montpellier
  • Clinique CHARCOT Lyon
  • Institut Saint-Pierre à Palavas
  • Polyclinique Saint-Roch, Cabestany
  • Clinique PASTEUR Toulouse
  • Clinique Saint-Roch, Cambrai
  • EHPAD La Cyprière, Juvignac
  • Hôpital Privé Jean MERMOZ, Lyon
  • EHPAD Les Aigueillières, Montferrier sur Lez
  • Clinique Clémentville, Montpellier
  • EHPAD La Martègale, Perols
  • Clinique SUPERVALTECH St Estève
  • Clinique IRIS Lyon
  • Centre IRIDIS Lyon
  • CH Jury, Jury les Metz
  • CH Alès, Alès

Further information is available at: http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/Le-C2DS-accompagne-17.html

fr_flag


 

 

Take part in the European Commission’s latest consultation “More Sustainable Consumption and Production”!

The European Commission is holding consultations as part of a review of its policies on sustainable consumption and production. The consultations provide a forum for citizens and organisations to share their views and opinions on future sustainable consumption and production measures in the European Union (EU). Stakeholders have an opportunity to do this before the measures are decided upon. We encourage you to support the European Commission in its endeavours and to participate in the consultation before 3 April 2012.

ec_logoSustainable consumption and production maximise a business's potential to transform environmental concerns into economic opportunities and provide a better deal for consumers. The challenge is to improve the overall environmental performance of products throughout their life-cycle, to boost the demand for better production technologies and products, and to help consumers in making informed choices.

Via an online questionnaire, the European Commission would like to gather substantial input and additional information on how EU policies in the following four fields can be improved and extended:

  • Product design, recycling and waste management
  • Green Public Procurement (GPP)
  • Environmental Footprint of Products (PEF)
  • Environmental Footprint of Organisations (OEF).

About half of the 50 questions included in this consultation are geared towards the general public; the other half are directed toward specialized interest groups such as public authorities and organisations.

Further information is available at: /environment/consultations/sustainable.htm


 

 

Latest News (last update January 2012)

 

EMAS Awards in the Media: The “Environmental Oscars”

The EMAS Awards 2011 were handed out in Cracow, Poland on 17 November 2011. As illustrated below a wide variety of media channels picked up the event and praised the excellent performance of the EMAS Awards winners and nominees. The focus theme this year was the engagement of the EMAS organisations with their stakeholders.

Daily newspapers at the local, regional and even national levels, in printed and online newsletters, scientific journals and on radio mentioned the EMAS Awards 2011. The event was also covered by various specialised media like specific web portals (in most cases dealing with ecological issues). Finally most nominees actively communicated about recent developments around their nomination as well The EMAS Awards, are considered to be the “Environmental Oscar” (see picture below).

The German Ministry of Environment dedicated a specialised ceremony to all national candidates that participated in the European finals. Germany was the only member state to have an organisation nominated in every category. German organisation were even winners in two of the six categories. The Federal Ministry of the Environment acknowledged this and invited the representatives of all six organisations to Berlin, where the Environment Minister Dr. Norbert Röttgen explicitly honoured the winners and nominees as EMAS role models and environmental forerunners (see picture below). The ministry published an article containing comprehensive information about the ideas, procedures and importance of this German EMAS Awards Ceremony on its homepage.

Further information on the event at the German Ministry of the Environment is available at: http://www.bmu.de/wirtschaft_und_umwelt/unternehmensverantwortung_csr/emas/doc/48086.php

German Federal Minister for the Environment (fourth from the left in the front row) honours 25 EMAS registered organisation that applied for the 2011 EMAS Awards on 2 December 2011.

honoring
© Federal Ministry of the Environment, 2011

News on Salzburg Airport: “Oscar-Nacht der Umwelt“ / “Night of the Environmental Oscars“

salzburg
© Salzburg Airport, 2011


 

 

EMAS Awards 2011 side event: guided tour at the recently EMAS registered MAN truck factory

MAN is famous for producing strong trucks and buses. The company also shows strong commitment to the environment. MAN Poland kindly invited participants at the EMAS Awards 2011 ceremony to take a guided tour through their brand new EMAS registered production plant in Niepolomice in Poland. The event took place on 18 November 2011.

Among companies in transport-related engineering MAN is a pioneer with regard to sustainability. The multinational enterprise follows an integrative approach whereby sustainability considerations are embedded in all business units and processes. The strategy focuses on three specific fields of action: economy, environment and people.

EMAS takes center stage in the Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy. Seven MAN production plants in Germany and Austria are EMAS registered. In October 2011 the organisation opened its third factory in Poland. The production site in Niepolomice has the capacity to manufacture 15,000 trucks per year. The site is EMAS registered to ensure that the highest environmental standards are met and legal compliance is guaranteed. Many participants followed the invitation to visit the MAN plant. The MAN site manager elucidated the practical implementation of EMAS in the plant. During the tour the participants were offered a closer look into the practical aspects of improving the plant’s environmental performance on a continuous basis.

The motivation for MAN Niepolomice to 'embrace' an Environmental Management System according to EMAS were the focus on legal compliance and the identification of possibilities to improve their environmental performance. MAN identified that following significant environmental aspects in the production process: waste (e.g. stemming from packaging of supplying goods), energy consumption (e.g. electricity for lighting and heating) and water consumption (e.g. used for cooling purposes). Furthermore, systematic monitoring of significant environmental aspects enables MAN to compile a comprehensive public environmental statement including certain sector-relevant key performance indicators. The environmental statement is used to engaging with local stakeholders and people living in the vicinity of the production plant.

"man


 

 

Priority list for EMAS Sectoral Reference Documents available online

Among other innovations, the revised EMAS Regulation (“EMAS III”) introduces the concept of Sectoral Reference Documents (SRD). SRD help EMAS registered organisations in the drive towards environmental excellence. An indicative list of priority sectors for the SRDs was published in December 2011.

retailEMAS is the premium environmental management standard. Its main focus is on improving registered organisations’ environmental performance. SRD play an important role in achieving this objective. They identify best environmental management practices, sector specific environmental performance indicators and set benchmarks of excellence and rating systems identifying environmental performance levels.

On 8 December the European Commission officially adopted a working plan setting out an indicative list. The official Communication from the Commission is published in the Official Journal.

For the full text visit:
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2011:358:0002:0005:EN:PDF
Or
http://bit.ly/x6SzvE

The working plan indicates the priority sectors for which the European Commission will develop SRD the coming years.

The main criteria for the selection of the sectors included in the indicative list were the following:

  • The environmental impact of the sector within the European Union

  • The level of EMAS uptake in the sector

  • The potential for environmental improvements in the “value chain” of the sector
Indicative list of priority sectors:

Currently under development:
  • Wholesale and Retail trade
  • Tourism
  • Construction
  • Public Administration
To be developed:
  • Agriculture — Crop production and Animal production
  • Manufacture of electronical and electric equipment
  • Car manufacturing
  • Manufacture of fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment
  • Food and beverage manufacturing
  • Waste management
  • Telecommunications

SRD will pay close attention to the needs of small- and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), as some of the sectors are characterized by a large number of SMEs.

SRD are produced on behalf of the European Commission by the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), which is part of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

Further information on the status of the SRD is available at: http://susproc.jrc.ec.europa.eu/activities/emas/index.html


 

 

EMAS Global guidance document is available now

EMAS is now globally applicable. At the end of 2011 the European Commission published an official guidance document about EMAS Coorporate and EMAS Global. The document outlines the provisions for the EMAS registration of multiple sites in- and outside Europe. This offers a great opportunity for organisations to implement the premium environmental management standard at their sites worldwide.

logoCompanies with international business interests such as multinational enterprises and suppliers are under constant scrutiny by governments, consumers, civil society organisations, the media and other stakeholders all over the world with regard to their environmental performance all over the world. Companies tackling environmental management systematically with EMAS can enhance competitiveness and make sure that their reputation and brand image is protected worldwide.

On 7th December 2011 the European Commission published the “COMMISSION DECISION concerning a Guide on EU Corporate Registration, Third Country and Global Registration under EMAS” in the Official Journal. Informally the document is often referred to as the “EMAS Global Guide”. .

You can find it under the full link: http://bit.ly/uSb7f7

To improve the applicability of EMAS and to strengthen its outreach, three new registration modes are available in addition to the ‘classical’ EU Registration. This leads to two registration modes focusing on registrations within Europe and two EMAS registration modes with a transboundary scope, affecting not only European countries but any country in the world:

Existing registration mode:

  • EU Registration: an organisation registers site(s) individually in the European country in which it (they) are located.

New registration modes:
  • EU Corporate Registration: allows an organisation to register multiple sites from different European countries under one corporate registration procedure in one (leading) country of registration. Organisations can use one registration number and streamline their auditing and reporting processes.

  • Global Registration: an organisation registers its site(s) in one or more third countries outside Europe.

  • Global Corporate Registration: a combination of EU Corporate and Global Registration. It allows an organisation to register its sites located in one or more European countries and in one or more non-European countries under one corporate registration procedure in one (leading) country of registration. Organisations can use a single registration number and streamline their auditing and reporting processes.


 

Latest News (last update December 2011)
European EMAS Awards 2011

On 17 November 2011, six organisations were announced as winners of the European EMAS Awards for excellence in environmental management. The 2011 edition focused on stakeholder involvement, leading to continuous improvement.

trophieEnvironment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said: “The environmental challenges we face today concern us all and they require joint action. I congratulate the winners – and all the nominees – on their commitment to improving the environment. I trust that their innovative solutions and successful involvement of different stakeholders will inspire others to follow suit.”

The event took place in Cracow’s Wieliczka Salt Mine, which is listed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list. The participants embarked on a journey below ground level to the ceremony venue, the impressive Warszawa Chamber. Over a delicious four-course menu, all the nominees for the 2011 EMAS Awards were presented followed by the presentation of the winners. Here is a summary and a photo gallery of the evening.

The trophy (on the left) was designed by the German Artist Floriana M. Ohldag. Both the materials of which the Award is made and the “green” production process reflect the environmental focus of the EMAS Awards. The EMAS can truly be considered an 'Environmental Oscar'. Jeremy Wates of the European Environmental Bureau, chairman of a jury of eight independent international experts in environmental management, presented the EMAS Awards 2011 to the winners.

The Winners

belvaswinner Belvas Organic Chocolate (Belgium) won the EMAS Award 2011 in the category “micro-organisation”. The company is a Belgian chocolate manufacturer with a strong belief in organic agriculture and fair-trade. Input from experienced suppliers is used to improve resource efficiency in the production process.

 

kneisslerwinnerThe EMAS Award 2011 in the second category “small organisation” was presented to KNEISSLER Brüniertechnik GmbH (Germany). A family business offering chemical surface treatment services, Kneissler’s strong environment performance mainly rests upon active involvement of employees in environmental management. Employees with excellent environmental improvement suggestions are rewarded at the end of each year.

 


ebsweinwinnerAustria’s ebswien hauptkläranlage received the EMAS Award 2011 in the category “medium-sized organisation”. Vienna’s wastewater treatment plant makes an important contribution to the protection of the environment by taking care of Vienna’s wastewater. ebswien hauptkläranlage stands out for their excellent communication and education work.


eurobankefgwinnerThe EMAS Award 2011 in the category “large organisation” went to EUROBANK EFG, Greece. Within the multi-site organisation, Environmental Officers and Deputy Environmental Officers have been appointed in every branch and in key business units. The bank also actively promotes sustainable business practices in its sector.

pforzheimwinnerThe Fritz-Erler-Schule Pforzheim (Germany) won the EMAS Award in the category “small public organisation”. About 2,000 students are offered numerous opportunities to become active in the field of ecology. Teachers and suppliers are also actively engaged in environmental protection.


ravennawinnerThe local authority responsible for the administration of the Municipality of Ravenna, Italy, involves employees and stakeholders through a dynamic participatory process. Green procurement, focusing on the purchasing of recycled paper, school furniture made of certified materials and other items, is a crucial element in the organisation’s environmental policy. Ravenna won the EMAS Award 2011 in the category “large public organisation”.

 

Further information

Press release of the European Commission regarding the EMAS Awards 2011 Ceremony in all community languages

You can also find EMAS Awards information on Facebook and Twitter.

For further information please contact emasawards@adelphi.de or +49 (0)30 89 000 68 83.

All pictures © European Commission, 2011.


Latest News (last update 30th of November 2009)

Commission announces winners of the EMAS Awards 2009

Seven organisations won the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) Awards for excellence in environmental management. The winners were announced at the awards ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden on 19 November 2009. The awards recognise outstanding achievements in environmental management. This year 32 organisations from twelve EU Member States were nominated. The 2009 awards focused on the topic of “supply chain including green procurementâ€. The seven winners were selected by a jury of six experts in the field of environmental management and public procurement.

Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: "I congratulate all the winners on their achievements and thank them for the excellent example they are setting. By purchasing goods and services that respect the environment, companies and organisations can have a major influence on suppliers and stimulate the market for more sustainable products".

And the winners are:

  • Micro-organisation: Eco-Conseil Entreprise, Belgium
  • Small organisation: VAS & EK Kottaridi GP, Greece
  • Medium organisation: Austria Glas Recycling, Austria
  • Large organisation: VAE Eisenbahnsysteme, Austria
  • Public administration: Three prizes were given in this category, due to equal evaluation by the jury.
    1. Land Oberösterreich, Austria
    2. Umweltbundesamt, Germany
    3. Environment Agency, United Kingdom

For more information, read the European Commission press release or visit the EMAS Awards website.


Triple EMAS newsletter on SCP, churches and agriculture

This newsletter focuses on Sustainable Consumption and Production issues, the agriculture sector and the religious institutions.

In July 2008, the Commission presented an Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy. One year later, many EU instruments have been revised and new directives have been published to improve the environmental performance of products and foster their uptake by consumers. Innovative actions in line with the Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy have been introduced by EMAS registered organisations active in the construction, food and retail sector.

This issue of the EMAS Newsletter also focuses on EMAS registered churches and parishes and other religious facilities representing a variety of social missions, from education services to hospitals and elder care.

The final part of the newsletter gives space and light to farmers who recognize the importance of the environment where they act and decided to voluntarily implement the eco-management and audit scheme EMAS to be more and more aware of their role within society.

To download the newsletter, click here.


EcoLighthouse Number 2000 in Norway!

St Joseph`s Nursery in Kristiansand became EcoLighthouse number 2000 in Norway. Mayor of Kristiansand Mr. Per Sigurd Sørensen presented the proud manager of St. Joseph`s with the diploma, marking the milestone in the EcoLighthouse history.

Eco Lighthouse is a national model for environmental certification of private and governmental businesses. The model experiences a big growth, and the reaching of certification number 2000 shows that private and governmental businesses confirm that the Eco Lighthouse certification is relevant, concrete and profitable for the environment and for the different businesses using the system.

The City of Kristiansand has decided to certify all their different units, using EcoLighthouse. In 2010 all offices in the health sector will start the process.

250 of the different municipalities have decided to use the EcoLighthouse certification, and more are following. The model is based on the different businesses reaching the certification by close cooperation with EcoLighthouse recognized consultants across the country, following different branch demands. The results of the organisations are then validated and certified by the municipality and the EcoLighthouse Foundation.

For more information, visit the EcoLighthouse website.


Accord first to achieve euro eco standard

The Accord Group has become the first housing association in the UK to gain a prestigious international recognition for being green. The Birmingham and Black Country-based association has achieved the European Eco Management & Audit Scheme (EMAS) registration.

The Accord Group manages 11,000 homes across the West Midlands and is made up of seven independent housing and care organisations.

Accord set itself the target of becoming the ‘Greenest Housing Association in the country’ in 2008, carrying out a comprehensive environmental programme, ranging from encouraging staff to save more than 10,000 car miles to installing wormeries to compost food waste at care schemes.

Group Chief Executive Dr Chris Handy OBE said: “Being Green is now a way of working for us and we are absolutely delighted to have achieved such a prestigious international eco standard. “Accord is striving to be the greenest housing association in the country and we are doing this by building state-of-the-art eco homes and reducing our carbon footprint in our offices and in our existing housing stock. “Achieving EMAS shows our complete commitment to minimising the impact of our business on the environment and helping our residents by cutting energy use and fuel bills.â€

In 2008 Accord became one of only a handful of housing associations in the UK to obtain the Environmental Management Standard ISO 14001. EMAS builds on that by requiring tough standards for monitoring and controlling the environmental impact of organisation’s activities, products and services.

For more information, visit the Accord Group’s website.


Latest News (last update 23th of October 2009)

European EMAS Awards 2009

The Directorate General Environment of the European Commission will announce the winners of the 2009 edition of the European EMAS Awards on 19th of November in Stockholm, in the Atrium Restaurant of the National Museum.

The European EMAS Awards is the most prestigious award in environmental management and has been handed to top companies and local authorities since 2005.

This year the European Commission will acknowledge the achievements of those EMAS organisations which have excelled in issues concerning the supply chain including green procurement. Therefore, the criteria to nominate candidates for the EMAS Award 2009 were based on "Supply chain including green procurement" (by increasing for instance the number of recyclable and/or recycled materials in their manufacturing processes as well as the use of green products, such as "green" electricity, "environmental friendly" catering services, energy efficient IT equipment), in the following categories: Micro-organisations, Small organisations, Medium organisations, Large organisations and Public administration including all institutions managed by a public authority.

More than 30 organisations have been nominated from all over Europe by the different Member States. To see the list of organisations nominated for the EMAS Award click here. More information is available on the EMAS Awards website.


The European Commission sets new targets for EMAS

The European Commission has long been at the forefront of the fight against global climate change. As an organisation with a large workforce, it also leads by example and makes a real difference. Following the extension of the EMAS scheme to public and private organisations in 2001, the European Commission took the decision to gradually implement EMAS to the whole institution. This was a natural progression from the "green housekeeping" scheme which was set up in 1997 by staff members. EMAS was first applied in 2002 through a pilot project in four departments in Brussels (Secretariat-General, Personnel and Administration DG, Environment DG and the Office for Infrastructure and Logistics in Brussels).

The first EMAS registrations were awarded to these departments in December 2005 and initially covered eight buildings. Today, the pilot project has come to a successful close after including five departments (DG Informatics was added to the first four departments) and a total of 23 buildings (or 45% of the Commission's office space in Brussels). Thanks to the pilot project there is now experience and best practice examples available for use by other departments, as the scope of EMAS is extended.

In October 2008, the EMAS Steering Committee (composed of the heads of the participating services) acknowledged the successful completion of this pilot phase and recommended that the implementation of EMAS be extended to all Commission directorates and buildings, not only in Brussels but also in Luxembourg. All directorates and buildings of the Commission in Brussels and Luxembourg are involved in this project. This represents about 35.000 employees, and over 70 buildings covering some 1.2 million m2. Activities of the executive agencies and of the JRC (Joint Research Centre) are, for the moment, excluded from the scope of EMAS.

Official registration of Commission activities by the competent national authorities should be achieved in 2012. The registration of the premises in Brussels should be achieved in 2014. A global registration plan entailing the progressive inclusion of the Commission buildings in Luxembourg will also be developed.

For more information, as well as concrete examples of environmental performance improvements, read the European Commission press release.


Eurocities meeting in Vienna: environmental protection to fight the crisis

The first 2009 Eurocities Environment Forum, chaired by the City of Vienna, expressed its commitment to increased investment in environmental protection, new environmental technologies and renewable energies.

Focusing on the principal theme “The global economic crisis – an environmental crisis?†, the meeting aimed at finding joint solutions for environmental problems and the current global economic crisis. It was the first Environment Forum this year held by Eurocities, a network of more than 130 major European cities in over 30 countries. In autumn last year Vienna was elected to chair the Environment Forum and chose to focus on environmental protection in the context of the global economic crisis. High-caliber guests from about 30 major European cities responded to the invitation of Vienna City Councilor Ulli Sima, the chairperson of this Eurocities Environment Forum.

Alongside this Forum, Eurocities has launched a working group on the greening of the local economy. This working group, chaired by the city of Gothenburg, aims to exchange information on strategies, instruments and tools for improvement of environmental performance in business, particularly in small- and medium-sized enterprises.

The members of the working group are convinced that the environmental performance of SMEs should be more than a basic compliance with regulations, and the group is studying the ways in which major European cities are supporting SMEs to become more environmentally friendly.

Regional initiatives like the Stockholm or Gothenburg environmental diplomas, the Norwegian Ecolighthouse programme, the Ecobusiness Plan Vienna and the Brussels Eco-dynamic label prove that cities have a significant role to play in greening the local economy.

For more information, visit the Eurocities website.


Vivendi France gets EMAS

Vivendi has implemented an environmental management system (EMS) in its Paris headquarters, in compliance with the EMAS requirements. Vivendi is one of the few French companies having received this distinction this year. The EMAS registration recognises the voluntary and rigorous initiative carried out by Vivendi as part of its policy of sustainable development.

Vivendi’s EMS has two major objectives:

  • To evaluate, improve and give a better account of Vivendi’s environmental performance to stakeholders while increasing employees’ awareness of the environmental approach pioneered by headquarters.
  • To support the group’s subsidiaries to make progress in identifying the nature of environmental impacts.

An initial review was conducted during the first semester of 2007. It catalogued the existing elements of the environmental management system and determined the environmental impacts of the headquarter building and its activities. As part of this work a documentary review, opinion surveys and interviews with employees whose activities have impacts on the environment were conducted.

In 2008, the environmental management system was deployed, based on an environmental policy and action plan for improving environmental performance. In 2009, the Vivendi headquarters obtained its EMAS registration.

You will find more complete information about this certification and Vivendi’s environmental declaration on the company’s website under the heading Sustainable Development.


Australian surf workshop on the green wave

Surf is sport – and surfing and lifesaving are embedded in Australian culture. Australian surfers and lifeguards are closely involved in the protection of the oceanic environment. However, the equipment they use is still produced in small manufacturing workshops that have not changed significantly in the last 30 years, despite the fact that some manufacturers have moved from customized handshaped production into manufacturing a surfboard every two hours. Surfboard production has a significant environmental footprint and in many cases environmental upgrades have not accompanied the move to higher production levels.

One of the pioneers in driving higher environmental standards in production is Dolphin Surf Craft. This company is considered one of the worlds' top manufacturers of Surf Lifesaving equipment, including custom made Surf Skis & Paddle Boards. The company is exporting its products around the world, including Europe. It has recently participated in an EMASeasy capacity building training held in Australia mid-september 2009 by Eco-Counselling Enterprise and Heinz Werner Engel.

“We learned a simple but effective way to streamline our processes and to be able to demonstrate to others that we are serious about our environmental management on a day-to-day basis†said Dolphin Surf Craft’s, Production Manager, Simon Hunnybun. He also made clear that the company had already adopted several environmental initiatives but were keen to learn more about how they can work smarter and more effectively. Their participation in the capacity building training using Ecomapping was the first step towards implementing a complete EMAS compliant environmental management system.

The organizer of the capacity building, Ms Genevieve Carruthers from Ecosure, stated that “with the growing use of EMS throughout the world, we are pleased to provide assistance with EMASeasy to a range of small and medium enterprises who wish to address their environmental management issues in a credible, practical and effective way†.

For more information, please contact Ms Genevieve Carruthers.


EMASeasy Cluster Project - Chamber of Commerce Mantua, northern Italy

The Chamber of Commerce of Mantua in Italy has started a pilot project to implement EMAS in nine manufacturing and cooperative micro-enterprises in different industrial sectors (e.g. waste transport, management and disposal, food processing, agro-industry, tube manufacturing, zinc coated manufacturing, metal furniture manufacturing) in the Province of Mantua. The initiative is using the EMASeasy methodology and the cluster coaching approach as a base.

The project is funded by the Union of Chambers of Commerce of Lombardy and the Lombardy Region and will be done in collaboration with the Regional Environmental Protection Agency and the Directorate for environmental quality for the Lombardy Region. Shared methodologies and training as well as local empowerment are three of the most important aspects of the project. The main intention for the participants is to improve the environmental performance of their enterprises and thereby improve competitiveness and brand image. EMASeasy offers a simple and cost effective way to implement EMAS for SMEs and will be tested for possible further implementation by other Chambers of Commerce in the Lombardy region.

For more information, contact Anne-Françoise Woitchik at eKnowledge Solutions


Latest News (last update 22nd of September 2009)

Upcoming ECAP seminars in 11 Member States

On behalf of the European Commission, the companies RSO and Eco-conseil Enterprise SCRL are running a series of capacity building seminars in the framework of the Environmental Compliance Assistance Programme for SMEs (ECAP) in Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovenia and the Slovak Republic.

The seminars will promote the exchange of information and experiences on the ECAP programme, on environmental legislation, on funding at EU level and on best practice related to improving SMEs' environmental performance.

The workshops – aimed at those assisting SMEs in public authorities, Chambers of Commerce, members of the Enterprise Europe Network (formerly Euro Info Centres (EICs) and Innovation Relay Centres (IRCs)), SME associations, support agencies, etc. – are organised in co-operation with national or regional organisations or public authorities. Participation in the workshops is open and free of charge. For more information visit the ECAP website. Click here to register.


EMAS and Fair Trade: Integrated Management System completed

Pachacuti is the first 100% Fair Trade company to complete the Pilot for the World Fair Trade Organisation's new certification process, Sustainable Fair Trade Management System (SFTMS). At the same time, the company also gained EMAS registration (UK-000165).

The SFTMS includes an initial review and action plans for social, ethical, economic and environmental issues and requires the setting up of a management system that takes all these issues into account. The company has been audited by accredited verifiers, both in the UK and in South America.

Carry Sommers from Pachacuti states “We have seen so many improvements since starting work on the SFTMS and EMAS in terms of our relationship with our producers, particularly with regard to environmental issues, implementing quality control checks, improving processes and procedures and finding ways to improve transatlantic communication. It has really brought about long-lasting benefits to the way we operate and we are excited to be the first Fair Trade organisation in the world to have completed the pilot. We look forward to the eventual launch of the label by the WFTO as we hope that this certification will lead to increased sales from mainstream buyers and bring lasting benefit to our producer groups†.

As part of the requirements of the SFTMS standard, Pachacuti has completed its first Fair Trade Report, which gives details of their fair trade and environmental work from last year and commitments undertaken during the current year. Click here to download a copy of the Pachacuti Fair Trade Report 2008-9. More information on the SFTMS standard can be downloaded on the website of the World Fair Trade Organisation.


TAIEX workshop in Bucharest: Promotion of EMAS in public administration

On the 17th of September 2009 the TAIEX workshop on the promotion of EMAS in public administration was organised for about 100 participants in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, Romania, and took place in Bucharest. The aim of the workshop was to promote and encourage Romanian public administration authorities to participate in EMAS. Through the access to information and training, following a step by step approach, new EMAS registrations are expected.

Experts from the EMAS Helpdesk (Jana Bolldorf) and of the European Commission (Rosario Calvo Herrero) presented general aspects of EMAS and the main changes of EMAS III, EMAS trends in Europe as well as costs and benefits for public administration authorities registered under EMAS. Mara D'Amico, an Italian expert, explained the role of environmental verifiers and a best practice example of EMAS implementation in public authorities. Two experts from Hungary, Nyári Eszter and Besenyei Monika, highlighted the minimum requirements for information included the environmental statement and the EMAS Easy project in Romania. Finally, Romanian experts, Felicia Ioana, Eduard Diaconeasa and Iulia Degeratu, presented EMAS in Romania and in Green Public Procurement and the role of public administration in promoting Eco-innovation.

More information on TAIEX assistance and presentations of this event are available on the TAIEX website.


Lufthansa CityLine: Ten years in the vanguard of environmental care

The success of environmental management at Lufthansa CityLine has been endorsed for the third time in a row. In July, the regional airline renewed its EMAS registration. It has additionally been re-certified for compliance with the international environmental standard – EN ISO 14001. Both certificates apply to all three Lufthansa CityLine locations - Cologne, Munich and Hamburg. CityLine was the first airline to receive both certificates and is today one of only two, worldwide, to measure up to the requirements of the two environmental standards.

"Lufthansa CityLine attaches undiminished and paramount importance to protecting the environment in its business activities. We are proud of consistently upholding our commitment to the good of the planet, even in difficult times," said Lufthansa CityLine Managing Director Christian Tillmans. Co-Managing Director Klaus Froese added: "As Europe's biggest regional carrier, Lufthansa CityLine is committed to high quality standards. Environmental care is one of our prime corporate goals."

A strict environmental regime has been firmly anchored at Lufthansa CityLine since 1999. Its established environmental management system encompasses all areas of the company, from aircraft maintenance and administration right through to flight operations. ‘Ongoing improvement’ is the maxim through all company activities. Alongside regular renewal of the fleet with new, modern and more environmentally compatible aircraft, ongoing reduction of noise and emissions are primary corporate goals. In pursuance of those objectives, Lufthansa CityLine is taking delivery of 20 larger and more environmentally-friendly regional jets of the Embraer E190/195 type from autumn 2009 on, while withdrawing from service 35 smaller and older aircraft.

Lufthansa CityLine publishes a yearly environmental report with all the details of its environmental activities. The latest issue is available for download here.


Germany’s first leased bicycle fleet

The first German company – LokayDRUCK, an EMAS-registered printing press from Reinheim (Darmstadt) - has leased a bicycle fleet for its personnel. Employees who pledge themselves to ride the bike to work at least 50 times a year receive a high-quality bike upon request and free of charge. Half of the 26 employees joined the campaign “KlimaRad†(climatebike) and the first bikes have been handed over by the company’s CEO Ralf Lokay. “The positive effects for the human being, the environment and businesses through leased company-bikes are more than outweighing the moderate expenses†says Ralf Lokay. This is due to the fact that, by using a bike instead of a car, CO2-emissions can be reduced, the health of participants can be improved and employees who do not need any parking space in front of the company’s building help the company to save money. Especially in Germany, parking spaces are expensive, mostly because of the needed space. Furthermore, the maintenance of the bikes – which is categorized as a tax-free expenditure on material grant – is included in the contract with the leasing provider.

Besides the “KlimaRad†-campaign, LokayDruck focuses on further measures to become a ‘green’ printing press. Thus, the “Lokay Papierkollektion†(Lokay Papercollection) already offers their customers 45 FSC- and 12-Recycled Paper. The color-machines are running completely alcohol-free and with a bio-degradable substitute. Within the energy strategy, all production facilities and administration buildings from the 1960s are rapidly being renovated. In addition, the waste heat from the water-cooled printing machines is being transferred into the heating circuit through heat exchangers. The heating circuit, in turn, releases the heat into the printing shop through ceiling heating. LokayDRUCK considers the protection of the climate and environment as a pressing matter.


Park Communications becomes one of six UK printers to achieve EMAS

Park Communications has become one of six UK printers to achieve EMAS, which provides customers with an environmental and socially responsible printing option.

Managing director Alison Branch said, EMAS registration can help the London-based company to improve its business processes, reduce costs and bring in additional revenue for customers. "A positive byproduct of the registration is that it differentiates the company from competitors," she said. While the registration is not a prerequisite, she said, it demonstrated a particular feature of the business and, for some customers, this brings benefits that are attractive. "We are currently one of only six printers in the UK to hold EMAS registration. Quite rightly, it is not easy to gain the registration and it shows, at least, that we go well beyond minimum legal compliance."

Park currently employs about 100 staff and is already ISO 14001 and FSC certified. It also is one of 11 UK printers to gain Carbon Neutral status. It prints reports and accounts, fine art catalogues, fund management reports and government publications. Park moved to new premises in Beckton from its previous site at Lea Mill, Hackney, aided by the London Development Agency.


An EMASeasy Pilot Programme for Caritas Bavaria

The Caritas Union of Bavaria is starting a pilot programme to implement a fully EMAS compliant management system through the use of the EMASeasy methodology. With 162 national affiliates, Caritas is one of the largest relief and development agencies in the world. It works on humanitarian emergencies and human development, and campaigns against poverty, exclusion, intolerance and discrimination.

The EMASeasy methodology can be readily applied in an organisation such as Caritas, which has many volunteers and does not employ environmental professionals. The implementation and adaptation of innovative management tools throughout the organisation will, Caritas Bavaria believes, assist volunteers and staff at all levels to play a key role in environmental stewardship.

The pilot project in Caritas Bavaria will be implemented in 16 facilities representing a variety of social missions, from child and youth services to elder care. The 16 facilities will be clustered together and a representative from each facility will participate in an EMAS training programme.

All representatives will take EMASeasy learning back into their own organisation and begin to train other volunteers and staff. Each organisation will then use the EMASeasy methodology for the implementation of EMAS.

For more information, contact Uta Baur from Caritas.


Latest News (last update 4th August 2009)

EMAS Helpdesk at the ISSRM conference in Vienna, 6th of July

The International Symposium on Society and Resource Management (ISSRM) is the official annual meeting of the International Association for Society and Natural Resources, an interdisciplinary professional association.

Since its inception in 1986, the ISSRM has become the premier scientific meeting for academic and government researchers, students, land managers and NGO representatives who are broadly interested in the human dimensions of natural resources and the environment.

For this year’s conference the EMAS Helpdesk organised a session together with members of the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, which was called “Diverse Challenges, a Common Approach: Eco-Audit - Toolkit or Bureaucracy? - Strategies towards a Sustainable Management Process in Companies, Ski-Areas and Protected Areas†. The representative of the EMAS helpdesk, Monika Brom, gave a presentation concerning the actual distribution and the prospect of the EMAS regulation. Another presentation in this session focused on the adaption of EMAS in protected areas and examined whether EMAS can be a suitable approach to improve management in protected areas. The third presentation described the possible implementation of environmental management systems in ski-areas. The University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences has developed a tool for the environmental management of ski-areas which is based on EMAS. Finally the session was closed with a presentation on the ECO-Business Plan of Vienna - a funding programme for enterprises in Vienna.

More information on the EMAS session can be found on the ISSRM2009 website.


EMAS pilot studies: sectoral reference documents for best environmental management practice in retail and public administration sectors

The new EMAS regulation foresees the development of sectoral reference documents on best environmental management practice (Article 46). These documents should be functional and helpful for organisations concerned and will contain sector specific benchmarks. In order to collect views and opinions on how to develop the reference documents, two pilot studies on the retail and public administration sectors were organised in which the relevant stakeholders were given the opportunity to express their views. The participants of both workshops organised by the Joint Research Institute (JRC/IPTS) in Seville on 24th and 25th of June, constituted a representative sample of experts relevant for public administration and for the retail sector.

The rationale for the introduction of this new concept of reference documents is to enable organisations in a given sector to focus on the most important environmental aspects. At the same time the inclusion of sector specific benchmarks should lead to EMAS becoming stronger in its performance requirements and more ambitious in its scope on a sector level. Organisations have to take into account these reference documents, but are not required to effectively reach the level of performance benchmarks laid down in the documents. Thus, the reference documents will be used as a guide for organisations who may wish to incorporate elements of these documents into their management system. Verifiers will be required to take account of the reference documents to refine their approach when auditing an organisation.

Public Administration

A total of 340 organisations including 783 sites are EMAS registered in the public administration sector in 2009. 13 countries out of the EU-27 have public administrations registered in EMAS. During the workshop, experts identified the following issues to be taken into consideration during the development of the reference documents:

  • Need to clearly describe the broad scope and range of services delivered by public administrations.
  • The indirect aspects represent the main environmental impact of the activities of a public administration. The challenge is to provide guidance on how to integrate these aspects into the EMS.
  • The importance of incorporating targets linked to climate change and green public procurement issues.

Retail Sector

The retail trade is a relatively under-represented sector in EMAS, but a very important sector in the EU-27 economy. Germany, Spain and Italy are the countries with the highest numbers of EMAS registered retail organisations. Small, medium and large companies are all present in the registrations. Among the large retailers Alcampo, Quelle and Leroy Merlin can be found. Among the small retailers, an interesting example is the "Las Ventas" municipal market which won the 2006 EMAS award in the micro-enterprise category. During the workshop, experts highlighted the following issues to be taken into consideration during the development of the reference documents:

  • The reference documents ought to be linked to existing policies or instruments where needed, such as eco-labels, product declarations, REACH, etc.
  • The direct aspects (or in-shop aspects) relate to only about 10 to 20% of the environmental impacts of retail. The other 80 to 90% is accounted for by the retail supply chain, according to life cycle assessment data. Therefore it is crucial to include the supply chain related aspects.

All workshop participants in both the retail and public administration sectors expressed their willingness to further contribute in the work of the pilot projects, which should be finalised by the end of 2009.


More Harmonisation in Nordic Regional Environmental Management Approaches for SMEs

The Nordic E-Coop project focuses on the evaluation and harmonisation of five established, less formal environmental management approaches and systems in Nordic countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland), in order to help other regions to develop their own approach.

The five evaluated approaches (Eco-light house, Green Network, Environmental Diploma, EcoStart, EMS Light Nordic) are considered as helpful. They are ladder style approaches and can help SMEs integrating step by step the more formalised systems like ISO 14001 and EMAS at a later stage. These less formal EMSs focus more on performance demands and results rather than process demands like the formal EMSs. This focus is one reason why there is a growing demand for less formal EMS initiatives. The involvement of local public administration is very strong in some of the approaches and is a factor that helps to strengthen the dialogue between municipalities and companies. The five assessed systems have many features in common. This is a significant issue from the point of view of the development of the common platform and future co-operation processes between the participant countries and regions.

The City of Helsinki has been the coordinator of the Nordic E-Coop project. It is now in the pilot phase of establishing its own regional environmental approach entitled “Eko Kompassi†, aimed at improving the environmental performance of SMEs. The Eko Kompassi approach is inspired and guided by the structure of the five other Nordic approaches and is currently being tested in 20 SMEs.


Leading Irish Milk Producer Goes for EMAS

Lee Strand is a leading liquid milk producer based in Tralee County Kerry. It processes approximately 24 million litres of milk annually into a range of milk products including liquid milk and cream. The co-operative also operates a successful agri-trading business and has further diversified its interests in recent years into property and energy generation, whether industry in Kerry is acutely aware of the environment surrounding it and Lee Strand has been a frontrunner in reducing environmental impacts in this county. The company’s EMAS registration marks a decade of environmental achievements – since 1998 it has reduced water usage by over 60%, cut its electricity usage by 18% and reduced waste going to landfill by 22%.

Lee Strand’s EMAS registration follows years of intensive commitment by staff at the co-op to ensure that all facilities operate within strict environmental rules. Mr. O'Sullivan, the Acting General Manager, praised the commitment and dedication of the Lee Strand employees, whose involvement was vital in gaining registration. "This important award needs to be seen in the context of the overall strides that Lee Strand has made in recent years. Lee Strand's commitment to sustainability and resource efficiency has been acknowledged by Sustainable Energy Ireland who presented the co-op with the Energy Manager of the Year award in 2008. The co-op also holds the Excellence Through People Award.

For more information, visit the website of the Irish National Accreditation Board or the Irish Envirocentre website.


Latest News (last update 8th July 2009)

Manual de Implementação do EMAS no Sector da Indústria Gráfica – Guide for EMAS implementation in organisations from the printing industry

In order to promote SMEs participation in the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) the Portuguese Environment Agency, EMAS Competent Body, in cooperation with Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia of Universidade Nova de Lisboa, developed the Project PMEmas addressed to organisations from the printing industry. The manual produced under this project is a step-by-step guide to prepare the organisations willing to be registered under EMAS for the external verification and validation of the environmental statement. The manual includes practical examples that show the necessary actions to undertake and documents to prepare concerning the different phases of the implementation of an environmental management system. It also includes a complete listing of the environmental legislation that applies to the printing industry. Thus, this document provides important and useful added value to disseminate best environmental management practices among the organisations in this sector.

The manual is available for download here (in Portuguese language).


Best Practices in Environmental Management – Scaling up and Transfer in the Member States

In June 2009, the European Commission (DG environment) organized three workshops within the framework of the European Environmental Compliance Assistance Programme (ECAP) for SMEs. The three workshops focused on the following subjects:

  • Environmental management approaches and systems: regional and national initiatives - Brussels - 05.06.09
    More than 25 participants from 11 European Member States joined this event to discuss and network around proven and useful regional and national initiatives including Ekoscan, 123 environnement, EMASeasy, ÖkoProfit, EkoBusinessPlan, QuB, GAP, and EcoDynamic Label.
  • Voluntary agreements: reducing the administrative burden and focus on legal compliance - Rome - 12.06.09
    The 15 participants of the workshop discussed different initiatives linked to reducing the administrative burdens, tools to better inform SMEs on their legal environmental requirements (like the English Netregs and French Enviroveille initiatives).
  • Environmental support services for SMEs: public and private networks - Budapest - 30.06.09
    This meeting gathered 20 participants from 10 European Members States, to discuss services offered by networks to SMEs. It included examples from Enworks (UK), EKJA (Estonia), Modell Hohenlohe (Germany), Conser Prato (Italy), Követ (Hungary), METTTES (Malta, Hungary, Germany), Clean Business Programme (Poland) and BE-SMARTER (Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Estonia and France).

These workshops were designed for representatives of SME support organisations who participated in the first series of seminars. Participants from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom attended these workshops.

The main aim of the ECAP workshops is to facilitate the exchange and transfer of best practices between ECAP stakeholders active in different Member States. A second objective is to enable the stakeholders to form partnerships in order to widen and improve their services to SMEs.

The 55 workshop participants will soon have the opportunity to comment and exchange views using the ECAP forum, which will be made available on the ECAP website. The participants will also be invited to a final event in January 2010. The objective of the final initiative is firstly to ensure that the experiences and findings of the ECAP pilot workshops are transferred to an Enterprise Europe Network project, and secondly to create synergies between participants in order to develop more transnational partnerships.

More information on the ECAP website.


3rd Hungarian EMAS round table

On the 29th of May 2009, the third EMAS roundtable was held in Budapest with the support of the National Inspectorate for Environment, Nature and Water (OKTVF).

The roundtable aimed to anticipate the requirements of the upcoming new EMAS regulation. The regulation is not yet formally adopted but the Council and the European parliament have reached agreement on its contents on the 2nd April 2009. It is expected to be formally adopted and enter into force in autumn 2009.

Representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Water and of EMAS registered organisations presented the expected changes in EMAS in order to prepare organisations as well as possible for the entry into force of the new EMAS regulation.

The presentation of the development directorate of Ministry of Environment and Water focused on the need for future financial support to help organisations in the implementation of EMAS.

For more information see the Hungarian EMAS website.


3rd Hungarian EMAS round table

On the 20th of May 2009 the 32nd German evangelic Churchday took place in Bremen.

With 100.000 participants, the Churchday is the first EMAS registered regular “big event†. Since its EMAS registration in 2007, the Churchday has tried to be as sustainable as possible. The continuous improvement has led to a considerable reduction of CO2 for the Churchday organisation and the event itself, which is still producing 6.000 tons of CO2.

Not only is the Churchday itself reducing its ecological footprint, but this year the organisers also asked the participants to reduce their own CO2 emissions in their daily operations.

Different elements of Churchday demonstrated how easy ecologically sensitive behaviour can be: the catering was exclusively local, supporting local and regional food systems, the dishes were recyclable and the garbage was sorted to show visitors how to reduce their own carbon footprints. The electricity used was generated through renewable resources generated in the Bremen area and the participants were encouraged to use public transportation for arrival and departure.

For more information, visit the Churchday website.


Latest News (last update 8th June 2009)

Publication of the EMAS Newsletter on Clubs and Networks

All over Europe, EMAS clubs and networks are growing and gaining more and more importance for EMAS-registered organisations. These successful initiatives promote and support the cooperation between organisations, local institutions and authorities. They are being developed in order to encourage enterprises to direct their economic activity towards more sustainable development by offering a ‘lighter’ and improved documentary process. The third edition of the EMAS Regulation will encourage a cluster approach and suggests the potential for reduced costs because of the proposed simplifications in bureaucracy.

This issue of the EMAS Newsletter introduces different approaches by EMAS clubs and networks in Europe to winning more, in-depth specialist knowledge and to the exchange of experiences in order to maintain and further improve individual environmental management systems.


European EMAS Awards 2009 focuses on Green Procurement in Supply Chains

The European Commission, Environment Directorate General announces that this year’s European EMAS Awards Ceremony will take place on the 19th of November 2009 in Stockholm. This year the Awards will be given to EMAS registered organisations that have achieved significant improvements in reducing environmental impacts by implementing green procurement in their supply chains. Improvements in green procurement in supply chains could include, for example, a quantifiable increase in the volume of recyclable and/or recycled materials in manufacturing processes in the supply chain, or use of green products, such as "green" electricity, "environmentally friendly" catering services and energy efficient IT equipment.

Member States' Competent Bodies can, for each of the five defined categories (micro, small, medium, large and public sector organisations), nominate one EMAS registered organisation per category for the European EMAS Award.

EMAS registered organisations that consider having achieved significant improvements in this area are invited to contact their national EMAS Competent Body to submit their application.

Further information will be published soon on the European EMAS Awards website.


Austrian EMAS Conference

The Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management held its yearly EMAS-Conference on 3rd and 4th of June 2009 in the Upper Austrian capital of Linz, this year´s European Capital of Culture. Focusing on the subject of "EMAS – new chances with environmental management" several experts and representatives of registered organisations discussed the potential of EMAS for improving efficiency, reducing costs and saving energy and resources. The participants concluded that EMAS is a useful tool for these matters. Furthermore, the EMAS-conference provided the backdrop for the celebration of this year’s winners of the Austrian EMAS Award, which was also awarded to the best responsible EMAS-managers.

For further information, click here (in German language).


Benchmarking of EMAS registration costs in Europe

Among the external barriers to EMAS registration for SME’s are the external costs of consulting, verification, validation and registration.

Registration costs for organisations occur after they have completed the third party verification and validation. These costs include the interface and communication between Member States and EU services, or the EMAS Helpdesk.

As detailed in a new study, which benchmarked these costs, European Member States have different approaches concerning the EMAS registration fees.

  • 10 countries don’t have any fees at all.
  • 13 countries ask for a fee which is the same for all organisations. In some cases the payment is spread over the three years.
  • 5 countries have chosen a differentiating approach, where the fees depend on the size of the organisation.
  • 2 countries use two sets of criteria, a differentiated and a proportional approach, where the fees depend both on the size and on the complexity of the company.

As a result, the fee to be paid for EMAS registration by an organisation employing 50 people or less varies in the different Member States and ranges between no fees at all to 3600 €.

The study will be available for download early July 2009.


Festival in Spain promoting EMAS

The Dirección General de Planificación, Evaluación y Control Ambiental, in collaboration with the organizers for the 2nd Estrella de Levante SOS 4.8 Festival on 1st and 2nd of May, has implemented an Environmental Management System to minimize the environmental impacts induced by the many events linked to the festival. With this act, the Murcian Competent Body for EMAS and European Eco-label contributes to make the audience of the artistic festival aware of their environmental impacts.

During the festival, the Murcian Competent Body has made an installation called SMALL TRICKS, BIG ACHIEVEMENTS, which was aimed at:

  • promoting environmental sensibility, involvement and commitment to young people,
  • improving environmental quality,
  • showing useful behavior and acts to reduce negative environmental impacts,
  • promoting European environmental management systems and quality marks among Murcian companies and organizations and
  • making the management of associations, companies and organisations aware of good environmental practices.

Dynamic presentations provided information about EMAS and European Eco-labelled products, with the aim to give sustainable consumption of resources and environmental management of institutions and companies a boost.

Further information about the festival can be downloaded here.


The Saarland Environmental Alliance welcomes 9 new SMEs

The Saarland Environmental Alliance is a voluntary initiative with a 5-year-term between the federal government (Saarland) and the economic chambers with a focus on sustainable development. Each organisation may enter the initiative if they can demonstrate a good level of environmental performance. Being ISO 14001 certified and/or EMAS registered are enough to enter the initiative, but some "lower approaches" like an energy-audit or an initial environmental review according to EMAS (documented) are also sufficient to participate at the Umweltpakt initiative. The organisations may use the Umweltpakt logo for five years and are listed on the Saarland Environmental Alliance website.

At a celebration, which took place on the 26th of May 2009, nine SME´s from the Saarland in Germany became new members of the Saar Environmental Alliance.

Two of the nine SMEs, both active in the construction sector, became members of the Saar Environmental Alliance by implementing EMAS in their organisations, with the help of the Umweltzentrum Saarbrücken.

One of the other SME's has engaged to implement EMAS and the other 6 SMEs completed an energy audit, also supported by the Umweltzentrum Saarbrücken. The sectors represented are bakery (3), car repair (2), hairdressing and IT.

124 organisations are now participating at the Saarland Environmental Alliance initiative, of which 90% are SMEs. 80% of the organisations have a recognised environmental management system in place (50% are ISO 14001 certified, 40% are EMAS registered and 10% are both ISO 14001 certified and EMAS registered). The other 20% of the organisations have a lower environmental management approach or outstanding single environmental measures for which the performance has been evaluated by the Umweltpakt jury.

For more information, read the press release here, or visit the Saarland Environmental Alliance website.


Second Round: Wallonian Micro Companies are going for EMAS cluster!

The Economic Development Agency of the Province of Namur, in southern Belgium, organized a ceremony on the 11th of June to present the results of their first EMASeasy cluster and to officially launch the next round of coaching.

The first cluster, in which five SMEs participated, focused on SMEs with less than 20 employees. SMEs in this initial cluster received 90% of the consultancy costs for EMASeasy coaching through public funding (50% through the Wallonian Region and 40% through the European FEDER funds). These micro companies are active in the following sectors: waste management and recycling, biogas R&D, automotive trucks, concrete floor treatment, construction of timber cranes and production loaders, wood treatment.

Of the five SMEs in the first and successful cluster, three achieved EMAS registration, one achieved ISO 14001 certification and one achieved both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification.

The next cluster, including up to ten SMEs, will start in September 2009.

For more information, visit the website of the Economic Development Agency of the Province of Namur.


Latest News (last update 11th May 2009)

Presence of EMAS in German legislation and incentives for SMEs

EMAS plays a growing role in a number of EU and country-specific policies. To encourage the uptake of voluntary, marked-based tools like EMAS, a number of incentives have been studied, experimented with and introduced to reward front runners and proactive business and stimulate voluntary approaches in support of regulatory tools. The range of incentives is wide: reduction of administrative burdens, reduction in fees, tax reductions, higher rating in tendering processes, reduced inspection rates, and so on.

There is however a growing proliferation of such incentives, some linked to sector- specific legislation, which is difficult to oversee.

A matrix, cross referencing tables of legislation with applicable incentives for EMAS companies, would be of help in some Member States.

Such a useful list was compiled recently by the German Federal Environment Agency in collaboration with the Umweltgutachter Ausschuss (the Committee of environmental verifiers). The document allows:

  • A quick overview of laws, decrees, directives, decisions, recommendations referring to EMAS
  • The possibility of searching, for example, by region or by sector
  • Concrete cross-references to the relevant paragraphs in the regional legislations
  • New and unique service - a direct link to the regulations

The table can be downloaded here as an Excel, PDF or HTML file.


French EMAS in industrial estates: IT facilitates involvement of 180 SMEs

Sofibus runs one of the two EMAS-registered economic and industrial estates in France, named “Les Petits Carreaux†. Located 12 km south east of Paris, it hosts over 180 companies gathered over an area of 150,000 square meters.
This EMAS registration contributes to the overall management of the environmental impacts of Sofibus (waste reduction, improved green areas, etc.) as well as encouraging resident companies to implement EMAS. This raises the environmental profile of the industrial estate and encourages new companies looking for environmentally sound locations.

The environmental team promotes the exchange of good environmental practices among the SME’s on the Estate, for which Sofibus uses a tailor-made and user-friendly software. This E-tool consists of a series of pre-developed modules: control panels, which enable to monitor the different material flows of the companies, legal compliance issues and the organisation of internal audits. Carbon foot print modules are integrated as well.

For more information, visit the Sofibus Website or download their environmental statement (in French).


Success of the Eco-innovation call for proposals

Through the Eco-innovation funding scheme, the EU wants to support innovative products, services and technologies that can make a better use of our natural resources and reduce Europe's ecological footprint. Its objective is to improve the market penetration of environmentally sound products and sustainably managed services and to promote the concept of Eco-innovation.

A new EU-wide call for proposals in 2009 was launched during the Eco-innovation information day, held in Brussels on 20th of April 2009. 300 participants attended the event, and many more followed it via webstreaming. It was the perfect opportunity to hear about some of the projects selected for funding under the 2008 call and to get a unique insight into the 2009 funding priorities.

Some 40 projects were selected to receive funding under the 2008 call for proposals. Download this brochure to learn more about: "When business meets the environment".

Electronic copies of all presentations are now available.

The 2009 call is open! If you are planning to submit a proposal this year, get ahead of the game and consult the Commission's website.


Seminars on the Environmental Compliance Assistance Programme for SMEs (ECAP) in 11 Member States

In 2009, DG Environment will continue to organise capacity building seminars in support of the Environmental Compliance Assistance Programme for SMEs (ECAP). The ECAP seminars are intended to foster networking between local authorities, Chambers of Commerce, Enterprise Europe Network contact points, SMEs support organisations, NGOs and other stakeholders who provide or will provide further environmental training or advice to SMEs.

The seminars will promote the exchange of information and experiences on the ECAP programme, environmental legislation, funding at EU level and ‘best practice’ related to improving SMEs' environmental performance. The ECAP capacity building seminars will be organised in autumn 2009 in: Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Slovak Republic.

The seminar schedule will be soon available on the ECAP seminars registration website.


The European Parliament and the European Commission call for increased participation in EU's Eco-Management and Audit Scheme

The European Parliament and the Council have come to an agreement on proposed changes to the Eco-labelling Regulation and the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). The objective of the revised EMAS regulation is to increase the participation of companies and reduce the administrative burden and costs, particularly for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The legislation was approved at a meeting of government representatives in March and must now be formally endorsed by EU ministers before entering into law.

The measures to improve EMAS include (as proposed by the Commission):

  • Greater promotion and support for EMAS by Member States and EU institutions to increase awareness of its benefits among organisations and citizens. This includes financial support, fiscal measures, registration subsidies or tax breaks for registered organisations, longer permit validity and less frequent inspections by environmental enforcement agencies of EMAS-registered companies
  • The Commission will initiate the process of development of reference documents for the different sectors of activity, defining performance indicators for priority sectors and best practice in environmental management
  • Extending EMAS to the rest of the world so that companies can use EMAS in their contacts with non-EU organisations
  • Making use of the EMAS logo easier and allowing it to be more widely used
  • Simplifying the legislation to make it easier to understand how the scheme works and what the obligations of EMAS participation are.

The European Eco-Label’s revision was also discussed by the European Parliament. The amended procedures for obtaining the Eco-label Flower will reduce administrative burden, lower fees and boost environmental standards. There will be particular emphasis on those products and services that have the largest impact on the environment and the widest scope for improvement. Products containing certain hazardous substances will not receive the Flower label, except where no alternatives are available.


LIFE+ call for proposals to launch on 15 May

The 2009 call for proposals for LIFE+ projects will be launched on 15 May, from which date applications can be submitted for funding using the package that will be available on the LIFE website. This year, a maximum of €250 million has been earmarked via the EU’s financial instrument for the environment.

The application process is expected to be largely the same as last year and candidates are encouraged to start planning their submission using the 2008 package. Final proposals must be made on the 2009 form, however, which will be available as of 15 May. Proposals can be submitted to the national authorities until 15 September. Until 22 October national authorities will have to submit proposals to the European Commission. Following this, the Commission will begin the process of evaluating the proposals, firstly verifying eligibility, and then assessing them on the basis of the selection and award criteria.

The implementation of EMAS within public administrations and sectors remains among the actions supported through LIFE+.

For further information, visit the LIFE website.


Latest News (last update 28th March 2009)

Upcoming in May: Consultation on European environmental policies

Nearly every business bears or creates costs associated with the environment – from energy use, vehicle use or disposal of waste – many of which can be reduced profitably. Many businesses also benefit or bear costs from environment policy. A large part of the environment policy affecting businesses is shaped in the European Union.

The European Commissioner for the Environment and his team want to shape the laws and support schemes so that they benefit business and the local and global environment at the same time. To do this successfully, feedback from business about the ways in which they can benefit from changes to policy is needed. That is why the European Commission will launch a consultation, aimed at all businesses, to gather feedback.

The consultation covers topics about input efficiency, energy use, sources of information and motivation to change, effectiveness of policy, administrative costs from environment-related policy, liabilities and sales of green products. The answers will be used by the Commission and national governments to inform the design and revision of policy – especially policies to support business in their efforts to become more efficient and reduce their harm to the environment. The shape of these policies, for example how funds are best allocated through support schemes, will be influenced by the information provided. The questions will take about 20 minutes to answer.

Companies that would like to participate in this consultation can join the European Business Test Panel.


Launching of an EMASEasy application for agriculture and food production

A sector-specific convoy project for the implementation of EMASEasy for SMEs engaged in agriculture and food production has been launched on the 9th of March, in southern Germany.

This 18-month project is funded by the Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt) and Ministry of Environment (Bundes-Umweltministerium). The convoy is gathering 6 SMEs in the supply chain of both conventional and organic agriculture: farmers, food transformers, mills, bakeries, distributors, etc. It will also gather other stakeholders such as national parks, regional development and tourism agencies.

This learning-by-doing project is coordinated by Edmund Spindler, in collaboration with Eco-Conseil Entreprise in Brussels. It is a follow-up of the EMASEasy capacity building programme in Germany, funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for the Environment.

The kick-off meeting of the convoy took place in one of the SMEs involved in the convoy, the OOWV-Biohof in Bakenhus (Kreis Oldenburg), located in a very sensitive area for water collection. The project was presented to the VNU e.V. (the German Association of Environmental Professionals) working group on agriculture and food production. This specialized working group was founded to coach and promote the implementation of EMAS and environmental management systems in agriculture and food production. Since the end of the year 2001, a number of meetings and site-visits have been undertaken to promote improved environmental performance.

The outcomes of the project will lead to practical guidelines for the implementation of EMASEasy in the agriculture and food sector, as well as providing a feasibility study for replication of the project at a national level.

This experience will be linked with similar initiatives such as the recently- started interreg IVA project on EMAS and ISO 14001 for farmers in Picardie (France), Wallonia (Belgium) and Flanders (Belgium), as well as the debate on EMAS and European cross-compliance check requirements for the agricultural sector.

For more information, visit the VNU website.


Report of the French national workshop on “Labels and competitiveness: benefits of environmental certification or labelling?â€

On 17th and 18th March, the second edition of the French PM4E seminar, organized by ADEME (Agence de l’Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l’Energie), took place in Paris. The aim of this seminar, entitled “SME’s and environmental performance, how to increase it and take advantages of it?†, was to give information on environment and energy to SME’s and environmental professionals. More than 250 people attended the seminar, which was held in order to fulfil the targets of the French “Grenelle de l’Environnement†and promote the evolution of the French economy into an eco-friendly one and gave information, tools and positive experiences related to environment and energy.

The EMAS Helpdesk of the European Commission took part in a workshop on the morning of the 18th March called “Labels and competitiveness: benefits of an environmental certification or labelling?†. The aim of this specific workshop was to identify the different labels and certifications and the advantages and difficulties of being labelled or certified in an SME, and to present good experiences and projects.

The European EMAS Helpdesk, represented by Aurelie Bois, presented the reasons for EMAS success in Italy, Spain and Belgium. Download the presentation here.

More information on the conference on the PM4E seminar website.


Announcement of the 3rd European EMS Forum 2009

On 19th May 2009, the EMS-Expert Group of the European Federation of Associations of Environmental Professionals (EFAEP) will organize its third European EMS day in Brussels. Planned issues for discussion at this event are:

  • Climate change and its effect on the development and improvement of EMS - Future trends in the development if EMAS and ISO 14001
  • The role of EMAS in influencing organisational environmental performance
  • Innovative, lean and cost effective approaches for SMEs
  • Legal and formal requirements – the Spanish view

A discussion on the impact of environmental performance on economic efficiency and trading results will close the day.

To download the agenda of the day or register to the conference, please go to the EFAEP website.


Eco-Innovation: European Info Day in Brussels, Belgium, 20th April 2009

As part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP), the Eco-Innovation programme finances projects which demonstrate that environmental sustainability and competitive growth are not mutually exclusive.

The information day will give interested parties the chance to find out more about the funding possibilities offered by the scheme in 2009. Particularly aimed at SMEs, this year’s call for proposals will give priority to ventures in the areas of materials recycling, sustainable buildings, food and drink industrial processes, green business and smart purchasing.

There is nearly € 200 million available to fund Eco-innovation projects between 2008 and 2013. The call for project proposals in 2008 inspired submissions from 444 participants in 32 countries, three quarters of which were from SMEs. 134 Eco-innovation project proposals were submitted under the 2008 call. Of these, around 40 are currently in the pipeline to receive the first funds.

These projects represent the innovative ways in which European businesses and organisations are addressing the challenge of combining environmental sustainability and economic growth. Only a few projects are related to innovative EMAS applications. The next chance to apply is in April 2009. You can participate in the next European info days in Brussels on the 20th April or at any national info day planned in Croatia, Greece, Malta, Italy, Spain and Norway in the coming months.

Click here to register for the info day of 20th April 2009. For more information on the programme, visit the eco-innovation website.


Ecorismo promotes EMAS for the tourism sector

Ecorismo is an annual, professional French forum and tradefair where suppliers and manufacturers present green products and/or environmental solutions to the tourism industry. This year’s edition was organized in Arles, France, from 17th to 18th March 2009.

Ecorismo’s forum offered many conferences, debates and other training sessions about the environment to professionals. The organisers welcomed around 2300 visitors, hosted more than 100 exhibitors and organised 80 conferences.

Various conferences were held, presenting the different labeling schemes offered to tourist operators:

  • Labels related to environmental performance criteria (EU Eco-Label, Gîte Panda, Green Key, …)
  • Labels and certifications related to environmental management (Green Globe, ISO 14001, EMAS)

The EMAS Helpdesk of the European Commission took part in Ecorismo on two levels by organising:

  • the distribution of EMAS leaflets and EMASEasy brochures and answering enquiries / questions from visitors.
  • a conference of 45 minutes on EMAS for the tourism sector, on Tuesday the 17th March. The purpose of this conference was to provide an overview of EMAS in Europe with some figures and examples from the tourism sector. They presented case studies about the application of EMAS and EMASEasy in the French touristic sector, as well as in Cyprus, Slovenia and Jordania.

The organizers of the Ecorismo Fair (François Tourisme Consultants) were part of the EMASEasy capacity building project in France and have used the methodology. Marcel van Meesche was the speaker representing the EMAS Helpdesk. Mathilde Angéléri, from François Tourisme Consultants, presented the EMASEasy methodology and two SMEs from the tourism sector that she is currently coaching.

Download the presentations from the conference here, and visit the Ecorismo website.


EMAS Convoy registrations in Baden Württemberg

On 6th March, the city of Nüttingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, hosted an EMAS registration ceremony for a «convoy» led by the Samaritan foundation.

Eleven organisations were EMAS-registered including parishes, associations and the Samaritan foundation. This type of mixed workshop has, in the past, promoted stimulating exchanges of best practice and experience. Each participant in the convoy received 4000€ subsidy from the Land Baden-Württemberg. The Minister of Environment of Baden Württemberg, Tanja Gönner said «This is an important contribution to the protection of our environment and to the sustainable development of our society». That’s why the Länder have decided to provide a budget of 200,000€ to support convoy initiatives in 2009.

Following the registration of this successful convoy, Baden-Württemberg, is at the top of the German EMAS rankings with 363 registered organisations. Germany is proud to count a total of 1246 registered organisations.

Tanja Gönner commented enthusiastically on the EMAS regulation when she described it as a typical win-win system, for the environment of course, but also for the consumer with, for example, demonstrable savings in electricity consumption and heating costs.

The Baden-Württemberg government is trying to extend the programme to new activities such as agriculture, wine growing and education. Download the press release here (in German).


Latest News (last update 9th March 2009)

DG Environment launched a European survey on the costs and benefits of EMAS

Milieu Ltd and Risk & Policy Analysts (RPA Ltd) are currently undertaking a study on behalf of the European Commission, evaluating the adoption of EMAS by participating organisations. The outcome of this study will provide a better understanding of the factors affecting the relative costs and benefits of EMAS in different organisations. It will also be used in identifying what measures could be taken to enhance the cost-benefit ratio for organisations, thus encouraging more organisations to participate in the scheme and ensure that registered organisations remain registered with EMAS. In partial fulfilment of this study, a consultation exercise has been launched to collect data as well as views and opinions of EMAS registered organisations. Needless to say that participation of as many organisations as possible is essential for this study, and ultimately for organisations as well. It is therefore highly recommended that your organisation participates in the consultation. If your organisation would like to participate, please send an email to Mark Peacock to receive a link to the online questionnaire or receive further information.


EMAS registration of the first Italian shipping company

On 22 December 2008, the Italian EMAS Committee registered the organization “Deiulemar Shipping SpA†, (Torre del Greco - NA) with the number IT-001040. The organization is the first shipping company to achieve this recognition at European level.

The Deiulemar Shipping registration was obtained by the programme “Management Excellence†, promoted by Confitarma (Italian Confederation of Owners) and financed by a LIFE Project for facilitating an Environmental Management System (EMS) in the cargo-shipping field.

Last January, to celebrate its EMAS registration, the Deiulemar Shipping Chief Executive Officer, Pasquale Della Gatta, organized a ceremony at the port of Taranto and discovered the EMAS logo already painted on the cargo ship Angelo Della Gatta.


Italian consultancy Sigeambiente registered to EMAS

The Italian consultancy, Sigeambiente, achieved important recognition with its registration to EMAS. The news was given by the Ministry of Environment, which communicated the registration with the number IT-001056. The company, a consultancy for local government and other community bodies, drew up a plan of environmental improvement, following actions in developing its own internal management system.

Operating in the provinces of the region of Lombardy, Sigeambiente cooperates exclusively with local governments, implementing techniques and tools for territorial management, targeted to achieve sustainable development as well as supporting the growth of social economy. The company has developed projects which include environmental certifications, green public procurement, environmental book keeping, and energy certifications as well as initiatives promoting sustainable tourism, Agenda 21, strategic environmental evaluation, environmental information development and dissemination as well as energy and environmental law consultancy. Without forgetting the organization of meetings and fairs (for example the EMAS Environmental Registration Forum), Sigeambiente makes a point of awakening public opinion on themes connected with respect for the environment using the challenges as an impulse for territorial economic development.

The achievement of the EMAS registration demonstrates that Sigeambiente has adopted a series of improvement and actions. Among them, the reduction of paper consumption, the increase in the use of eco-friendly materials and the use of transport with a low environment impact. But that’s not all! For the company from Brescia, being registered to EMAS means an increase of its own territorial presence, accompanying an increasing number of local bodies on the way to environmental sustainability.


Australian Adelaide Hills Wine Region committed to environmental matters

The Australian Adelaide Hills Wine Region (AHWR) has established its position as a leader in the industry as the first wine region in South Australia to have a functioning and Government-endorsed regional environmental management system (EMS) available to its members. This EMS is mainly based on the well-known Ecomapping methodology. The program aims to build awareness of environmental issues in the wine industry, to build a better understanding of the environmental impacts of viticulture and winemaking practices, to maximise the efficient use of resources such as water and energy, to demonstrate that the winemaking community are environmentally-responsible corporate citizens and protect and enhance the eco-system.

AHWR environment committee member, Janet Klein, said the EMS is an essential programme for long-term environmental success as a region. She went on “The simplicity of the EMS means that we as human beings can improve and reduce the impact we have on our environment. It is gratifying and rewarding to reach this point of the pilot EMS project. It also gives confidence to our other members that they too can participate and easily improve their environmental practices. Over the next five years, I see the group of twelve pilot EMS project team members significantly increasing to a large proportion of members.†.

While other South Australian wine regions have an EMS in place, the AHWR have had the program implemented in the region for 18 months, and it has been officially endorsed by the Business Sustainability Alliance, a group of Government bodies including the Environment Protection Authority. Rather than being imposed on by Government authorities to improve environmental management practices, the AHWR have taken it upon themselves to implement this system in their region.

One grower who is already a member of the EMS, Larry Jacobs from Hahndorf Hill Winery, and who has been instrumental in putting in place the AHWR’s EMS program, said he recommended the EMS to any grower wanting to measure their environmental practices. “I completely endorse the EMS,†Jacobs said. “It has been a fabulous journey so far and a very gratifying learning process. When we set up the EMS, it seemed like the most appropriate tool to use. We wanted to acknowledge the fact that we in the Adelaide Hills live in a pristine, extremely environmentally sensitive region. Everyone who lives in the hills loves the region, and we are aware of that. In the long run, we are going to adapt our biodynamic program to function with the environmental management system, which is more cost effective, politically correct and better for our business,†Jacobs said.

There will be two training sessions conducted this year in the region for growers to learn more about the EMS and how it works. Winetitles will inform readers of these sessions at a later date.


Slovenian thermal spa goes for EMAS!

The Slovenian Spa Snovik Therms is currently implementing EMAS for their organisation. The Spa has 164.000 visitors per year, of which 60% are coming from abroad. The management of the Spa chose to implement a system meeting both the EU Eco-label requirements and the EMAS requirements.

In terms of environmental performance, CO2 emissions have been reduced by 117 tons by using solar panels, biomass heating, installing energy saving bulbs and reorganising the time schedules for the use of air conditioning, heating and saunas.

Moreover, the turnover of the spa has been increased by 20%.

The coaching of the Spa took place within the EMAS Easy capacity building programme for SMEs. Six other consultants are currently trained in Slovenia.


EMAS Easy Global Action Plan

Building on the enthusiasm and success of its first two delegates to the EMASEasy training programme in the UK in June 2008, the UK not-for-profit environmental group, Global Action Plan (GAP), initiated a second UK ‘Training of Consultants’ programme. Two delegates from each of its offices in London and Exeter participated with two independent consultants in the training venues in Exeter.

The programme was facilitated by the developer of the EMAS Easy concept, Heinz-Werner Engel, of Eco-conseil Entreprise in Brussels. “The success of the tool in GAP’s hands has far exceeded our expectations and I was delighted to be able to arrange this second programme†said Heinz.

Meanwhile, more than 20 participants are participating in the GAP pilot programme and a registration to EMAS is expected soon.


Latest News (last update 28th January 2009)

Report on the European Commission Conference on EMAS for SMEs, Brussels the 15th of December 200

More than fifty delegates from DG Environment, European Competent Bodies, verification organisations, consultancies and industry representatives met in Brussels on 15 December to hear a variety of presentations on the revision of the EMAS regulation, its implementation and barriers to its greater penetration in the market, with a clear focus on SMEs.

The forthcoming revision will embrace the EU Commission’s ambition for greater attention to resource efficiency and sustainable consumption, as well as reinforcing the understanding of and compliance with current environmental legislation. This greater rigour will be supplemented by sector specific guidance on the implementation of EMAS.

Costs of registration and verification and even access to verifiers were identified as barriers to more registrations, especially by SMEs, while accreditation bodies confirmed their ambition to work with verifiers to provide consistency in verification.

Finally, delegates heard from small organisations, consultants and verifiers of the successes being achieved in cluster programmes for implementation and verification. Lean systems such as EMASEasy reduce bureaucratic burdens for small business as well as development and registration costs.

The minutes of the conference can be downloaded here. The slideshows of the conference are available for download hereunder:

Session 1:
Setting the stage: EU policy, EMAS and barriers to access

  • 1. EMAS in the new EU policy package: Sustainable consumption and production and other initiatives - Pavel Misiga, Head of Unit Industry and Environment, DG Environment
    pdf Download PDF

  • 2. The headlines of the revision of the EMAS Regulation - Marianne Muller, DG Environment, Brussels
    pdf Download PDF

  • 3. Representing SMEs’ interests in order to make the EMAS regulation more SME friendly - Rosa Solanes, Environmental Adviser, UEAPME, Brussels
    pdf Download PDF

  • 4. ‘Fighting the paper tiger’ in EMS implementation with EMASEasy Feedback from 50 certifications in Europe - Heinz Werner Engel, Managing Director, Eco-counselling Enterprise Brussels
    pdf Download PDF

Session 2:
Verification: the missing link in simplification

  • 1. Working with small Business - EMAS and challenges for the verification process; accreditation criteria, rules and international practise - Andrew Marlow, UKAS, London
    pdf Download PDF

  • 2. Verifier’s perspective: lean management systems - are they solid, compliant and delivering results? - Günther Jungblut, individual verifier, Germany
    pdf Download PDF

  • 3. Lowering the barriers of access: Experience of EMASEasy in Hungarian certification - Csaba Bodroghelyi, organisational verifier, Hungary
    pdf Download PDF

  • 4. EMAS going global - challenges of validating EMAS in the Mediterranean area - case studies from Cyprus and Jordan - Dr. Burkhard Kühnemann, Hannover
    pdf Download PDF

Session 3:
Is EMAS affordable for small business? EMAS - innovative and cost-effective for business

  • 1. Experience: EMAS in the regional industry cost-cutting with cluster approaches, shared consultants and verifiers - Kurt Göbgen, Kölle GMBH, Germany
    pdf Download PDF

  • 2. Experience: Micro companies in the cement mixing and distribution sector. Collaborative implementation of simplified EMS in multiple sites and reductions in auditing costs - Nicolas Vuilliers, Italcimenti Group, France
    pdf Download PDF

  • 3. EMAS for beginners and informal implementation of procedures. Experience from implantation and auditing - Thibault Jacquet, Resources Social Economy Network, Belgium
    pdf Download PDF

Session 4:
Consultants - Selling bureaucracy or smart environmental coaching?

  • 1. EMASEasy: the elegant toolbox for integration into other management systems in medium sized companies - Stefan Muessig, WUQM, Germany
    pdf Download PDF

  • 2. The bottom up and vertical integration with EMASEasy. How to build environmental management systems which are easy to handle, robust on delivery and cost effective - Aurélie Bois, Eco-Conseil Mediterranée, Marseille, France
    pdf Download PDF


German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) seeks to reduce pressure on the environment caused by its travel on official business

The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) presented its new EMAS environmental statement on 2 December 2008 in Berlin, making a plea for environmental management at a high standard in public offices and businesses. “The Federal Environment Agency practices what it preaches†, said Dr. Thomas Holzmann, Vice President of UBA, and pointed out that there are now five Agency sites that meet the strict requirements of the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme, EMAS.

On the occasion of the opening of the last EMAS conference in Berlin, on 2 of December 2008, Dr. Thomas Holzmann emphasised the pioneering role played by the Agency. “In 2001 we were the first of any public office at all to be EMAS-registered. In 2003 we were the first to introduce ecological acquisition and purchasing, and now in 2008, we are the first public authority to establish guidelines for environmentally friendly travel on official business.†Holzmann encouraged businesses and public authorities to consider making a greater commitment to the environment in-house. “Environmental protection not only benefits society at large, but also one’s own institution. It saves costs and improves image.“

For more information, visit the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) website.


Breathing LIFE into greener businesses: Demonstrating innovative approaches to improving the environmental performance of European businesses

Europe’s businesses have an important role to play in ensuring a sustainable future for the EU's environment and the economy. This LIFE-Focus brochure showcases successful LIFE initiatives supporting companies that have taken proactive measures to strengthen their environmental performance. It thereby reinforces the EU's policy perspective that recognises the fact that eco-innovation can be good for business and good for the environment at the same time. The brochure can be downloaded from the LIFE programme website.


EMAS-Privileges in Germany

The Saxonian state government issued a new catalogue of administrative relief on the occasion of the new edition of its environmental alliance programme. This supporting programme for SMEs and larger industries has been relaunched for the 2nd time for five years. Meanwhile, approximately 550 enterprises from industry and handicraft engaged themselves in more than 800 voluntary environmental achievements.

Enterprises, which are EMAS registered or ISO 14001 certified, can profit from different advantages and more than 60 incentives and administrative reliefs. Some reliefs include longer monitoring periods and fewer reporting obligations related to the environmental pollution emissions control, as well as waste and water regulations.

The catalogue was published in the Saxonian Official Journal No. 2/2009, page 37. Visit the Saxonian state government website for more information to the environmental alliance programme.


Greening business: which companies adopt eco-management schemes?

New research reveals the factors which influence a company's decision to adopt EMAS - the European Eco-Management and Audit System, a scheme designed to improve corporate environmental responsibility practices. According to the findings, larger, more financially stable companies and, intriguingly, those with smaller profit margins, are more likely to participate. EMAS was set up in 2001 to encourage companies in the EU to improve their environmental performance. Participation in EMAS is entirely voluntary and, as such, is influenced by a range of factors, including a company’s size and financial stability. However, exactly how these factors influence a company's decision to participate has not previously been explored. Most research on corporate environmental responsibility focuses on Japanese and US companies participating in other programmes.

The Belgian study is the first to examine characteristics of green companies in Europe, and their participation in the EMAS scheme in particular. The study reveals that large companies with high financial stability and labour costs (wages) are more likely to participate in the programme. Around half of the companies surveyed were based in the UK. However, participation in EMAS is low in the UK (around 5 per cent) and companies in other member states where EMAS is actively encouraged are far more likely to participate - particularly companies in Finland, Germany, Spain, Italy and Austria. Furthermore, and perhaps somewhat counter intuitively, companies with larger profit margins are less likely to join the scheme.

The researchers reached their conclusions following a study of 436 companies, all with over 500 employees, from the Dow Jones STOXX 600 Monthly Selection list of November 2005. Just 38 (9 per cent) of the companies on the list were EMAS participants. Organisations subscribed to the scheme are required to carry out environmental audits and put in place company-wide environmental management systems and to carry out environmental audits. Therefore, the cost of taking part has to be justified by the benefits to the company, which might include increased operational efficiency and goodwill from consumers and regulators.

The researchers offer possible explanations for some of the patterns that emerge in their findings. They suggest larger companies may be better suited to participation in the scheme as they are more likely to be experienced in implementing management standards. Companies with higher paid staff are more likely to have a highly educated workforce who may, therefore, be more concerned with environmental issues. However, it is surprising that larger profits reduce the likelihood of subscribing to EMAS, as these organisations have more spare resources. The researchers suggest that this trend may be due to companies with lower profit margins using EMAS to differentiate themselves from competition by demonstrating their environmental credentials.

To order a copy of the full study, visit the following website.


Latest News (last update 24th December 2008)

EMAS Helpdesk at the Pollutec Fair in Lyon, France

With more than 70.000 visitors this year, of which 11% were international visitors representing 110 different nationalities, the French Pollutec Fair is one of the biggest annual meetings on environmental technologies in Europe.

The EMAS Helpdesk was represented at the famous Pollutec Fair in Lyon, France, on 2nd and 3rd of December 2008. It was the first year in which the Directorate General for the Environment of the European Commission organised a stand.

A conference on EMAS for small and medium sized companies took place in the open conference places at the fair on the 3rd of December. 30 people attended the conference, which presented the latest trends on EMAS and its revision process, the Environmental Compliance Assistance Programme for SMEs and tools for implementing EMAS, such as EMASEasy and the new BE-SMARTER project.

Visit the Pollutec 2008 website.


Be Smarter: Training smarter environmental consultants in Europe

The European Commission Long life Learning / Leonardo Da Vinci funded Project “BE-SMARTER network†is composed of Environmental Management System practitioners operating in five different European countries (Estonia, Hungary, Belgium, Germany and France). All members of the network have been involved for a number of years in developing and delivering approaches to lower implementation and registration costs of environmental management systems in SMEs.

The introduction of EMAS in small and micro enterprises depends considerably on the experience and the methodological competence of the consultant. The network members have been collecting best practices and tools for implementing lean and easy environmental management systems for SMEs, including the EMASEasy methodology. This knowledge is now being used to build an E-Learning platform in order to train 100 smarter environmental consultants in Europe in the two coming years.

From April 2009 onwards, successful environmental consultants can obtain further qualifications and become Smarter EMAS consultants using an E-Learning Platform of the Be Smarter project.

More information on the BE-SMARTER’s website and in the first project newsletter.


Second German EMAS Conference 2008 - Responsible. Innovative. Fit for the future!

On the 2nd of December 2008, the 2nd EMAS conference took place in Berlin, Germany. More than 200 participants attended to discuss both the status quo and the future of EMAS. The conference was organised by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) together with the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the German Accreditation Body for EMAS verifiers (DAU), the Association of Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) and the Environmental verifier committee (UGA).

The Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Environment Minister, Astrid Klug, emphasised the importance of EMAS in her inaugural address: “EMAS assists corporations to systematically improve their voluntary environmental performances and, at the same time, to reduce operational costs and, even now, EMAS has not yet tapped its full potential in the area of energy and resource efficiency†. During the four panels - “Climate protection and resource efficiency†, “EMAS and reporting†, “EMAS and Green Public Procurement†and “EMAS and small and medium-sized businesses†- participants had the opportunity to discuss issues with EMAS-validated organisations, economic, scientific, social, political and administrative experts. Volker Angres, the German ‘anchorman’ for a public TV station (ZDF), moderated the conference.

The press release, issued by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in German, can be obtained in German via the following website.


Czech Round table “Implementation of voluntary tools in public sector†- Exchange of experience from COMPASS+ project

The ‘round table’ and discussion was organized by CEMC (the Czech Centre for Management), in co-operation with STEP (the Czech Eco-counselling Network), and took place in the premises of the Czech Ministry of the Environment on the 13th of November 2008. The objective was to identify barriers and also opportunities for EMAS implementation in the public sector. Representatives from the City of Chrudim presented their experience with EMAS implementation. Other speakers presented a general overview of the Compass+ project, voluntary tools, EMASEasy and other approaches.


German Seminar on Environmental Management in Agriculture

The Professional Conference on "Environmental Management in Agriculture", held at the Rural Adult Educational Centre in Waldenburg-Hohebuch on the 27th of November 2008 had a great resonance with the audience, and the results of the Conference were received positively by the 110 participants.

At the conference, the topic of environmental management in agriculture was discussed from many different viewpoints, including its international importance in the development of agriculture policies. The documents and scripts are available at the following website.


First edition of the EMAS Awards in Catalonia

The first edition of the EMAS awards in Catalonia was held on the evening of the 11th of November in Barcelona. 24 candidatures were assessed by the jury in order to the following winners:

  • El Tinter, Arts Gràfiques, Edicions i Produccions, S.A.L (www.eltinter.com), for the best environmental statement and, in this category, SECE S.A- Sociedad Española de Construcciones Eléctricas received a special mention from the jury.
  • URBASER S.A., for the best action for involving personnel and other interested parties. The organisation has carried out an ‘open door’ activity for the families of the employees, full of environmental attractions and games.
  • In this category the Blaumar Hotel received a special mention by the jury for the production of hand-made soap bars from waste cooking oil.
  • Pinsos Sant Antoni S.A., for the best environmental achievement, based on the reduction of the pollution load of purines.

During the ceremony, four organizations have received special recognition for more than 10 years of environmental management under EMAS - SHARP Electrónica España S.A., Klüber Lubrication, Gmbh Ibérica SC, BASF Española S.L. and Croda Ibérica S.A.-Mevisa Site.

Environmental criteria had been adopted for the design and development of the ceremony and you can learn more about them by viewing the video and the pictures of the ceremony. Do not miss the pictures of the people dismantling the cardboard chairs!

Sharp Electrónica España SA, Klüber Lubrication Gmbh,
Ibérica SC, BASF Española SL, Croda Ibérica SA – Mevisa Site


The objective is the improvement in environmental protection

Both, the consultancy "Adelphi Consult Gmbh", and the research institute "Adelphi Research GmbH", from Berlin, were registered successfully to the EMAS regulation at the end of October 2008. Adelphi Consult GmbH is seat of the German Environmental Verification Committee (UGA) office. The successful validation is opening the way for the validation of the UGA office. The emphasis of Adelphi's work lies in environmental and climate protection policies, resource conservation, development policies, poverty alleviation, peace keeping, sustainable financial services and sustainable development strategies.

For the application of the Environmental Management System, Adelphi has used the EMASeasy approach with the Ecomapping tool. Within a service enterprise, most of the environmental impacts are to be found in the areas of office activities and travels. Therefore, Adelphi has as environmental objective, among others, to lower the connected energy consumption and their CO2 Emissions. The first result is their climate neutral status since 1st of January 2008. Those CO2 Emissions that are caused by office activities (electricity and heating oil consumption), commuting to the office and business travel are being offset through investments in climate protection projects - currently the electrification of rural areas in India with renewable energies.

Further information on the Adelphi Consult website.


Latest News (last update 28th November 2008)

European Commission announces winners of European EMAS awards 2008

Five organisations have won the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) Awards for excellence in environmental management. The winners were announced at an awards ceremony on the evening of 20th November 2008 in Brussels. The awards recognise outstanding achievements in environmental management. This year 32 organisations from 13 EU Member States were nominated. The 2008 awards focused on the theme of curbing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency.

The five winners were selected by a jury of 6 EMAS and energy experts. The results are as follows:

  • In the category ‘Micro’ organisations, The Evangelische Kirchengemeinde, Kreuzäcker, Germany: The church, which has a Lutheran congregation of 1550 and a staff of 6, won the prize for its impressive energy saving initiatives, including its use of renewable energy from photovoltaic technology, that converts sunlight into electricity, and the introduction of modern, wood pellet heating. These changes mean that more than 60 % of their energy consumption is from renewable resources and that they have reduced their GHG emission by 38 tons /year.
  • In the category ‘Small’ organisations, Pangea Green Energy s.r.l, Italy: Pangea specialises in the production of green energy from renewable sources, including biogas, and participates in Clean Development Mechanism projects in developing countries. The company won the award for its contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from its activities.
  • In the category ‘Medium’ organisations, Imperbel S.A. / Derbigum, Belgium: Imperbel/Derbigum is a leading manufacturer of bituminous waterproofing membranes and is now integrating photovoltaic panels within its rooftop applications. The company, which first gained it’s registration to EMAS more than 10 years ago, has won the prize for its continuing innovation and its performance in achieving energy consumption reductions and cutting CO2 emissions by 30%.
  • In the category ‘Large’ organisations, Milko, Sweden: Milko is one Sweden's largest producers of dairy products and, in 2006, set a target of cutting CO2 emissions by 25% within 10 years. More than 30 % of this target has been achieved in the last 2 years and the company continues to seek further reductions through the use of alternative energy sources such as biogas. The company has won the award for its energy-efficiency measures.
  • In the category ‘Public’ organisations, Kirklees Council, UK: Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire, England, has been recognised for its commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and for its activities and performance in energy efficiency, which include the installation and monitoring of Smart meters, which should save more than 1000 tonnes of CO2 by 2010. Energy efficient measures were focused both on public amenities and affordable housing, with an expectation of a reduction of CO2 emissions of up to 200 tons / year, and the Council is seeking a further reduction in CO2 emissions through reductions in water consumption.

Visit the European EMAS Awards website in order to download the press releases and view the pictures of the European EMAS Awards Ceremony evening.


Practicing what we preach: environmental management in the European Commission

Following the positive results of its third EMAS (eco-management and audit scheme) registration, the European Commission is now preparing to extend EMAS to the entire organisation from 2009. With this scheme, the Commission has in place a structured system for managing the environmental aspects of its activities, thus leading to improvements in several areas, including increasing energy efficiency, reducing emissions and raising awareness among staff of environmental issues.

"As an organisation with a large workforce, the Commission can lead by example and make a real difference. I am encouraged by the progress we have made together to reduce the environmental impact of our daily activities. By extending EMAS to the entire Commission, we can build on our accumulated experience to face the challenge of continuously reducing our environmental footprint in the years to come," said Siim Kallas, Commission Vice-President for administrative affairs, audit and anti-fraud.

The Commission has long been at the forefront of the fight against global climate change. In-house efforts are also longstanding, with an early commitment to "green housekeeping" (1997) and the 2001 adoption of the EMAS regulation for public administrations. The Commission applies EMAS in challenging conditions across an extensive real-estate portfolio and owned, with some buildings less energy-efficient than others. Occupying some 850,000 m2 in over 60 buildings in Brussels, a pragmatic approach is required. For this reason, EMAS was initially a pilot project in certain key departments — those responsible for buildings, office equipment, IT systems, personnel and training. The project involved various measures, including:

  • reduction of resource consumption, in particular energy and paper — for instance, in 10 EMAS-registered buildings electricity consumption has fallen by 20% and water consumption by 29% since 2002;
  • reduction of CO2 emissions — for instance, emissions in the same 10 buildings fell by 22% since 2002;
  • reduction in the amount of waste generated — for instance, since 2002 the amount declined from 331 kg/person/year to 284 kg/person/year;
  • promotion of alternatives to individual car transport for staff travel;

EMAS has proven to be the most appropriate instrument to manage and improve environmental performance at the European Commission. The scheme will be extended to all Commission departments in Brussels and Luxembourg starting in 2009.

Visit this website to view the full press release and download the EMAS statement 2008.


Bright future ahead for EMAS in the German churches

„From the beginning of the next budget period, German churches should, in addition to their ongoing activities, put one percent of their budgets into environmental protection.†This is one of the aims expressed by the participants of last month’s congress on the future of environmental management in the church, held by Germany’s ecumenical KirUm network on 24th/25th October in Karlsruhe.

130 members of the Catholic and Protestant churches, as well as other ecclesiastical organisations from all over Germany, took part in the conference, where quite a number of fascinating speeches was delivered. Heinz-Werner Engel from Eco-Conseil Enterprise, Brussels, gave an insight on EMASEasy, a practical EMS tool for small businesses. Dr. Angelika Zahrnt, from BUND, spoke about the recently issued study “Sustainable Germany II†and Jürgen Mayer, from Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung in Berlin, raised the question “What would happen, if every Chinese person owned a car?â€

All participants agreed that a large amount of valuable information was gathered during this weekend –and this will now be used and disseminated in order to encourage the idea of environmental management in church organisations. More information on the conference is available on the Kate-Stuttgart website.


Capacity building for NGOs from Bulgaria, Romania and FYROM-Macedonia

The EuropeAid Phare Call for Proposal “Developing the capacity of environmental NGOs, through transfer of best practices from NGOs in the EU25†aimed to raise the capacity of environmental NGOs from Bulgaria, Romania, FYROM Macedonia and Turkey. The programme helps them to find ways to attract business organizations and public authorities to establish partnerships for joint initiatives aimed at implementing EU environmental policy.

The project submitted by TIME Foundation – Bulgaria helped participants representing the Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Bulgaria), Kaolin (Bulgaria), Mare Nostrum (Romania), SME Association of Constanta (Romania) and Proaktiva (FYROM - Macedonia), to develop their full potential as partners in the implementation of environmental policy, focusing essentially on environmental management systems for SMEs.

A study tour has been organised in Belgium and Germany in May 2008 by representatives of Groupe One and Eco-Conseil Enterprise (both from Belgium). Meanwhile training sessions on Ecomapping and EMAS took place in Ruse, Bulgaria and in Constança, Romania, with more than 20 participants, and various meetings with institutions and funding organisations also took place. Extensive press coverage was given, a rising from press conferences, press releases, TV and other media briefings.

The closing meeting of the project took place in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 27th and 28th November, together with other NGOs participating in this EuropeAid Phare Call for Proposal. Romania and Bulgaria’s participating NGOs are now equipped to face new challenges, as they will be part of next year’s EMAS capacity building programme for SMEs.

More information on Time Foundation’s website.


EMAS Conference in Monselice (Padua), 14th November 2008.

On Friday 14th November 2008, a conference dedicated to the EMAS III Regulation, as a further step towards environmental sustainability, took place at the Library of the Cini’s Castle in Monselice (Padua). The conference was organised by the Municipality of Monselice, the National Association of Italian Municipalities, the Province of Padua and the University Consortium for Applied Research (CURA).

The purpose of the conference was to illustrate the news, perspectives and possible margins for improvement of the new EMAS regulation, in order to better understand what the role of Public Administration could be in the field of environmental management and evaluation, and in the communication of its own performance.

The chair was given to the representatives of the local, national and European authorities and institutions that usually supervise, apply, regulate and research on EMAS and act in environmental management as a cornerstone of sustainability.

The conference agenda is available in Italian. More information is available on the website of the Centre for Quality Environment Studies.


Second Forum Fair in Bergamo, 23-25th October 2008.

The Second Forum environmental EMAS Certification Fair took place in Bergamo from 23rd to 25th October 2008, at the seat of the Municipality of Bergamo, with the purpose of examining the world of environmental certification, in order to understand its significance, advantages and difficulties.

The Fair was organized by Sigeambiente, a consulting firm for local organisations, on the initiative of the Municipality of Bergamo, with contribution from the Region Lombardia and the patronage of the European Union, the General Confederation of Italian Industry in Bergamo and the Regional Agency for Environmental Protection (ARPA) in Lombardia.

The first day of the fair was mainly dedicated to the public authorities, in order to underline the main duties a Municipality has in regard to the environment and its protection in the fields of waste, soil, water and air. Public authorities were the real protagonists at the fair, due to recent developments of EMAS in this sector which followed the extension of the EMAS scope to all sectors of economic activity, including the local authorities.

On the second day, the discussions turned to four main issues: (i) the cluster approach as a motor for the development of certification; (ii) Key Performance Indicators as tools to understand how environmental performance needs to be communicated; (iii) subsidies, facilities and benefits for organisations which are ISO 14001 and EMAS certified; (iv) the environmental statement and its use as a marketing and communication instrument.

On the last day, the discussion essentially focused on the contents of the new EMAS III regulation and its possible impact on the future EMAS scenario. There are four objectives that EMAS III sets out to achieve: (i) to make EMAS the best indication to external stakeholders and national enforcement authorities of environmental performance and legal compliance; (ii) to make EMAS registration more attractive for organisations, (iii) to facilitate the “step by step†and “bottom up†approach and (iv) to create a mechanism for the formal recognition of existing regional and national environmental management systems as complying with requirements of EMAS III. In order to achieve these results, the European Commission commissioned a 12-month study to analyse the differences between regional, national or sector-specific environmental management systems and ISO14001/EMAS and to develop guidelines on how to move to EMAS from these environmental management systems.

More information is available on the official Second EMAS Fiera Forum website.


Latest News (last update 26th October 2008)

European Commission conference on 15 December on EMAS and SME's - a European debate with external auditors and verifiers

Voluntary tools and regulations in Europe, such as the European Eco-management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) can be implemented by organisations on a voluntary basis. Implementation of voluntary tools can result in the reduction of negative impacts on the environment and, at the same time, strengthen the position of an organisation in the market, bolster competitiveness, reputation and increase profit. However, despite the great potential of these tools, the uptake has so far remained below the actual potential.

A number of external barriers to EMAS registration have been identified, prior to the current revision of the EU’s EMAS regulation.

Besides a lack of demand and incentives, the most significant barriers to EMAS registration are costs linked to consulting, administration and verification.

Recent practical developments have, however, led to lean, cost-effective application models for EMAS in Europe, which should lead to lower transaction costs. However consulting, verification and validation costs relating to EMAS registration have not followed this trend.

A number of consultants and environmental verifiers have adapted their way of auditing, working and pricing to accommodate lean, more informal systems. However, the majority of the consulting and verification sector is still maintaining the price bar for their activities so high that they cannot accommodate the lesser resources of the SME’s, nor correspond to the reduced workload of assisting small organisations.

These issues will be presented and discussed during a European Commission conference that will take place on the 15th December in Brussels, organised by the EMAS Helpdesk of the European Commission's Environment Directorate General.

The conference will present experiences from consultants and environmental verifiers, as well as the point of view of the SMEs. Download the programme of the conference here or visit the EMAS easy website.


New support programme for environmental management in the Saarland

At the end of September, the new Guideline for support on the introduction of an environmental management system in the Saarland was introduced. The guideline foresees a contribution from the Saarland and the EU towards the introduction costs of an Environmental Management System of 45,5% of the eligible costs. For the support period 2007-2013, there will be all together €455.000 of public money available.

With the coherent development of support for Environmental Management Systems, the Saarland will be able to keep its number one place as the strongest federal Land in EMAS registrations (EMAS validations per capita).


CIP Eco-innovation programme on market replication Call 2008: 134 proposals received

The first CIP Eco-innovation programme on market replication call for proposals has been closed on 11 September 2008. Thanks to all the 134 project consortia that submitted their proposals for evaluation! A breakdown of the submissions by priority areas shows as follows:

  • Recycling materials (1/3)
  • Greening business and smart purchasing – including EMAS (1/4)
  • Buildings and construction (1/5)
  • Food and drink sector (~10%)
  • Other areas (~10%)

The call attracted applications from over 30 European countries – led by Italy and Spain – as well as from third countries, with Turkey in the lead.
With 330 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, representing around 3/4 of all participants, the SME target group was extremely well represented.
The evaluation of the proposals is underway and will end in January 2009.


Potsdam drives environmentally friendly - ViP successfully validated

At the beginning of August, the transport company Potsdam GmbH (ViP) was successfully validated for registration to EMAS. “The protection of the environment has always had a significant value in our company. A strong and comprehensive Environmental Management System is our current response to the increasing global challenges. With the Environmental Report 2008, we give, for the first time, a summary on the essence and the structure of our environmental management†, ViP explains.

ViP transports about 27 million people a year to their work, to school, to leisure facilities and to the many tourism sights of Potsdam’s world cultural heritage. Through the introduction of EMAS, the transport company has improved its environmental performance and has saved on costs and resources. Since 2005, the percentage of recyclable waste, achieved through improved waste management, has risen from 32% to 72 % of the total.

Beginning in 2007, 20 buses were equipped with Continuously Regenerated Technology filters, achieving a 43% reduction of particle emission. The planned modernisation of the vehicle fleet will bring a further 40% reduction in the emissions of nitrogen, carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons. 11 buses with the EURO II emissions standard engines will be running with the most environmentally sophisticated emission standard EEV (EEV = enhanced Environmental Friendly Vehicle). For more information, visit the following website.

Source: UGA


VAUDE – the environmentally friendly climbing gear company

The climbing gear manufacturer, VAUDE, proved that outdoor equipment has something to do with environmental protection – they achieved EMAS registration in July, certification of which was awarded by Ruth Schlaf of the Chamber of commerce in Bodensee-Oberschwaben. This makes VAUDE the first EMAS-certified outdoor clothing company in Europe. The certification ceremony was attended by the state premier of Baden-Württemberg, Günther Oettinger, and Thomas Urban, the managing director of the German Alpine Association (DAV). “As a climbing sport equipment company, we offer products that will be put into action in contact with nature. It is a logical consequence that the protection of nature has a particularly high importance to us. We are proud of our EMAS certification which makes our commitment tangible and measurable†, the marketing director of VAUDE, Antje von Devitz explains.

The family business from Tettnang commits to active climate protection through the use of photovoltaic implants on the company’s roofs and with the participation in initiatives such as BaumInvest, for the reforestation of logged rain forests. VAUDE makes a conscious choice of natural materials from sustainable sources, such as Tencel and Conona, in order to save resources. The comprehensive repair service for VAUDE products, or the equipment of the international UN conference on nature conservation 2008 in Bonn with recyclable bags, are also good measures.

More information on the VAUDE website.

Source: UGA


Schaeffler KG supports EMAS

In the first EMASeasy Convoi for car-manufacturing supply chain, Schaeffler KG in Homburg/Saar actively supported the introduction of EMAS for suppliers. The Schaeffler Group, a global player, belongs to the EMAS Pioneers. In cooperation, with the environmental centre Saar-Lor-Lux, 4 manufacturing companies will be led to certification within the framework of this pilot project, using the EMASeasy method.

The project will start with a first workshop in October. In the beginning of 2009, first EMAS registrations are expected. The Saarland Ministry for the Environment empowers the project through its EMAS Support Programme.

Source: UGA


The European EMAS Awards 2008 ceremony will take place on 20th November in Brussels

The Directorate General Environment of the European Commission will announce the winners of the 2008 edition of the European EMAS Awards on 20th November in Brussels, in the prestigious theatre palace of the art deco Hotel Plaza.

The European EMAS Awards 2008 is the most prestigious award in environmental management and has been handed to top companies and local authorities since 2005. This year’s EMAS Awards will focus on the emissions of GHGs, energy consumption and energy efficiency. More than 30 organisations have been nominated from all over Europe for their outstanding performance in terms of using renewable energy, the optimisation of processes with cleaner technologies, etc.

More information is available on the official EMAS Awards website or by email.


Latest News (last update 24th September 2008)

The European EMAS Awards 2008 ceremony will take place on 20th November in Brussels

The Directorate General Environment of the European Commission will announce the winners of the 2008 edition of the European EMAS Awards on 20th November in Brussels, in the prestigious theatre palace of the art deco Hotel Plaza.

The European EMAS Awards 2008 is the most prestigious award in environmental management and has been handed to top companies and local authorities since 2005. This year’s EMAS Awards will focus on the emissions of GHGs, energy consumption and energy efficiency. More than 30 organisations have been nominated from all over Europe for their outstanding performance in terms of using renewable energy, the optimisation of processes with cleaner technologies, etc.

More information is available on the official EMAS Awards website or by email.


EMAS certifications – barriers to access by SMEs, a European debate with external auditors and verifiers

Voluntary tools and regulations in Europe have a hard time. There is no significant uptake and buy-in for such initiatives as Ecolabels or EMAS. Registrations and certification in Europe have not been sky rocketing! A number of external barriers to certification have been identified prior to the current revision of the EU’s EMAS regulation. Besides a lack of demand and incentives, the most significant issues are costs linked to consulting, bureaucracy and certification. However, recent pragmatic innovations have lead to lean cost-effective application models of EMAS in Europe, which should lead to lower transaction costs. However certification, validation and EMAS registration costs have not followed this trend.

A number of verifiers or certifiers have adapted their way of auditing, working and pricing to accommodate lean, more informal systems. However, the majority of the auditing industry is still maintaining the bar of auditing so high that it does not accommodate the lesser resources of the SME’s, nor corresponds to the workload of auditing small systems.

These circumstances will be presented and discussed during a European conference that will take place on the 15th December in Brussels, under the auspices of DG Environment.

The conference will present experiences from auditors and verifiers, as well as the point of view of the SMEs. More information will be available soon on the EMAS Helpdesk website.


Germany boosts the use of EMAS in public procurement

The German EMAS office (UGA) is now offering daily updated information service on the UGA website concerning international public procurement tenders which includes references to EMAS.


ECAP brochures and capacity building seminars available

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) traditionally find it harder to comply with environmental legislation than their larger counterparts. In general, the smaller the company, the more difficult it is because of a lack of ready information and internal human resources. Although there is a cost implication for compliance, companies that do take action can benefit from lower energy bills and greater efficiency in their operations.

The European Commission understands the pressures faced by small businesses and is taking action to help them. Earlier this year, it launched an Environmental Compliance Assistance Programme to make it easier for SMEs to comply with their obligations and improve their environmental performances.

There are a number of areas where action is being taken:

  • Minimising the administrative burden on companies
  • Helping SMEs integrate environmental concerns into their businesses
  • Supporting regional and national networks
  • Building up local know-how
  • Improving communication

A brochure presenting the Environmental Compliance Assistance Programme is now available online in twenty one languages.

The first series of ECAP capacity-building seminars took place between June 2007 and March 2008, in 15 countries across the EU. Aimed at business support organisations working with SMEs, the events were the first step in building a network of environmental experts at the regional level. All the documents of these seminars are available for download from the ECAP website.


Tour Link fosters sustainability in the tourism sector through tour operator supply chain management

The recently ended LIFE Environment-funded project, TOUR LINK, demonstrated how an integrated ecolabelling and tour operating supply chain management strategy can foster sustainability in tourism.

A sustainable tour operator supply chain can only be achieved if tourism suppliers, tour operators and independent initiatives for sustainable tourism collaborate with each other, based on a common strategy.

The commitment originated with the Dutch tour operator association, ANVR, and the UK Federation of Tour Operators. They agreed to introduce sustainable supply chain management approaches among all their members, in combination with the establishment of the European VISIT platform (unifying 10+ Ecolabels) and the introduction of the EU Ecolabel for tourism (making certification available all over Europe). This provided a unique opportunity to develop and implement joint approaches and actions in order to foster sustainable tourism.

Within the Tour Link project, an integrated set of instruments and tools has been developed and tested in order to promote sustainability effectively within the tour operator supply chain:

  • Management system and tools
  • Management system
  • Training package and system
  • Action planning and reporting system

pecific tools for the tour operator supply chain

  • Suppliers sustainability standards
  • Suppliers assessment system
  • Market place
  • Consumer communication tools
  • Destination co-operation tools

These instruments and tools have been commonly branded as "Travelife". All tools are accessible through the Travelife website which facilitates tour operator associations in managing and monitoring their member’s activities and facilitates individual tour operators in managing their staff’s performances. Travelife is presently being developed among more than 450 tour operator members of European tour operator associations such as:

  • The Netherlands: ANVR
  • United Kingdom: FTO
  • Germany: FAR
  • Belgium: ABTO, BTOV, VVR, BFNO, FBAA with the support of Toerisme Vlaanderen.

Showcasing the Best LIFE Environment Projects 2007-2008

A publication featuring the twenty one best LIFE Environment projects in 2007-2008, including the top five or "best of the best (BoB)" projects, is now available online. The brochure tells the story of each of the twenty-one outstanding projects, which were selected by the Member State representatives on the LIFE committee and the European Commission. Projects were selected on the basis of their contribution to immediate and long-term environmental, economic and social improvements; their degree of innovation and transferability; their relevance to policy and their cost-effectiveness.

The selected projects come from across the EU and cover all of the main themes of LIFE Environment - land-use development and planning; water management; minimising the impact of economic activities; waste management and Integrated Product Policy.

Two elected Best LIFE Environment projects are directly related to the implementation of EMAS:

  • The "EMAS@SCHOOL"project implemented EMAS II approaches at Escola Superior Agrária de Coimbra (ESAC) in Portugal.
  • The EMAS LAB LIFE project selected EMAS indicators and developed corresponding benchmarks, tools and methodologies for the implementation of EMAS in Almada, Portugal, and for use in local authorities throughout the country.

For more details, read the Best LIFE Environment Projects 2007-2008 publication!

A shorter print version, focusing mainly on the five BoB projects, will be available soon. For the Best Project publications from previous years, please visit the LIFE Programme Publication page.


Spanish study on EMAS environmental statements from hotels

Since June 2005, Spain has been the country with the second highest number of sites and companies registered to the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) and it was, more specifically, the hospitality industry that led in the number of Spanish sites registered to this standard.

A recent study of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism and the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid aimed to analyse environmental statements issued by Spanish hotels which have been verified in accordance with EMAS to determine whether or not they carry unique or advantageous environmental performance parameters. Statements issued by EMAS-registered Spanish hotels since June 2005 have been reviewed in order to ascertain whether these environmental reports are comparable among hotels so that stakeholders can make informed decisions about companies. This research will give information about the feasibility and usefulness of ranking hotels in order of environmental responsibility. The study has also identified some factors that might have some influence on the choice and use of environmental indicators.

One of the results of the study showed that all stakeholders, as well as hotels, could benefit from a better standardisation of indicators. More detailed guidance should be elaborated, detailing the minimum required information per sector of activity as well as the metrics that should be used for each indicator. To be useful, environmental reports should satisfy the users’ needs. Thus, deeper research should be undertaken to explore environmental information needs by different stakeholders.


European Conference on environmental management in Tallinn, Estonia

The conference "Environmental management – quo vadis?" took place in Tallinn on 26th August 2008. It was dedicated to the 5th anniversary of the Estonian Association for Environmental Management (EKJA). The association was founded in 2003 within the BALTEMA project, funded by the German Ministry of Environment, which aimed to raise the awareness of Baltic States companies in environmental management. SEI-Tallinn is one of the founders of the association and the secretariat of EKJA is located in SEI-Tallinn premises.

The conference focused on the past and future of corporate environmental management and what have been the best practices in Estonia. The welcome speech at the conference was given by the Minister of Environment, Mr Jaanus Tamkivi, who stressed the importance of cooperation between state institutions and companies to meet environmental targets, as well as the need for voluntary actions from both sides. SEI-Tallinn programme manager, Mr Harri Moora, gave an overview on the environmental management achievements in Estonia and several interesting presentations were given by company representatives. Among them was the small printing company Ecoprint, which was one of the 3 nominees for the European Business Award for the Environment 2008 in the environmental management category.

The second part of the day focused on European experience and some of the best environmental management approaches and practices identified in the Be-Smarter Network. Presentations were given by environmental management experts from Belgium, Germany, France and Hungary. The main conclusions of the conference were that the state should work out better initiatives and support mechanisms to encourage companies (especially SMEs) to improve their environmental performance on voluntary bases, e.g. favouring environmentally sound companies in public procurement. The public sector itself should demonstrate its commitment to sustainable development and implement environmental management systems in its organisations.

Conference presentations are available on EKJA website (half of them in English).


European Conference Towards Sustainable Consumption and Production in European Manufacturing - 19th and 20th November 2008 – Brussels – Belgium

In July this year the Commission announced the long awaited Action Plans for Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy (SCP/SIP). The Action Plans comprise a series of proposals that aim to combine and expand some of the current sustainability regulation. The Action Plans will have a direct and challengi ng impact on the future of manufacturing in Europe. The Sustainable Manufacturing Summit Europe, which will be organised in Brussels, Belgium ont 19th and 20th November 2008, brings together Europe’s policy makers and business leaders to provide both practical and strategic information to manufacturers facing sustainability challenges.

Delegates will attend to hear the latest practical approaches through 15 corporate case studies on:

  • Innovative environmental strategy and management
  • Manufacturer renewable energy strategies, energy efficiency and water management
  • Product life cycle analysis
  • Product ecoand energy labelling
  • Manufacturing design for “reduce, reuse, recycleâ€
  • The possibilities of industrial symbiosis
  • SME case studies

EMAS will be high on the agenda of the conference on 20th of November, focussing on the following issues:

  • EMAS III – EMAS after the SCP/IP Action Plans
  • EMAS easy - a cost effective tool for supply chain management
  • EMAS discussion:
    • What is the response of EMAS organisations to the proposed revision of the scheme?
    • Where should the scheme be revised – what currently works well and what does not?
    • How should the EMAS scheme be simplified?
    • Does the EMAS scheme deliver enough in terms of the reduction of environmental impact – how can it do more?
    • Which companies have been nominated for a 2008 EMAS Award and why?
    • How easily is EMAS adopted by these organisations?

For more information, visit the Sustainable Manufacturing Summit Europe website.


Latest News (last update 26th July 2008)

More and more « Voices for EMAS » in Germany

The German Voices for EMAS initiative is now gathering strength, more than 40 VIP testimonials and 60 practitioners. In this Internet-based EMAS promotional campaign, prominent spokespeople from the business community and wider society lend their voices to support this instrument of European environmental policy.

EMAS helps to put the environment and sustainability firmly on the agenda of business executives. It supports them in taking responsibility for the environment. The requirement to make continuous improvements in environmental protection makes EMAS a motor for innovation. The voluntary systematic audit shows the way forward for sustainable business activity in Germany. It also helps to ensure an enduring future for coming generations and creates incentives for protecting the environment and creating jobs in Germany and Europe.

On the website, sub pages are prepared for SMEs, the tourism sector, churches and public authorities.

Download the English version of the brochure or visit the “Voices for EMAS†campaign website.


Mövenpick Resort Dead Sea and Mövenpick Resort Petra goes for EMAS

Tourism can bring many benefits to arid areas like Jordan but a sustainable approach is essential to preserve their special characteristics, their fragility, and their wealth of natural, human, cultural, archaeological and historical resources. To add value to the EU Life- funded project on development methods and tools for environmental performance in the tourism sector in Jordan (GREENTAS), Aeoliki Ltd, the only EMAS-verified environmental management consultancy in Cyprus, has taken the initiative utilizing the EMASeasy methodology in the Mövenpick resorts at the Spa Dead Sea and in Petra.

The case of the Mövenpick Resorts is an excellent example of how socially responsible business can contribute positively to sustainability. As an example, because of the lack of state infrastructure, the Mövenpick Resorts at Petra managed to persuade the Petra Regional Authority to allocate public premises now used as a regional recycling collection centre.

This initiative has generated the opportunity for other major hotel chains to launch their own recycling program and possibly their own environmental management system.

For more information please contact Solomon Ioannou from Aeoliki Ltd.


The Port Authority of Valencia receives the Eco-excellent Award, granted by Ecofira 2008

The Port Authority of Valencia, known commercially as Valenciaport, is the state-owned body responsible for the management and administration of three ports within state ownership: Gandía, Sagunto and Valencia.

In June 2008, it received the Eco-excellent Award, granted by Ecofira, the international fair for water, soil, air, wastes and their technologies and services, celebrated in Valencia. The president of the Port Authority of Valencia, Rafael Aznar Garrigues, received the Award from the General Director for climate change of the Environmental Regional Ministry of Valencia Region.

By this Award, the Port Authority of Valencia has demonstrated its commitment and involvement with the environment and sustainable development. Valenciaport is now working on new objectives to improve its annual environmental performance.

More information:www.valenciaport.com ; ecofira.feriavalencia.com


LIFE+ 2008 call in July

This year’s call for proposals for LIFE+, the EU’s new financial instrument for the environment, opens on 15 July 2008. Projects that support the implementation of the Environmental Compliance Assistance Programme for SMEs (ECAP) are eligible for funding under the programme

Applicants can start preparing their proposals already, using the application forms and guidelines from the 2007 call, but bearing in mind that there may be some changes. Any legal person established in the European Union can submit a proposal, i.e. public authorities, other public bodies, private businesses and organisations such as NGOs.

LIFE+, which runs from 2007-13 with a total budget of over €2 billion, is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and conservation projects in the EU and beyond. It is the latest generation of the LIFE programme, which since 1992 has co-financed some 2.750 projects and contributed approximately €1.35 billion to the protection of the environment.

In the past there were several LIFE projects which helped to implement EMAS in the public and the private sector. E.g.:

  • Innovative approach for the participation of the farming sector in EMAS and the experimentation of new formulas to create specialized employment formulas
  • The implementation of the eco-management audit scheme (EMAS) in the management of high-growth tourist areas
  • Development and implementation of eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS) in educational institutions
  • Pilot testing and demonstration actions to implement EMAS on the territorial scale in the Tuscia Rom
  • The value and issues of Utilising EMAS II in the regulation of industry
  • The implementation of EMAS in a fishing and leisure port
  • Shipping with EMAS
  • Paper Industry Operating in Network: an experiment for Emas Revision
  • Environmental Management and Audit Scheme implementation at a complex school
  • Eco-Management Audit Scheme for Local Authorities Environmental Benchmarking
  • Local Authority EMAS and Procurement (LEAP)

The deadline for applicants to send their proposals to national authorities is 21 November 2008. There will be workshops for potential applicants during the summer.

More information:


Romanian TAIEX workshop on EMAS and IPPC

A TAIEX workshop organized in Bucharest on the 25th and 26th of June focused on promoting organization’s participation in EMAS and on encouraging the participation of the best IPPC organisations from Romania, in special installations for cement production and for glass manufacture, through the access to information and training following the step by step approach which will eventually lead to EMAS registration.

Some of the presentations can be downloaded here:

  • Credibility of EMAS for regulators under the Italian system: advantages of an EMAS Registered organization for regulatory relief under IPPC legislation - Mr Bertrand Capra - APAT – EMAS Unit, Italy Infra 30191 Bucharest 2008 Capra B
  • Case study: Links Between IPPC Directive and EMAS Regulation – A real case showing benefits in the cement sector - Jeremy Stephens, EA. UK JS to EMAS Bucharest June 2526-2008.pdf
  • The main changes in the provisions of the new EMAS Regulation. Improved legal compliance under the revised EMAS regulation: Even more credibility for regulators - Maria de los Angeles Barrecheguren, European Commission EMAS Revision Bucharest 2008

Bulgaria introduces its EMAS website

The official Bulgarian EMAS website was introduced during the closing meeting of the PHARE Project “Support for the promotion of EMAS in Bulgaria†, held in Sofia on May 16th.

The event marked the closing of the first Bulgarian project promoting EMAS, as a stepping stone for the future implementation of the scheme. It was organized by TIME Foundation, in partnership with the Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Regional Association of Municipalities “Centralna Stara Planina†and the “Green Bourgas†Foundation.

Among the speakers invited were Maria Barrecheguren, from DG Environment’s “Industry and environment†unit, who presented the revision of EMAS and the current situation in Europe, and stressed the importance of the role of the Competent Body for the successful implementation of the scheme in Bulgaria. Other speakers were the Competent Body, the Bulgarian National Consumer organization and individual experts in the field.

TIME Foundation presented its own contribution, mainly the results of 4 seminars (for local authorities and SMEs), which took place in 2007, as well as the official EMAS website for Bulgaria), which was presented to the Competent Body together with a set of strategic recommendations for future promotion activities (fully inline with the requirements of the future EMAS revision).

Click here to visit the Bulgarian EMAS website.


« Greening the public sector »: an international benchlearning

“Greening the public sector†is becoming a leitmotiv for French local authorities and administrations. They believe that being exemplary in the development of sustainable policies will create a snowball effect around them. A European study was conducted in 2007-2008 by Rambøll Management, Brussels on behalf of the ADEME, the French government agency in charge of energy and environment. The aim of the study was to provide ADEME with new ideas to strengthen their support to French public organisations. Ten industrialized countries and regions were chosen for investigation.

The study highlighted several trends which are shared by the subject countries and regions:

  • The leverage effect of public procurement is well understood by public organisations. Not only do they include environmental criteria in their procurement policies to be exemplar, but they also aim to encourage environmental innovation in the private sector,
  • Facilitation and support tools are more promoted than legally binding measures. Directives require public organisations’ strong commitment to sustainable development. To encourage implementation, awareness raising campaigns are undertaken at an early stage,
  • Environmental management systems are increasingly being implemented within the public sector. Nevertheless, only progressive administrations, at an advanced stage in eco-responsibility, tend to implement certificated systems such as EMAS or ISO 14001.

An abstract of the study and the slideshow presented to the EMAS article 14 committee in June can be downloaded. For more information, please contact Andrea Malin Cederquist or Aurélie Louguet from Rambøll Management Brussels.


EKJA 5th anniversary conference in Tallinn, Estonia

On 26th August 2008, a conference, dedicated to the 5th anniversary of the Estonian Association for Environmental Management has been arranged. The association was founded in 2003 within the BALTEMA project, which aimed to rise the awareness among Baltic States companies in environmental management. The main objective of the Association is to bring together enterprises, organisations and individuals, who need help, support and information related to corporate environmental management for solving environmental problems, reducing impact o the environment and ensuring the sustainable development of society. The Association would like to act as a moderator between enterprises and state institutions and wider society, while representing and protecting its members’ interests in environmental issues

The conference will focus on the past and future of environmental management development and what have been best practices in Estonia. The second part of the day will provide an overview of best EMS practices identified in the Be-Smarter Network. Please have a look on conference agenda in English.

To register send an email to the EKJA secretariat.


The Lindlar open-air museum - exemplary in environmental management

An ecological open-air museum naturally pays particular attention to the protection of the environment. It is now official that the open-air museum ‘Bergisches Freilichtmuseum des Landschaftsverbandes Rheinland (LVR)’management is lead ecologically.

The EMAS registration document was delivered to the museum by the Duisburg Chamber for Industry and Trade. The ‘Bergische Freilichtmuseum’ is currently the only open-air museum in Germany participating in the EMAS-process.

Authorized, independent environmental consultants had previously examined the operations delivering emissions limitation and the management of, energy, material consumption and waste.

As result of the verifications undertaken, the ‘Bergische Freilichtmuseum’ is now able to use the EMAS logo and will regularly publish an environmental declaration. The Chamber for Industry and Trade Duisburg delivered the certificate as central German registration service.

The LVR is one of the first public services to pursue an ecological improvement through EMAS. The first ecological declaration by the open-air museum is now available and can be downloaded here or ordered through the museum.


EMAS for schools online information library

The “sustainableschools.net†website is a German-language online information service for teachers, specialists in education, staff in school administration and for everyone interested in environmental education. It was established in 1999 and currently has 50,000 to 60,000 visitors per month. The website is an official project as part of the UN Decade of Education †Education for sustainable development“. It contains more and more information and tools on how to implement environmental measures and EMAS in schools. Some of the tools and articles are provided in English.

To visit the website, please click here.


Publication of the 4th edition of the Italian EMAS Newsletter

The 4th edition of the Italian EMAS newsletter has been published. It focuses on:

  • The application of the EMAS regulation in public administrations. Today 95 Italian public administrations are EMAS registered. Currently the sector is at the second place among all EMAS registered sectors.
  • The EMAS GAL – Mongioie Project (Cuneo, Region Piemonte) started in 2006 in co-operation with the Poly University of Turin and involves 43 Municipalities. Its objective is the EMAS registration of all the 43 Municipalities. The project aims to develop synergies and relations among public administrations in favour of a common management of the environmental problems and to improve the development of the territory on a broader scale.
  • The National Action Plan (PAN) to promote Green Public Procurement (GPP) in Italy has been published in the Official Gazette in March 2008. The scope of the PAN is the diffusion of GPP experiences within public administrations, in order to increase the volume of “green purchasing and create a virtuous cycle that directs models of production and consumption towards sustainability in the private sector.

To download the newsletter click here.


Latest News (last update 24th June 2008)

Winners of the European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE) 2008

Four Companies have won the 2008 European Business Awards for the Environment. The winners were announced on the 3rd June by the European Environment Commissioner, Stavros Dimas, at an awards ceremony during the annual Green Week conference in Brussels. The awards recognise "the Best of the Best" businesses that have won awards at national level.

Commissioner Dimas said: "Eco-innovation is the only way in which we can ensure our well-being in the long term and remain competitive. These enterprises have developed pioneering solutions that set an example to their peers and also strengthen their bottom line. I congratulate them on their ingenuity and their achievements."
Given in four categories, the European Business Awards for the Environment recognise European businesses that make a particular contribution to sustainable development by combining innovation, economic viability and environmental concern.

Out of 125 companies that applied for the awards, the jury had selected 11 finalists. The results are as follows:

  • The Co-operative Group Ltd (UK) won the Management Award for its approach to sustainable development. Its Social Goals Strategy identifies the environment as a primary issue. The group identifies and measures key environmental, social and ethical impacts annually.
  • Ertex-solar GmbH (Austria) won the Product Award for its production of high quality photovoltaic products for producing electricity from the sun. The photovoltaic cells use a special safety glass technology whose advantages include widespread application in buildings without the need for special design features.
  • CHOREN GmbH (Germany) won the Process Award for developing a process that produces high-purity biofuel from biomass. The second-generation biofuel, which does not use crops intended for food, is low in pollutants, almost CO2 neutral and compatible with current and future diesel engine technology.
  • The Dutch KIT (Royal Tropical Institute) Holding and their affiliate, Mali BioCarburant SA, won the International Cooperation Award for the production in Mali of sustainable biodiesel from jatropha nuts, a drought-resistant non-food crop that can be grown on non-agricultural land. The fuel, produced and sold by a joint venture company set up by KIT, supplements farmers' incomes, thus reducing poverty.

Please visit the European Business Awards for the Environment website for more information.


Green UN Biodiversity Conference setting standards for major international events

Using resources efficiently, avoiding waste as much as possible, enjoying regionally produced and fairly traded products are the goals of the ambitious environmental concept for the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 9), which was addressed, at the end of May in Bonn, by Federal Environment Minister, Sigmar Gabriel. "This is the first time that we have developed a comprehensive environmental concept for an international event of this size. Our concept can set a standard for future events of this kind".

Large-scale events have a number of special characteristics that have to be taken into account when introducing an environmental management system. Each is a unique event in itself, even if it is repeated, as is the case for CBD COP 9. The environmental impact can differ greatly simply as a result of the different number of participants and the locations from which they have travelled. If the events always take place at a different venue, the internal organisational arrangements are also constantly subject to change, for which the environmental management system has to account if it is to have long-term success.

Some 7,000 participants from 190 countries are taking part in COP 9. The environmental concept includes waste avoidance and reduction, the use of certified green electricity and environmentally friendly transport arrangements with free use of Bonn's public transport for participants. The fleet of passenger vehicles available for individual journeys has an average CO2 emission of only 123 g per kilometre. This corresponds to an average consumption of 4.7 litres per 100 kilometres. The most economic mid-range vehicles are being used, with the cleanest exhaust technology and particulate filters.

Catering is another element of the environmental concept, providing a culinary experience with the theme "diverse/regional/organic/fair". "In keeping with the COP 9 topics, I feel it is important to also incorporate the issue of diversity into the catering," said Gabriel. Diversity among livestock and crop species is currently in dramatic decline. Specialities of the region highlight the importance of using more regional products. The menu includes environmentally sound and healthy organic produce, and products such as fairly traded coffee are also on offer.

A further goal of COP 9 is to reduce its own CO2 emissions. This means avoiding emissions wherever possible, while the unavoidable emissions caused by the meeting will be offset by an emissions removal project. This covers emissions arising from the arrival and departure of the participants, as well as those occurring during their stay and use of transport in Bonn. This offsetting will support a project in Burkina Faso to provide rural areas with access to electricity - diesel generators in villages and small towns will be replaced with biomass gasification plants with an installed capacity of between 20 and 850 kilowatts. Besides saving greenhouse gases amounting to 10,000 tonnes CO2 per year, the project will assist local sustainable development.

As well as implementing the environmental concept, the Federal Environment Ministry is aiming to register COP 9 under EMAS. COP 9 will thus be the first major event organised by a federal ministry to receive EMAS certification. The validation of the environmental statement has taken place on the 26th and 27th of May 2008. In June 2008, an updated environmental statement incorporating the results from COP 9 will be published.

For more information, please visit the UN conference on Biological Diversity website or download the brochure entitled « Green COP - Environmental concept for the 9th Conference on Biological Diversity, Bonn Germany 2008 »


European Parliament in Strasbourg is the first of 3 locations to be EMAS registered

The European Parliament currently employs more than 5,000 civil servants in its three workplaces in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg. It occupies more than 900,000 sqm of office space and uses over 800 tons of paper each year. On top of that, its annual electricity bill comes to around 6 million euros. As Parliament, is heavily involved in environmental legislation. It is a matter of applying the principles that it champions to its own “housekeeping†!

The European Parliament implements EMAS to improve their environmental performance on a regular basis and reduce their carbon footprint. To date, the European Parliament has received EMAS registration in France (for its Strasbourg building) and looks set to follow suit in Belgium and Luxembourg for its buildings in these two countries. †I am proud to say that parliament will then be the first EU institution to be registered for all its activities in our three working places†said Hans-Gert Pöttering.

The institution is actually working hard to reduce its environmental footprint. For example, it has signed an agreement to use 100 per cent green electricity in its three main working places (Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg), saving more than 20,000 tonnes of CO2 each year. In addition, more than 50% of the waste produced by the Parliament is recycled, composted or reused, allowing it to avoid the release of more than 700 tonnes CO2 per year. Parliament is also trying to promote alternative modes of transport for its huge staff, with bicycles available for staff use in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg.


Two Hungarian organizations registered in the second EMASeasy round

After the successful EMASeasy capacity-building project in 2005-2006, a new round of EMASeasy was started in Hungary with the coordination of KÖVET-INEM Hungária (Hungarian Association for Environmentally Aware Management).

Lake Balaton Integration and Development Agency and Local Government of Siófok successfully implemented EMAS with the EMASeasy methodology in 2007, and both got registered in early 2008.

The Local Government of Siófok also participates in the Managing Urban Europe-25 project, whose aim is to improve the environmental quality and sustainability of European cities.

For more information on EMASeasy, click here.


European Sustainable Energy Week 2009 – be part of it!

The 3rd edition of Europe's key forum on sustainable energy will take place from the 9th to 13th of February 2009. Dozens of conferences, workshops, seminars and media events will be organised in Brussels and other places up and down the EU.

Are you interested to organise an event in your city or region as part of EUSEW 2009? More details should become available on the EUSEW website in July.

The EUSEW 2009 is being organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy and Transport and supported by other European institutions and key stakeholders.

For more information, go to the EUSEW website (information on the 2009 event will be added from July).


Neumarkter Lammsbräu brewery Sustainable Development Prize 2008

The EMAS-registered organic beer brewery Neumarkter Lammsbräu published in May 2008 its sustainability report for 2007. The Brewery also organized, for the seventh time, its sustainable development prize for 2008. The prize, of a maximum of 10,000 euro, is given to four categories (enterprises, individuals, partner organisations and schools).

Winners can be anyone who promotes sustainable development through its commitment in the social, ecological or economic areas. The prize will be awarded on the 19th of September 2008 in the festival rooms of the residence in Neumarkt, Germany.

For more information, go to the brewery’s website.


Austrian EMAS-Conference in St. Pölten

The Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, as the Austrian EMAS Competent Body, held its yearly EMAS-Conference on 3rd and 4th of June in the Lower Austrian capital of St. Pölten. Focusing on the subject of "EMAS - confronting climate change" several experts and representatives of registered organisations discussed the possibilities of facing the challenge of global warming and the further increase in atmospherical carbon dioxide.

The participants concluded that EMAS could be a useful tool for these matters, depending on the specific commitment of the responsible managers deciding on appropriate environmental targets - in combination with the improved recognition of these measures from the legislative and administrative authorities. Furthermore, the EMAS-conference provided the backdrop for the celebration of this year’s winners of the Austrian EMAS-Award, which was also awarded for the first time to the best responsible EMAS-managers.

For further information, click here (in German language).


With "environment at the ball" to a sustainable European football championship

UEFA EURO 2008TM (EURO 2008) is taking place between the 7th and 29th of June, bringing the largest European and the world’s third-largest sporting event to Austria and Switzerland. A joint sustainability strategy for EURO 2008 has been developed, setting deliverables in three areas: the environment, the economy and social aspects/culture.

With the aid of the initiative “environment at the ball†, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management wants to make sure that a new ecological course is set around the European football championship. The initiative concentrates on activities of responsible persons, cities, countries and organisations for the environmental protection, in context with football, sports and the UEFA EURO 2008TM. The goal is to keep the environmental impact as low as possible and to achieve a positive environmental balance. Furthermore, the global warming gases should be compensated by effective measures for climate protection and specific projects in Austria. The “green ball†will be awarded to organisations and institutions, which have implemented outstanding ecological measures.

Vienna's Ernst-Happel-Stadion was the first of the four Austrian stadiums to receive the EMAS certificate to improve environmental performance. Carbon dioxide emission at the stadium has been reduced by 35 per cent thanks to schemes such as the installation of photovoltaic panels which help convert solar energy into electricity. The other stadiums in Austria (in Salzburg, Klagenfurt and Innsbruck) will be registered in the next days.

For more information, click here (in German language).


Latest News (last update 26th of May 2008)

EMAS launched in Turkey

At a two-day workshop promoted by the Turkish General Directorate for Environmental Management and its Head of Measurement and Auditing Department, Eyup Yahsi, members of the Directorate and of the Turkish Standards Institution were introduced to the requirements for EMAS and its administration. The delegation of experts, led by the European Commission's Detached National Expert for Environment and Industry, Maria de los Angeles Barrecheguren, included experts from competent bodies in Hungary, Spain and Italy. Administered under the Directorate-General Enlargement of the European Commission's Technical Assistance and Information Exchange (TAIEX) the programme also offered delegates an opportunity to hear of the EMAS Easy scheme currently being promoted by DG Environment across the Community.


Green Week 2008 will take a closer look at the sustainable use of natural resources

From 3rd to the 6th of June in Brussels, Green Week 2008 will take a closer look at the sustainable use of natural resources, focusing on waste management, sustainable consumption and production. The event will provide a unique opportunity for debate and exchanges of experience and best practice among non-governmental organisations, businesses, various levels of government and the public.

Green Week 2008 will try to give answers to questions such as:

  • Can businesses (in sectors such as manufacturing, food production or tourism) remain successful while using resources in a more sustainable way?
  • How is Europe going to deal with the growing mountains of waste?
  • How can consumers shop 'responsibly'?
  • What is the best way to recycle and does it make a difference?
  • It is now urgent to adapt to Climate Change - but how can we combat the effects?
  • How can we switch to using sustainable means of transport?
  • Can big construction projects such as the London Olympics 2012 be truly 'green'?

To take a closer look at the sustainable use of natural resources, four themes were defined:

  • Resources and Waste Management
  • Sustainable Consumption and Production
  • Nature & Biodiversity and,
  • Climate Change.

or registration and to learn more about the programme, please visit the Green Week website.


European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE) 2008

The shortlists for the 2008 European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE) were announced on 12th of March, following a two-day meeting by the jury in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The bi-annual awards were established by the European Commission Environment Directorate- General in 1987 to identify and reward European companies that set an example by combining innovation, economic viability and environmental concern. The winners will be selected from the 11 shortlisted companies and announced in Brussels on 3 June 2008.

"These Awards recompense the activities of the most eco-innovative European companies and play a major role in identifying and promoting best practices,†said Stavros Dimas, European Commissioner for the Environment. “EBAE winners are the best of the best - the most far-sighted, responsible and innovative companies in Europe."
Prizes are awarded in four different categories, covering management practices, products, processes and international co-operation activities that contribute to economic and social development without harming the environment. Some 125 entries were received this year, and the shortlists were selected by an independent jury consisting of 18 high-level experts from various EU Member States. The EBAE competition is open to all companies irrespective of size, from both EU Member States and candidate countries.

There are 3 nominees in the Award section “Management practices†(on the basis of 38 entries):

  • TERR’AVENIR (France): Agriculture and environmental management;
  • The Co-operative Group Ltd (UK): The Co-operative Group’s approach to sustainable development; and
  • TRIIP Ltd (Estonia): Completely integrated environmental and quality management system of printing company.

The award ceremony on the 3rd of June is only on invitation. Please visit the European Business Awards for the Environment website for more information.


EMASEasy methodology available online in 10 languages

With the maxim ’10 people, 10 pages, 10 days’, EMASEasy is designed with small and micro businesses in mind. It is based on the Eco-mapping© concept, where the business is mapped – in terms of both location and internal processes – to identify its environmental aspects. Using simple and sequential tables and prompts, smaller businesses can develop an Environmental Management System (EMS) and either register for EMAS or achieve certification to ISO 14001.

EMASEasy is typically facilitated by a consultant in clusters of, perhaps, five to ten organisations and, apart from the simplicity that the visual mapping process offers, it has proven to be an excellent tool in developing environmental understanding. It has also been demonstrated that certification bodies can achieve certification or verification in clusters in a shorter time than that normally taken.

EMASEasy has been developed by Heinz Werner Engel, executive director of the Belgian based consultancy, Eco-Conseil Entreprise and supported by DG Environment.

To download the EMASEasy methodology in 10 different languages (English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Finish, Russian, Hungarian, Estonian and Latvian), just visit the following website. Other languages will be available soon.


Delegation of members from Bulgaria, Romania and Macedonia (FYROM) participate in capacity building study tour in Belgium and Germany

Representatives of NGOs and business participated in a series of seminars on various environmental management approaches between may 5th and May 10th, 2008. The study tour took place in the framework of the EuropeAid Phare project “Developing the capacity of environmental NGOs, through transfer of best practices from NGOs in the EU25†. The participants represented TIME Foundation (Bulgaria), Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Bulgaria), Kaolin (Bulgaria), Mare Nostrum (Romania), SME Association of Constanta (Romania) and Proaktiva (Macedonia), as well as hosts Groupe One and Eco-Conseil Enterprise (both from Belgium).

The study tour was part of a larger capacity building project aiming to improve the individual and collective capacity of non-governmental and business organizations to participate in the implementation of the EU environmental policy, strengthen the capacity of businesses, remain competitive in the EU market, and achievement of sustainable regional development,

During the 5 days, members of the delegation were introduced to public administration activities towards enterprises, such as Eco-tips for SMEs, Environmental footprint and CO2 calculations for enterprises, toolkits and checklists for initial review in SMEs, Eco-dynamic enterprise labelling system etc. The study tour further included sustainable development indicators, CSR approaches, meetings with top European experts in environmental management systems and tools such as EMASEasy, representatives of the European Commission, the Wallonian Union of Enterprises, the Liege Chamber of Commerce and the Saar-lor-Lux Umweltzentrum (part of the Saarbrucken Chamber of Handicraft).

Further workshops in Romania and Bulgaria are being planned for the month of June, where the partners will work on future strategies for cooperation and application of environmental management approaches, such as EMAS Easy in the partner countries.

To know more about the project, visit Time-Foundation’s website.


REMAS project publishes its latest findings

The REMAS project was a three year, pan-European project to examine the relationship between environmental management systems (EMS) and environmental performance at regulated industrial sites. It focused on demonstrating the benefits of environmental management systems in the context of regulation. It was co-funded by the LIFE Environment Fund, the UK’s Environment Agency, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (in Ireland).

The report on the analysis of final project dataset presents the results of a detailed statistical analysis of the relationship between environmental management systems (EMS) classification, site environmental management activities and environmental performance, using data that has been collected from a sample of over 300 sites, operating across eight industrial sectors in 14 European countries.

The final REMAS project report concludes that there is a relationship between EMS’s and performance driven through better site management activities. A more stringently applied EMS drives a better site environmental performance, although the resultant increase in performance is not necessarily proportionate. This is thought to be due to poor specification of performance requirements by key stakeholders. Revisions to EMAS and IPPC are already proposed to remedy this.

Download the following reports :


EMAS Awards 2008 will focus on the emissions of GHGs, energy consumption and energy efficiency

This year’s edition of the EMAS Awards will focus on the reduction of GHG emissions, energy consumption and energy efficiency.

The EMAS Awards will be organized by the European Commission on 20th of November in Brussels. EMAS Registered organizations that have achieved significant improvements in this topic are invited to contact their national EMAS competent body to submit their application. Best practices could be related to the use of renewable energy, optimization of processes with cleaner technologies, etc.

Further information will be published soon.


The Zittau / Görlitz highschool is reducing its environmental impacts since more than 10 years !

The Zittau / Görlitz highschool started to implement EMAS in summer 1998 and obtained the EMAS registration in 1999. The high school was the first high school in Europe to obtain such recognition. In 2008 the high school successfully revalidated its registration for the 3rd time.

More information about the project here.


German guidance for the for the organization of conferences and other events

The German Federal Ministry of Environment recently published an environmental guidance for the organization of conferences and other events. This 40 pages guidance provides information on the planning and organization of such events, from the catering issues to the purchasing of gifts and the choice of the site of the event. The guidance’s objective is to promote sustainable transport, ensure purchasing of greener products, reduction of energy and water consumption and reduction of waste production.

You can download the guidance here.


Latest News (last update 23rd of April 2008)

CO2 reduction and renewable energy: EMAS Newsletter 1/2008 has been published

Climate change, and the impact on it of energy generation and consumption, is a topic that should, by now, have found its way onto the agendas of most businesses of any significance. The latest European objectives for climate and energy, apart from continuing to support the EU emissions trading scheme (EU ETS), are beginning to promote carbon capture and storage. In its proposal in Brussels, 23.1.2008 COM(2008) 18 final, the Commission proposes a directive which will amend a series of other directives and a regulation to support this. The Commission intends to increase the use of renewable energy sources from the existing 8.5 % to 20 % by 2020, as well as promoting increased awareness of the need for energy efficiency and CO2 reduction.

This edition of the EMAS newsletter identifies the extent to which industry, local authorities and the education sector have embraced the issue and are reducing their emissions:

  • Leicester’s School EMAS programme brings energy savings and renewable energy
  • Volvo Europa Truck NV is the first CO2-free company in Belgium and the first CO2-free automotive factory worldwide
  • Lafarge has reduced its emissions per tonne in cement manufacturing by 20 %
  • Energy savings make Hotel Victoria one of the best perfoming hotels in the world from an environmental perspective

You can read more about these examples here.


The first Competitivemness and Innovation Programme (CIP) call for eco-innovation

Eco-innovation is at the heart of the Environmental Technologies Action Plan that helps bridge the gap between research & development and the market eco-friendly products, technologies, services, processes and management methods across Europe.
Within the framework of the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme, Eco-innovation supports the first application and further market uptake of some of the best eco-innovative products and services in Europe, and helps overcome those critical barriers that still hamper their commercial success.

The first CIP call for eco-innovation is going to be published on 21 of April and will be open until the 11 September.

Priority areas will include (among others):

  • Highly transferable practices, processes and techniques that increase the efficiency and the sustainability of SMEs.
  • Innovative forms of cooperation and knowledge sharing between local enterprises involved in the application of Eco-Management and Audit Schemes (EMAS)
  • Innovative quality assurance systems that enforce eco-compliance and approaches that follow the principles of Integrated Product Policy (e.g. eco-design, eco-label and life cycle approach).
  • Implementation and promotion of environmental criteria for purchasing decisions of enterprises (i.e. greening supply chains, innovative procurement approaches, internalisation of environmental costs across the supply chain).

An information day will be organised the 8 May in Brussels. For more info take a look at the new website.


The European Green Public Procurement Toolkit has been released

The European Commission DG Environment has developped a web-based toolkit on Green Public Procurement that is available on the GPP website.
This toolkit is designed for use by green public procurement trainers or for integration in general public procurement training courses and workshops.

The toolkit consists of 3 independent modules, each designed to overcome a specific problem identified as a barrier to the uptake of Green Public Procurement within a public organisation:

  • A strategic module which seeks to raise the political support for green public procurement within an organisation, targeting in particular decision makers
  • A legal module which seeks to clarify legal issues and is designed for both -strategic and operational levels
  • An operational module aimed at purchasing officers, responsible for the preparation of tender documents ; includes concrete examples of environmental criteria for 11 product and service groups, for use in public tendering procedures.

Download the new web based toolkit on the Green Public Procurement website and use it for effective training of managers and financial, legal and purchasing officers within your organisation.


EMAS Certificate for the Construction Sites and Forestry Management of EGMASA (Andalusia-Spain)



The richness of fauna, flora, landscapes and geologic milestones of Andalusia is not easy to measure. The Mediterranean mountain has to be seen to be appreciated and, as well, to be preserved. Preservation involves, among other things, public respect for the quality of the landscape. This is the spirit of the work undertaken by the forestry work of EGMASA, focused on winning environmental quality.

From 1995, with the creation of the "Consejería de Medio Ambiente de la Junta de Andalucía", EGMASA took up the wide the field of conservation works associated with the natural environment and with the conservation of the ecosystems and public management in the Protected Areas.

In May 2001, the Natural Environment Section of EGMASA started the implementation of an Environmental Management System in accordance with the international standard EN ISO 14001 in the forestry construction sites, with the following scope:

  • Restoration of the natural environment
  • Works on rural infrastructure
  • Forestry
  • Construction of parks and gardens
  • Hydrology Works

In 2003, EGMASA made progress in its public commitment to the environment by registering the Department of Forestry Works towards EMAS.

In May 2004, the scope of the system was extended to the forestry management carried out in the Natural Environment Section of EGMASA, with the aim of adding value to these products, generating a unique feature in the community.

EGMASA has been making remarkable progress, by fulfilling the following targets:

  • Reduction of emissions, consumption of resources and the development of protocols for possible emergency situations caused during the use of light machinery in the Works Department
  • Reduction of the number of hydrocarbon spillages resulting from the use of light machinery
  • Carrying out of an environmental assessment of each work for the personnel technical in the Final Work Report
  • Reduction in the number of hydrocarbons spillages resulting from the use of heavy machinery
  • Reduction of the possibility of theft from and spillages in the hazardous storage
  • Reduction of emergency situations occurring in the year in relation to the total of works
  • Assessment of the environmental performance in the construction sites and forestry management of the Natural Environment Section of EGMASA
  • Decrease of the environmental indicator related to the diesel consumption in daily work in respect to the average during the last five years (saving in diesel consumption)

For further information, visit the website of egmasa or contact Augusto Sánchez Díaz


Release of the Italian EMAS Newsletter

The Italian EMAS competent body and APAT issued the 2nd edition of an electronic EMAS newsletter. Topics treated in this newsletter are especially related to the 10 years of EMAS in Italy. The first Italian EMAS registration dates from1997, somewhat late if compared to other European countries such as the UK, Austria and Germany. However, since the first registration the number of EMAS-registered organisations has progressively increased and, today, Italy is third in the list of EMAS-registered organisations.

APAT estimates that the success of EMAS in Italy is due to:

  • the environmental policy supported by Regions and Municipalities
  • improved administrative facilities
  • economic and fiscal benefits attributed to the implementation of the system
  • specific economic sectors which, independently, decided to win registration

The number of EMAS-registered organisations is different across the various economic sectors. Some sectors - food industry, energy, waste treatment - are more active.
In Italy, the number of registered organisations is increasing when compared with other European countries. This is probably due to the Italian legislation that introduced administrative simplifications and facilities for the registered organisations.

The number of registrations is increasing in the public administrative sector particularly. An important role in the diffusion of EMAS in Italy has been the information campaign conducted by APAT. For the diffusion of EMAS, it is fundamental that the consumers know that, while some companies are interested only in the profit, there are also companies interested in the protection and sustainability of the environment.

This newsletter can be downloaded from APAT’s website.


Second European Verifier Day-Brussels, 20 May 2008

On 20 May 2008, the EMS-Expert Group of the European Federation of Associations of Environmental Professionals (EFAEP) will organize the second European Environmental Verifier Day in Brussels. Planned issues for this event are:

  • Environmental Performance,
  • Environmental Control,
  • EMAS and Sustainability-Reporting,
  • EMAS Easy
  • EMAS III - development and problems/differences with European Accreditation.

Pavel Misiga, Head of Unit "Environment and Industry" at the European Commission Directorate General of the Environment, and his EMAS team will also join the conference.

To get an impression what you can expect from such a conference see agenda and report of the First European Verifier Day at the 25th of May 2007.


"FUNDACIÓN ENTORNO": Impulse of sustainability in the business field

"Fundación Entorno" is a national member of the WBSCD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development), which promotes environmental performance.

Since June 2006, "Fundación Entorno" has operated an Environmental Management System according to the EMAS Regulation. Using this system, the foundation wants to internalize the protection commitment with the sustainable development promoted in the business field.

Their goals are two-fold and mutually reinforcing:

  • To provide better business leadership as a catalyst for change in more sustainable development
  • To support the business’s ‘license to operate’ through innovation and to grow in a world increasingly shaped by sustainable development issues

The objectives for the work program are the following:

  • Business leadership
  • Best practice
  • Global outreach
  • Policy development

The foundation designs, launches and coordinates programs to allow organisations to improve their economic, environmental and social outputs. For this reason, it develops training courses for professionals and promotes conference and lectures.

Working since 1995, "Fundación Entorno" helps companies which want to strengthen their commitment in sustainable development. Currently, it has one hundred partner companies.

With the aim of identifying quickly and clearly its responsibilities, a detailed organisation chart has been created. This helps in the proper and agile implementation of the environmental elements in the organisation.

The fulfilment of objectives is almost 100%, and remarkable among them are the following:

  • Reduction in consumption of hazardous chemicals for cleaning and in the generation of waste of contaminated packaging by 10%
  • Reduction in the generation of waste from print cartridge by 5%
  • Design of a methodology to measure the indirect impact of the activities

For further information see Fundación Entorno’s website


EMAS awards in Catalonia.

The Club EMAS is inviting applications for the EMAS awards in Catalonia as incentive for local organizations.

Those organisations having implemented an outstanding or original action within the framework of their EMS/EMAS programme can send their applications and participate within the following categories:

  • Best environmental statement
  • Best action of involvement/interaction with internal/external interested parties
  • Best environmental achievement.

The awards celebration will be held in Barcelona in November 2008.

For more information, visit the Club EMAS website.


Latest News (last update 23rd of March 2008)

EMAS capacity building in seven southern member states

Representatives of consultancies in Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Portugal, Spain and French gathered during the first Green Fair in Toulouse on 6 & 7 March, to share their country's specific outcomes on the Directorate General Environment-supported EMASeasy capacity building programme that started one year ago.

The invitation was launched by the regional French Association for the Environment (ARPE) which has a longstanding track record in France for supporting SMEs in levelling up their environmental performance

Some interesting results from the project :

  • Trained consultants coached SMEs in very different sectors - hotels, offset printing, environmental services, EMASeasy methodology enthusiastically
  • A number of experiences confirmed that the implementation process for EMAS in a small company can be done during 2 to 7 months and the assistance of external consultants is not needed for more than ten days. Also, external audits based on the lean documentation in small SMEs can, therefore, be performed in one day.

The approach favours a visual and informal communication while involving staff in the effort, but:

  • The cluster approach was only possible in some countries but did allow exchanges between companies, enhancing their capability and their environmental performance improvement,. This is probably a cultural phenomena in island where « competition « among professionals and SMEs does not typically allow innovative approaches
  • The project achieved the first 4 registrations in Cyprus and a trained consultant also brought two Jordanian hotels to a quasi-EMAS registration. In other countries, registrations will follow in 2008 and the networks created will continue to work in EU-funded regional programs such as those in Portugal or Malta
  • The need for competent local EMAS verifiers was particularly stressed by islanders as it is clear that Malta, with 425000 inhabitants, is so small that there is no critical mass in industrial activities to which would promote many verifiers and consultants
  • In some countries, registration costs of up to €750 claimed by public authorities was seen as a barrier in encouraging SMEs to take up EMAS.

First Polish municipal office to be EMAS registered

Trzebinia is situated on the Silesian-Cracovian Plateau, in the western part of Malopolska Province. The commune includes Trzebinia town, whose territory has a population of approximately 34100 inhabitants. Geographically, Trzebinia is a plateau with an area of approximately 105 km2. The complex network of roads around the city and convenient train connections make the town a very important junction, providing good public transport.

On 14 February 2008, the Minister of the Environment registered the Department of Municipal Economy, Environmental Protection, Agriculture and Forestry of Trzebinia Municipal Office under EMAS. That Department, which is one of seven departments of the Municipal Office, is responsible for cleanliness and order in municipality, as well as for environmental protection and housing management.

It is the first Polish local authority registered under EMAS. Since 2004 Trzebinia Municipal Office has participated in the 3-year European Life funded NEST Project "Networking with EMAS for Sustainable Development". The project, involving eleven municipalities across four European countries, aimed to implement EMAS in local authorities in Poland, Hungary and Greece.

The main environmental targets of the Department of Municipal Economy, Environmental Protection, Agriculture and Forestry aimed at improving its environmental performance in waste management and the use of natural resources, including the Office's maintenance and requirements to subcontractors. Recent accomplishments in the management of its direct and indirect environmental aspects have been achieved through:

  • a large territorial selective waste collection for the last 3 years,
  • the collection of asbestos wastes since 2005 (26% increase in amount of disposed wastes in period 2005-2006),
  • a co-financing scheme for the construction of home sewage treatment plants (68% increase in amount of implemented projects in period 2005-2006. In 2005, seven projects were awarded a grant and in 2006, twenty-two projects,
  • a grant scheme for energy efficient heating systems in order to minimize air pollution,
  • improved heating regulation of municipal sites (kindergarten, community center, two health centers, two fire brigade seats),
  • environmental education through co-operation with educational, cultural institutions, NGOs (giving presentations, organizing contests, trips; preparation and printing ecological publications, leaflets; forming nature and educational trails)

Future activities of this EMAS-registered unit concentrate on further development of existing initiatives.

More information on the municipality's website (English version available).


Spanish study shows that environmental strategies are good for small businesses

Environmental policies are good for business, according to new research which explored the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector and found that those with the most proactive environmental policies also had the best financial performance.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are responsible for around 70 per cent of global pollution, including 60 per cent of carbon emissions. They could, therefore, play an important part in reducing the negative effects of industry on the environment. Despite the important role this sector plays in most economies, there has been little research into their environmental strategies and it has been assumed that, due to their small size and lack of resources, few SMEs would go beyond the bare minimum required to comply with environmental legislation. A recent Spanish study directly contradicts this assumption.

The study found that SMEs are well placed to devise and implement effective environmental strategies, due to their unique working culture. Their small size means that they have shorter lines of communication, close personal links, less bureaucracy and the ability to initiate changes quickly. This makes them ideally placed to implement proactive environmental strategies which, the research showed, led to lower costs, improved reputation and better organisational capacity, as well as reduced environmental impact.

Over one hundred automotive garages in southern Spain were involved in the research, the sector having a major potential impact on the environment through noise, high levels of CO2 emissions, high levels of energy and water consumption, use of hazardous materials and dangerous waste. The survey measured the way that garages viewed their environmental performance, how proactive their environmental strategy was, the level of product and process innovations aimed at reducing pollution and the degree of importance given to eco-efficient practices.

Although perceived as lacking in resources, SMEs possess characteristics such as a simple capital structure and an entrepreneurial orientation that can give them a competitive advantage, as well as flexibility in decision-making and close, trust-based relationships with suppliers or subcontractors. The study found that there are three types of strategies used by SMEs:

  • reactive regulatory compliance
  • proactive pollution prevention
  • environmental leadership

Which strategy they adopted was closely linked to characteristics such as shared vision, stakeholder management and proactive strategies. The research concluded that SMEs which exploit a shared vision of a sustainable business are most likely to implement a proactive environmental strategy.

This study called "Environmental strategy and performance in small firms: A resource-based perspective" has been published in the Journal of Environmental Management. For more information, contact Mr J. Alberto Aragon


New information on environmental management projects on the LIFE website

Information on projects co-funded by the European Commission's LIFE programme and related to environmental management (including EMAS) can now be found more easily on the EU LIFE website. Since early March, related project descriptions, publications, videos and articles have been grouped in a thematic section on Environmental management.


Building environmental capacity through EMAS in Russia

The Russian LIFE project Building Environmental Capacity in Municipal Enterprises through EMAS Implementation (MEEMAS) used EMAS to build the capacity necessary to develop a holistic approach to environmental policy-making in Kaliningrad and tackle the environmental threats generated by rapid economic growth. ECAT-Kaliningrad, the project beneficiary, recognised the need for a holistic approach to environmental policy-making, but also that the policy-making and implementation capacity in the area was low. It aimed to introduce EMAS as a methodology for municipal enterprises to systematically manage their environmental activities and services.

The demonstration project developed environmental management systems for Kaliningrad's municipal water and heat supply companies (Vodocanal and Kaliningradteploset). Through network improvements and the replacement of obsolete equipment, Vodocanal reduced water, electricity and heat consumption, as well as chemical substances and polluters in water. Kaliningradteploset reduced emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO), reduced water consumption, closed 26 boiler houses and reduced electricity consumption.

MEEMAS increased the capacity and awareness of local authorities needed for successful long-term environmental management in the public sector and provided good practice examples for municipal enterprises in other areas. The success of the project was demonstrated when the EMAS schemes implemented in the two municipal enterprises were registered in line with the EMAS Regulation and certified according to the ISO 14001 standard.

For more information see the project website.


German Bank with 3rd round of EMAS-revalidation

Mr Tonnellier, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Frankfurt handed out the EMAS registration document to Dr. Georg Stocker of the Frankfurt Credit Union "Frankfurt Sparkasse". Since 1998, it is the third time that an environmental verifier checked the bank in accordance with the requirements of EMAS.

The Frankfurt Sparkasse is one of the first banks in Germany to implement an environmental management system, with the first steps in 1989 up to the first EMAS-Validation in 1998. Ever since, the system has been regularly checked by independent environmental verifiers, including those assessing suitability for an ISO 14001 certificate.

Ecology and Economy in one track: there are quite a few concrete measures which have become part of the continuous improvement cycle, such as waste management, with high money saving potentials up to 80%, and energy-saving printer concepts leading to central printers rather than individual devices.

Electricity from renewable sources: to reduce carbon dioxin emissions, the bank has decided to use green electricity from water power since this year, thus saving 18.000 t of CO2.

In addition to that, the bank is engaged in local sustainability projects, one of which focuses on awareness-raising in schools. The most outstanding project at the moment deals with green city transportation by so called "velotaxis", which are driven by solar energy and by manpower. The new red "velotaxi" of the bank has become an eyecatcher all over the city of Frankfurt.

Download the bank's EMAS environmental statement of 2006 to know more about this initiative.


Latvia's first EMAS-registered SME

Since 2003, PPE Serviss Ltd has manufactured glue for labels (for glass and different kind of plastic containers) for food and drinks manufacturers from Latvia, Lithuania, Germany and other countries. The company, which produced over 700 tons of products in 2007, shows a growing interest in the quality of its products and develops glue formulas according to the clients' individual needs. The staff consists of 5 people: manager, laboratory assistant, technician and two auxiliary workers.

For product quality monitoring and sustainability reasons, PPE Serviss Ltd implemented ISO 9001:2000 in 2005. In 2006, the company began the EMAS implementation process by evaluating its potential environmental impacts and was subsequently verified in compliance with EMAS requirements before the end of 2007. The methodology used was EMAS Easy.

The major environmental actions undertaken by the company are related to:

  • good cooperation with chemical suppliers, where the company reorganised the storage of hazardous material in order to avoid accidents due to bad storage or damaged packaging.
  • the lighting of the industrial premises which contained mercury. The owner decided to improve the lighting system and company personnel have to correctly collect and store used mercury-containing light bulbs.
  • the research department improved the product formulas by replacing, or at least minimizing, the content of hazardous chemicals in the glue. The company provides clear and complete information about use of hazardous chemicals (Safety Sheet) to the customers.

The "Club EMAS": working together to promote EMAS

In June 2006, a group of EMAS-registered organizations in Catalonia (Spain) decided to found an association in order to promote EMAS registration within their social and economic circle and based on their own experience.

Since its very beginning, the association (Club EMAS) and the Catalan Ministry of Environment have been working together to increase the visibility both of EMAS and the EMAS-registered organizations.

Club EMAS is a private, not-for-profit association and it currently has 50 members from different sectors. Small, medium and big enterprises are all working in a co-ordinated way:

  • To improve their own environmental management system by the exchange of information and knowledge among the members of the association.
  • To share their experience with other companies which have not yet implemented EMAS.
  • To have a point of contact with the public administration.
  • To reduce the "gap" between all interested parties.

In less than two years of activity, Club EMAS has carried out different initiatives (seminars, conferences, presentations, etc.) and has started different projects such as:

  • A study on the environmental indicators used by the organizations in their environmental statements.
  • A study on EMAS and environmental risk.
  • A magazine related to EMAS and Ecolabel experiences which has been designed taking into account environmental criteria.

New projects and activities are coming soon. For more details see the Club EMAS website or contact info@clubemas.cat.


High increase of EMAS registrations in Spain

The number of Spanish organisations registering to the EMAS Regulation has increased strongly in recent years. Spain and Italy are unique in demonstrating this growth trend.

Madrid and Catalonia are the two Autonomous Communities with almost half of the national registrations (27% and 23.5 respectively). Galicia is situated in third position with 13%. Next, the Autonomous Communities of Andalusia, Basque Country, Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands have approximately 5% each of the registrations.

In relation to sectoral distribution, the hotel industry is outstanding, with 21% of participation, followed by the chemical industry with 10%. The involvement of the hotel industry in the Autonomous Communities of Andalusia, Balearic Islands and Canary Islands, which have a great tradition in tourism, is very important. At the end of 2007, seventy-three “Paradores de Turismo†were registered, representing 9% of the organisations registered in Spain.

The service sector represents 57% of the total companies involved in EMAS, beating the European Union total of 40%, the German total of 37% and the Italian total of 32%.

Likewise, the Competent Bodies affirmed that organisations favour EMAS over the international standard ISO 1400, as the growth rate of EMAS is now higher than the one for ISO 14001 certifications.

You can read the success story of EMAS in Spain in the original here.


Györ municipality is EMAS registered

Györ is a mellow and colourful Hungarian town situated half way between Vienna and Budapest, and hosting a vast array of architectural, cultural and natural treasures. The radial road network of the settlement connects the town, the heart of Kisalföld ("The Small Plains"), with Slovakia to the north, Austria to the west, Lake Balaton to the south and Budapest from to the east to the Györ-Pér airport opened not long ago making the town accessible by air as well.

Györ is Hungary's second richest town, in terms of historic buildings, outside Budapest and has won a European award for the protection of these historic buildings and as an acknowledgment of the reconstruction of the Baroque centre of the town. Churches, palaces, museums, characteristic corner-balconies and narrow lanes, all reminders of a historic past, invite visitors to take a walk in the centre of the town.

After several years of pilot projects, the Györ local authority office has finally completed the implementation of EMAS, which was actively helped by the environmental experts of AUDI (the first EMAS-registered company in Hungary), which is located in Györ.

The main objectives of the Györ administration are the efficient use of resources, the implementation of sustainable approaches in decision making, the improvement of waste management in the city, the development of environmentally friendly transport and the raising of environmental awareness among citizens.

The local authority is, for example, studying energy efficient solutions for street lighting and the reduction in fuel use for the maintenance of green areas.

For more information contact Mr. Zoltán Pápai.


Waste- the EU Headache: EMAS Newsletter 4/07 has been published

As a follow-up of the EMAS Awards, the most recent EMAS newsletter investigates how organisations nominated for the Awards and Award winners Municipality of Telfs (AT), Multiprint Ltd. (AT), Gustavsberg AB (Sweden) and Grundfos A/B (Denmark) have integrated innovative strategies for waste reduction into their EMAS.

The average EU citizen discharges some 3,5 tons of waste derived from the products consumed annually. All counter-measures against the pile, other than avoiding waste, create by-products such as land-use and discharge of effluents, CO2 and CH4 (methane) from landfills or toxic air emissions and loss of energy from incineration. Moreover, producers become increasingly dependent from raw materials which become under pressure on the heated raw material markets. Subsequently, this newsletter presents some of the up-to-date technologies which are ready at hand to stop the waste limbo.

Here are some examples:

  • On-demand production of circuit boards optimized on the computer regarding resource consumption
  • Siemens Medical Solutions pays the delivery cost for waste X-ray tubes sent back for re-use of parts
  • Afvalzorg heats and cools its new headquarters from landfill emissions
  • Valle Stura e Orba heats municipal buildings fuelled by local waste wood harvest by GIS programme
  • Reduction of de-greasing bath liquids by 70% through multi-bath approach

You can read more about the EU winners here.


Enterprise Europe network takes off with Euroinfocentres on board

The new single Enterprise Europe Network, which was launched on Feb 6th, is a significant initiative to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop their full potential and innovative capacity, said Vice-President Günther Verheugen. It will integrate current networks and their services into one significant centralized support network.

The Enterprise Europe Network is present in more than 40 countries, with around 4 000 experienced staff in 600 local partner organisations providing expert advice and services to EU businesses. Euroinfocentres have been taken on-board to better assist in the information transfer for SMEs.

The Enterprise Europe Network provides detailed information on its activities here.


Innovation: EMAS organisations rank high in Austrian Innovation Award

For the 28th time, the Austrian Innovation Award “Staatspreis für Innovation†has been handed over to Lumitech, a company based in former Target 1 area Burgenland, for its strikingly new technology of PI-LEDs. The newly developed technology for light emitting diodes saves 85% of electricity compared to ordinary bulbs and lives 30,000 hours, 30 times longer than an ordinary bulb.

Out of 529 contributions to the Austrian Innovation award, 22 companies have been made it to the final round. Three EMAS registered companies among them demonstrate the high level link between EMAS and innovative Research and Development Departments:

Mahle Filter Systems Austria Ltd. was nominated for its exhaust gas remitting valve for engines (diesel and fuel), which helps reducing CO2 and NOx emissions by re-introducing the exhaust gas into the combustion process.

Embatex passed on to the final group of 22 with its production and testing process for the recycling of ink cartridges.

M-Real Hallein introduced its “value added paper†, a single coated paper which allows the same printing quality on a lighter paper, thus reducing costs for the customer by 12% (and paper consumption, as well).

Lumitech presents its PI-LED technology on its web site (in German).


EMAS Easy capacity building in its third round

Since 2005, the European Commission has supported the outreach of EMAS Easy in the Member States. EMAS Easy is a lightly documented and innovative approach to the implementation of the EMAS regulation in micro, small and medium sized enterprises.

A first capacity building programme was organised in five new Member States in 2005. This programme was designed to build capacity within the environmental consulting and auditing community. A group of experts and consultants in each of the selected Member States was coached on the EMAS Easy and Ecomapping methodology. Using the ‘train the trainer’ approach, they have been spreading a simple and efficient way of applying this approach to the EMAS Scheme.

This project was completed and successfully demonstrated that it is perfectly possible to implement EMAS in very small organisations and to create an effective engagement of these types of organisations in implementing EMAS. In view of these results, the Directorate General Environment decided to extend the experience gained with the pilot project to all EU Member States. In 2007, an EMAS Easy capacity building programme was carried out in Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Cyprus, Malta and Greece. Some of the consultants that were trained in these countries will be invited to present their experiences in a conference in Toulouse during the EnviroSud Fair on the 7th of March 2008.

Meanwhile, success has already been achieved in two companies in Cyprus. Nicos Menicos of Podium Engineering said: « EMAS Easy? It is easy, clear and implemental methodology without any particular financial burden on a small enterprise ».

In the case of Soroka Fuels Ltd, an enterprise with 23 fuel tanker trucks, EMAS Easy assisted the upgrade of the company’s fleet from Euro 3 to Euro 5 emission specification engines. This meant fuel efficiency while less climate change emissions. German verifier Dr. Kühnemann said: “It is a great pleasure for me to meet people who work on environmental affairs in a really professional and forward looking way†.

This year there will be an EMAS Easy capacity building programme carried out in Ireland, UK, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Czech Republic and Slovenia.

Visit the EMAS Easy / Ecomapping website for more information.

EMAS is changing the face of North Milan’s industrial areas

SENOMI (Sustainable EMAS North Milan) is a Life Environment funded project that aims to apply the EMAS regulation to the North Milan area; in particular, to two industrial districts present in the city of Sesto San Giovanni: Falck Concordia Sud (33,600 sq m, with 21 SMEs) and Breda Cimimontubi (12,900 sq m with 26 SMEs).

The opportunity arose from the regeneration of old industrial sites. Tens of small and medium-sized enterprises have grown around the site, resulting in hundreds of new jobs. However, it is not just the specialist nature of the new industries. Using the environment as a focus and, employing sustainability indicators from the North Milan Agenda 21 programme, a project, entitled Sustainable EMAS North Milan (SENOMI), was launched in 2000 to carry forward a strategic action plan. This plan identified strategic, territorial, economic and environmental priorities and is intended to deliver quality of life and environmental improvements by 2010.

The project has embraced partnerships with academic, community and business leaders in the area and has identified significant concerns about the waste management, air pollution, energy consumption, effluent, land usage and mobility. In developing its EMAS programme to manage these issues, the SENOMI Management Body has undertaken the management and auditing of the district’s common areas and services – waste, parks and gardens, water, energy, etc., collaborating with public and private bodies to improve environmental performance.

Immediate successes in the programme include:

  • new, separated waste collection and road cleaning with an improved frequency of door-to-door collections
  • the appointment of a district representative to support new solutions to the problems of mobility
  • the dissemination of information on energy efficiency and energy saving and the appointment of an energy manager for the district
  • the signing of an agreement with an integrated water distribution service with a view to sharing information on consumption and effluent which will improve district performance.

Since its efforts to obtain EMAS registration were launched in 2006, the SENOMI project has paid special attention to communications with its stakeholders, publishing reports and newsletters to inform them about the steps to the EMAS verification. A last key element in the development of EMAS is the SENOMI website, which provides opportunities for sharing information with partners, experts and community members.

Read the project output here and in the related Layman’s report.


Danes to update green accounting requirements

A Danish government working group has drawn up recommendations for "modernising and simplifying" its green accounting law for firms, which dates from 1995 and was last revised in 2002. Proposals include mandatory filing every three years instead of annually, tougher green public purchasing requirements, and relief from some procedures for companies applying environmental management systems such as EMAS or ISO14001, of which there are currently 110 and 800 respectively. Draft legislation should emerge by the autumn, the environment ministry said. See press release and report plus green accounting developments to date (English).



Latest News (last updated 23rd of January 2008)

More EMAS registrations ever in 2007!

2007 was a very good year for EMAS. The countries where EMAS made the most progress are Italy (+ 32 % registrations), Spain (+ 26 % registrations), Portugal (+ 15 % registrations), and Greece (+ 9.8 % registrations).

In a total, there were never more companies, institutions, public authorities and service operators registered under EMAS: The all time high of December 2001 has been exceeded by to record number of 3935 organisations. There are now nearly 6000 registered EMAS sites all over Europe. Both Italy and Spain registered more than 1000 sites in the past year. Today, more than 1.35 Million people work under EMAS.

EMAS becomes also better known in the new member states: Seven organisations became registered in Poland, Latvia welcomed it's first 8 registrations among which local authorities of the "EMAS 4 New Members States" project, funded under the European LIFE-Environment programme and Romania got its first registration as well.


Ministry of Baden Württemberg (Germany) passes EMAS audit for the third time

As the first EMAS registered Ministry in Germany, the Ministry of the Environment has received the EMAS certificate for the third time. "The acknowledged and independent verifier has audited the environmental management of the ministry thoroughly and testifies that the ministry fulfils the requirements of EMAS", announced in Stuttgart Tanja Gönner, Environmental Minister in charge

Minister Gönner pointed out that EMAS aimed at the optimization in resources consumption and at avoiding waste and emissions. For example, starting from an already very low level, the consumption of electricity fell by almost 5% since 2002. “In addition, our management system reviews also indirect aspects, which arise from the content work of the ministry,“ Mrs. Gönner added. The strategy for sustainability in Baden Württemberg which has been finalized in 2007, earned points from the verifier. Another positive indirect aspects is the adoption of the Environmental Plan: a programme dedicated to the ministry’s mission, containing clearly defined and quantifiable targets and implementation steps. Two of the targets foresee an annual one percent reduction of energy and water consumption.

After the ministry has registered for EMAS as a frontrunner among the German ministries in 2001, it underwent the demanding and thourough audit procedure for the third time. Minister Gönner stressed the ministry's leading role for promoting EMAS by saying "The ministry promotes EMAS and wants to underscore its commitment by acting as a leader in environmental management."

Read more from the Ministry of Environment in Baden-Württemberg and the original article in German here.


Sustainability report from former EMAS Award winner receives ASRA award

The best sustainability reports in Austria were awarded the Austrian Sustainability Reporting Award (ASRA). In the category of small and medium size enterprises the former European EMAS Award winner Engelbrechtsmüller Chimney Sweep in Waidhofen an der Ybbs won the first prize with a sustainability report titled "Heart and Soul".
The "Heart and Soul sustainability report", written according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines, shakes the reader and polarises him. By presenting pictures of unspoilt nature against pictures of flooding, poverty, waste water and landfills, the report creates quite an anxiety within a few pages.But nevertheless, it serves as an Environmental Statement!.

Engelbrechtsmüller has improved its environmental performance continually in the past years: the emissions of Green House Gas CO2 have been reduced by 5 Tons through new cars from 2004 to 2006.

Within only two years, the enterprise managed to encourage 5% of it’s customers to swap from fossil fuelled heating systems to renewable energy systems. The EMAS forest planted by the company grows by binding Carbon dioxide. For 2008 and 2009 the company strives for even more demanding targets: "Much achieved. Much too less," is their motto. Engelbrechtsmüller stresses that in Austria, Europe and even world wide there is still a lot to do.
Peter Engelbrechtsmüller follows a clear cut way: After ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification in March of 2000, the chimney sweep achieved EMAS registration in 2001. The small enterprise earned an Austrian EMAS Award in October 2002, a second place in ASRA 2004 and an EU EMAS-Award in 2005.

Download the Sustainability report and environmental statement (PDF)


Final Conference "Managing a Sustainable Future for Cities and Regions" February 12-13, Berlin

Managing Urban Europe-25 (MUE-25) is the largest European project so far of on cities' environmental management systems (EMS). Running since 2005 it will come to an end in 2008. MUE-25 aims to improve the environmental quality and sustainability of 25 European cities by delivering a framework for better implementation of existing environmental management systems like EMAS, ISO 14001 and ecoBUDGET.

Managing Urban Europe-25 will arrange its final conference in Berlin February 12-13, 2008. The conference will highlight the experiences of the 25 pilot cities which have implemented the integrated management system developed in the project. It will also discuss how the model can be mainstreamed in EU27 as a framework for local sustainability.

The MUE-25 model of an integrated management system has been taken up in the recently published guidance on the Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment. The model offers a key for cities and regions willing to fulfil EU policies such as Lisbon Agenda, EU Sustainable Development Strategy, Leipzig Charter on European Sustainable Cities, Aalborg Commitments, etc. It builds on EMAS while widening the scope to include all sustainability dimensions and operates at the heart of a city's strategic planning processes.

The conference will feature key note speakers as well as city presentations and workshops.

Download the Registration form and the Draft Conference Programme.


The « North-Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) saves energy » promotion week

Last October the citizens around Hoexter in Germany were offered the opportunity to get information about Environmental Management during an exhibition about « Sustainable Energy Economy » at the local authority building of Hoexter. The local authority itself delivers a good example of practicing a sustainable and environmental management.

The local authority of Hoexter is already EMAS registered since 1999 and has committed itself to respecting best environmental practices. The administration managed to reduce its energy consumption for heating by 62 % and it's CO2 emissions by 65 %, this allowed them to save 2 Million Euros in heating from 1996 to 2006 . In 2003 they were awarded for the « Best Practice Example » by the regional government of North-Rhine-Westphalia.

Read the press article in German.


Environmentally conscious hoteliers in Freiburg won the « Solar prize »

The German Solar Prize was awarded to the Best Western Premier Hotel Victoria in Freiburg on October 6th. The owners of the hotel, Astrid und Bertram Späth, were very proud of this prize rewarding the «owners of facilities which run with renewable energies». Their involvement towards the environment is exemplary and they hope to scatter the seeds among their colleagues.

It isn't the first time the hotel environmental improvements are awarded, already in 2001 the hotel was awarded as "best environmental hotel in the world".

The couple Späth is proud of the EMAS registration of their hotel since 2006.

Visit the hotel website



Latest News (last updated 16th of December 2007)

European EMAS Awards: Sweden, Denmark and Austria took home the Awards.

The Directorate General Environment of the European Commission is proud to announce the winners of the European EMAS Awards 2007 in the ceremony on the EXPO 1998 area in Lisbon. The European EMAS Award is the most prestigious award in environmental management and has been handed to top companies and local authorities since 2005.

Thirty two representatives of the most successful EMAS-registered organisations collected their EMAS Awards in the ceremony and enjoyed an evening of discussion and informal exchange with colleagues from Europe and the representatives of the European Commission.

For the EMAS Award: Sweden, Denmark and Austria took home the Awards.

Winners were:

  • Grundfos, Danish manufacturer of pumps (category above 250 employees)
  • Gustafsberg AB, producer of eco-designed sanitary equipment (category 50-249 employees),
  • Multiprint Ltd., on-demand manufacturing of closed circuit boards in Austria (category 10-49 employees)
  • Environmental office, municipality of Telfs, Austria (category micro)

From left to right: Jörgen Hjelesen (Grundfos A/S, Denmark), Monika Koberger ( Multiprint Ltd, Austria), Helena Källström and Mats Anderson (Gustavsberg AB, Sweden), Michael Raffelsberger and Christoph Schaffenrath (Municipality of Telfs, Austria)

Visit the EMAS Awards website or download the full information.


Environmental Compliance Assistance Programme (ECAP) to help small and medium-sized companies become greener

Helping small and medium-sized companies use energy and resources efficiently is the aim of a recently published Commission Communication (COM(2007) 379) which proposes to create a programme to help small and medium-sized companies implement European environmental legislation.

The Environmental Compliance Assistance Programme (ECAP) proposed by the Commission is a set of measures that aim to help small and medium-sized companies minimise the environmental impact of their activities and to facilitate compliance with existing legislation. The Programme intends to reduce the burden of compliance by designing instruments and policies to integrate environmental concerns into the core of SME activities.

The programme will channel financial resources towards support networks, simplify access to environmental management systems and promote greater awareness of environmental issues among these companies.

The measures presented in the Communication also cover the dissemination of information specifically targeted at small and medium-sized companies, promoting support networks and training activities that build local environmental expertise.

Funding for the Programme's measures will come from LIFE+ funds (€5 million for 2007-13) with additional funds to be made available through the Competitiveness and Innovation framework Programme (CIP) and the Structural Funds.

Several measures are already planned for 2007:

  • a website providing information on EU environmental policy for SMEs is now available in seven languages
  • guides on energy efficiency, air emissions, soil and water and waste are planned
  • workshops presenting ECAP are currently organised in several member states (see the agenda).

For more information, please download the COM (2007) 379 final, the press release or visit the SME and environment website.


EMAS Helpdesk at the Pollutec Fair in Paris, France

With more than 40 000 visitors each year and 1500 exhibitors, the French Pollutec Fair is the biggest annual meeting place on environmental technologies in France.

With only 17 organisations registered, EMAS has achieved no great success in France, where ISO 14001 has been much more promoted. After the national stakeholder consultation and round tables on the future French environmental strategy “Grenelle†, the French Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Planning and Development decided it was time to give better visibility to EMAS in France.

The EMAS Helpdesk was represented at the famous Pollutec Fair in Paris, France, from the 27th to the 30th of November 2007. The French Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Planning and Development was kind enough to host the EMAS Helpdesk staff on their stand. Due to the recycled cardboard materials used, the stand has won the Pollutec 2007 eco-design award.

A conference on EMAS for small and medium sized companies took place in the open conference places at the fair on the 29th of November. More than 90 people attended the conference, which presented the latest trends on EMAS and its revision process, the ECAP for SMEs and tools to implement EMAS, like EMAS Easy.

It also presented the German cluster approach to the promotion of EMAS within craft companies and some auditors gave inside views on auditing small businesses.

Read the fair report or visit the Pollutec 2007 website.


EMAS in the Romanian Metropolitan Area of Oradea - the first EMAS registration in Romania!

The Oradea Metropolitan Area Association was founded on May the 9th 2005, with founding partners from the municipality of Oradea and the villages of Biharia, Bors, Cetariu, Nojorid, Osorhei, Paleu, Sînmartin and Sîntandrei.

Its objectives were the:

  • Alignment of Oradea Metroplitan Area with Euro-Atlantic economical and social standards,
  • development in the Oradea Metropolitan Area of a market climate in accordance with international competitive procedures;
  • Increase in the socio-economical cohesion in Oradea Metropolitan Area.

EMAS Commitment: The Oradea Metropolitan Area Association is committed to protecting and improving the local environment and playing its part in seeking solutions to global problems. EMAS (Eco Management and Audit Scheme) encourages Oradea Metropolitan Area Association to put environmental considerations at the heart of its policymaking and service provision and set targets for continuous improvement in its environmental performance. EMAS also enables the Association to promote environmental awareness and set an example of good environmental practice.

For its environmental objectives, the municipality has clearly defined initiatives on resource consumption, energy efficiency, waste minimisation and recycling, clean water, safe and healthy lifestyles, sustainable transport and tourism and improvements to the built and natural environment.

With a budget of some €600 000, the municipality is already making substantial progress on many of these. The validation statement, published in 2007, includes ambitious targets for energy efficiency in the built environment, encapsulated in the graph below. It is intended to reduce energy consumption to 50% of the 2006 level of consumption by 2027/2028.

For other information’s about the association’s integrated management system, please contact Mrs. Camelia Lata or visit the association’s website.


Forum Fair about EMAS registration in Italy

The first Forum Fair about EMAS registration took place the 21-23 September 2007, in Bienno, province of Brescia. The occasion offered the different EMAS-registered organisations to discuss the advantages and difficulties of the scheme during the workshops and meetings.

From these discussions, it was noted that:

  • EMAS-registered firms don’t benefit from any significant competitive commercial advantage because the EMAS logo remains largely unrecognised
  • there are currently insufficient advantages with public authorities, who are also largely unaware of EMAS;
  • the financial institutions (banks and insurances) have yet to recognise the value of an EMAS registration and do not offer discounted fees and other incentives;

Some advantages of EMAS were also highlighted during the discussions :

  • EMAS-registered firms realised internal advantages, with real benefits
  • local authorities have established a data base about their buildings and activities.
  • EMAS involves long term programme and decision making
  • EMAS helped recognise sustainable development instruments, Green Public Procurement, sustainable accounting and sustainable tourism.

The Fair was an ideal location for networking and the creation of a site to meet each other and promote EMAS organisations, public and private. The hope is to extend the second fair to more organisations from Italy and Europe, in order to improve EMAS awareness.

More information on the Bienno Fair outcomes.


The majority of Thüringer enterprises declare that EMAS brings economical advantages

The Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Agriculture in Thuringia has carried out a survey on the application of environmental management systems. The questions were addressed to 269 businesses and the evaluation was recently published.

Why do enterprises in Thuringia take part in EMAS? Do they want to improve the image of the enterprise or do they want to optimize the use of the resources or, is it because of the improvements in legal compliance?

  • 2/3 of the interviewees said that participation in EMAS brings economic advantages
  • a large majority of enterprises asked for external help and were able to integrate the new management system in less than a year.
  • the improved credibility of the enterprise resulting from the environmental statement, which is used as a communication and marketing instrument, is widely recognised.

But, most of the enterprises criticised the fact that their environmental achievements are not widely published and, therefore, there is only a small recognition.
Only half of the companies were aware of the benefits of having EMAS, regarding administration relief (facilities/reliefs of fees).

Read the evaluation of the EMAS survey in Thuringia (in german) and watch the graphical results.


New LIFE Focus brochure: Best LIFE Environment projects 2006-2007

Some of the LIFE-Environment projects are just like that little, a bit better than the rest. Indeed, they can be held up as models for others as to what a successful, innovative, well-designed and executed project should look like! With this in mind, the Commission has selected, for the third time, a group of 22 of the most outstanding LIFE Environment projects. Best LIFE Environment Projects 2006-2007 tells the story of each of these outstanding initiatives.

One of these stories is presenting the very successful EMAS registration of the University of Macedonia (UoM) in Thessaloniki. This experience has been included in one of last year’s EMAS newsletters on EMAS for the education sector.

Download the "Best LIFE Environment Projects 2006-2007" brochure.


On its way to EMAS, the Municipality of Marrakech was certified to ISO 14001:2004 in July 2007

The Marrakemas project (Marrakech Environmental Management and Audit Scheme) was co-founded by the European Commission with the “LIFE Third Countries Programme†in 2004.

This project engaged the beneficiary (Municipality of Marrakech), 2 Moroccan partners and 5 Italian Partners for 2 years, with a financial amount of about 589.200 euros, 70% co-funded by the EC. The partnership involved several Italian and Moroccan local authorities and the scientific coordination and support for the implementation phases required by the EMAS Regulation were carried out by the Sant’Anna School of Pisa.

The main objective of the project was to experimentally apply EMAS to the services of the Municipality of Marrakech. On its way to EMAS, the Municipality of Marrakech was certified to ISO 14001:2004 in July 2007.

Marrakech is the forth City in Morocco, with around 879,000 inhabitants and having an area of 190,42 Km2. Situated in the interior of middle Morocco, just north of the High Atlas mountains, on the Haouz plain and south of the seasonal river Wadi Tensift, it is a commercial and tourist centre, attracting about 1,5 million of tourists per year. Because of its tourism and its increasing attention to environmental sustainability, the Municipality of the city considers environmental protection as a priority, as confirmed by the establishment of its Local Agenda 21 process in 2002.

The experimental approach of the Marrakemas project allowed the Municipality to align its structures and services to the requirements of ISO 14001, obtaining the first environmental certification of a public institution in Africa. At the same time, it undertook to develop EMAS, including a deeper attention to external communication (and the publication of an environmental statement), for employee awareness and for the “indirect†environmental aspects, such as all the environmental aspects of the city – at territorial level – linked to the Municipality activities.

For example: the construction of a new landfill for the waste of the town is in accordance with the actual European standard (i.e. recovery of biogas, complete waterproofing, etc.); the planting of 40.000 new plants within two years in the local palm grove and the implementation of micro-irrigation systems in the urban green areas to optimise the management of water in the irrigation activities.

However, some efforts need to be made to better involve the employees at the lower levels. The hindrance to progress is that the language of all operational documents (i.e. environmental procedures) is published only in French and not yet in Arabic.

Visit the Marrakemas website for more information.


German Verifiers go to Cyprus

Before EMAS Easy After EMAS Easy
Bad practices during the provision of services with high risk of hazardous waste spillage and ground water contamination

Cyprus is not just about sun, sea and holiday making but also about incorporating environmental standards in its business sector. Three years after accession, the country has achieved its first four EMAS verified Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Thanks to a very simplified methodology promoted in EMAS Easy, verification of SMEs has become a more straightforward taskle task.

Four SMEs employing 3 to 40 individuals launched their initial environmental reviews in June and, by November, they were in a position to undergo a verification audit.

Nicos Menicos, of Podium Engineering said: “EMAS Easy, it is an easy, clear methodology without any particular financial burden on a small enterprise†.

Being a new member state, Cyprus’ compliance to the EU environmental aquis is enormous on a national level let alone on a small enterprise. Many new legislative requirements, such as the monitoring and recording of hazardous waste, are still unknown to many enterprises in the country. EMAS Easy made it easy for four EMAS-verified SMEs to comply with such requirements.

In the case of Soroka Fuels Ltd, an enterprise with 23 fuel tanker trucks, EMAS Easy encouraged the upgrading its fleet from Euro 3 to Euro 5 engine emission standards. This meant greater fuel efficiency with less greenhouse gas emissions.

German verifier Dr. Kühnemann said: “It is a great pleasure for me to meet people who work on environmental affairs in a real professional and forward looking wayâ€

The implementation of EMAS was assisted by the Cyprus Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment.



Latest News (last updated 23rd of October 2007)

EU EMAS Award ceremony

Oceanario de Lisboa, Portugal
Nov. 19th, 7.30 p.m.

Info about the winners available on Nov. 20th from the event web site:
www.emasawards2007.eu

European Commission received 32 nominations for EU EMAS Award

On November 19th, 32 companies, public authorities and institutions run for the EU EMAS Awards in the Lisbon. Since its revival in 2005, several astonishing organisations have won the EU award through their unusual, committed and elaborate approaches in promoting EMAS, both to the authorities, the employees and to customers. A list of previous winners has been included by the organizers.

The nominees from 13 EU Member States plus Norway made it especially difficult for the jury of experts to decide on this year's winners: By making innovative waste management the topic, the European Commission honoured the ever increasing demand for a more thorough approach of Europe's companies and municipalities towards the avoiding, separation, re-use and recycling of waste. While some countries nominated only industrial companies, the topic of waste management offered plenty of fine examples of waste management organisations and municipalities. Comparison of achievements, which organisations have reached under EMAS, was difficult therefore.

And innovation was the word to follow: The municipality of Valli Stura e Orba (Italy) has implemented a Geographic Information System (GIS) for waste wood from mountain forests. The system offers the best method to harvest fallen wood and dead trees from mountain regions without disturbing the eco-systems. The wood chips replace oil and gas in the heating of the municipality.
Industria de Turbo Propulsores ITP (Spain), a leading producer of plain engines and propellers, has reduced the oily emulsion waste in the period 2003-2006 by 54% (equals 143,700 kg), and in 2006 installed a vacuum evaporating-concentrator for further reduction.

These are just a few examples for what EMAS can achieve. Portugal's Minister of the Environment, Francisco Nunes Correia and Timo Makela, Director General of DG Environment, will hand over the prestigious EMAS Awards.

For more information about the EU EMAS Awards, the programme and previous winners, view the event web site.


EMAS at the European Open Days of the Committee of Regions

60 participants have taken home new info about EMAS from the event titled: «Eco-efficient SMEs: Environmental management, eco-label and green public procurement as a driver for structural changes»

Far right: Speakers Nigel Carter (EMAS Helpdesk), Cécile Des Abbayes (Eco-label Helpdesk), Jenny Lawson (Euro-Info Centre Bradford), Rafal Serafin (Polish Clean Business Programme)

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have a primary role to play in shifting the European economy to more sustainable production and consumption patterns, as they make up a large part of Europe's economy. They also contribute to up to 70% of all industrial pollution in the EU, so just like large companies they exert considerable pressures on the environment. For many SMEs, becoming more energy and resource efficient is also a crucial condition to increase their competitiveness. The Commission is in the process of revising both the EMAS and the Eco-label Regulations, with the aim to set them as the European benchmark for enterprises which intend to integrate environmental concerns into their business operations, either at company level (EMAS) or for a specific product (Eco-label).

In addition the increasing share of Green Public Procurement done by local, regional and national authorities act as a strong driver for eco-innovation, the promotion of sustainable production and consumption and for the uptake of cleaner technologies in businesses. To further promote Green Procurement, the Commission is working on a Communication on green public procurement covering targets, indicators and tender specifications and action to widen the greening also to private sector supply chains.

The new instruments of the Cohesion Policy 2007-13 allow substantial funds for Member States for investments in environmental protection, especially for SMEs.
One of the priority categories of expenditure for the new European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund refers to "assistance to SMEs for the promotion of environmentally-friendly products and production processes (introduction of effective environment managing system, adoption and use of pollution prevention technologies, integration of clean technologies into firm production)". Also the new European Social Fund includes among its objectives training and information in SMEs on "eco-friendly technologies and management skills".

View the presentation and summary here.


EMAS success for the Belgian Federal Public Service for Mobility and Transport

Meeting of the Ministry's Internal Cell for Sustainable Development managing EMAS, 16th of July 2007

The Belgian Federal Public Service for Mobility and Transport has been registered under the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). This means that the ministry, the first of the larger federal ministries to obtain EMAS, has established a management system which ensures that environmental protection is integrated into its policy, the management of its buildings, its vehicle fleet and its logistics services.

According to Michel Damar, President of the ministry's Management Committee, "The transport sector as a whole must face key challenges in terms of environmental standards and Belgium's commitments under the Kyoto protocol. In this context, it is logical that the federal ministry responsible for transport should set an example and have its own policies in favour of environmental protection. A validated EMAS statement is a second step in the ministry's voluntary approach, following the signing by all members of the management committee, of the Ministry's environmental charter.

The ministry's environmental policy, signed by the Management Committee in June 2006, commits it to minimising the direct environmental impacts of its daily operations; to ensuring that it has a well-functioning sustainable development team; to the systematic integration of environmental protection in the laws and regulations for which it is responsible and, finally, to the pursuit of continual improvement in its own environmental performance. The key measures to reduce the impacts of its day-to-day operations are the prevention and reduction of waste, reduced paper consumption, eco-consumption and sustainable purchasing, reduced energy and water consumption and the implementation and on-going adaptation of the staff mobility and transport plan.

While Belgium's greenhouse gas emissions have more or less stabilised since 1990, the levels in 2004 did not meet with the Kyoto targets. The transport sector comes third, behind the heating of buildings and industry, in terms of the generation of greenhouse gas emissions. The transport sector experienced 29% growth between 1990 and 2005 and is continuing to grow. In 2005, road transport of people and goods represented 95.5% of the transport sector's total greenhouse gas emissions. In this worrying context, the Federal Ministry for Transport and Mobility believes it is essential to set a positive example by integrating environmental issues in the way it manages its buildings, vehicle fleet and logistics services as well as its core activities, the policies and legislation for which it is responsible.

For more information, please contact Jozef Lacquet, EMAS responsible for good housekeeping, or Marc Roman, EMAS Manager, responsible for the integration of environmental protection in laws and regulations and visit the website of the organisation


The Island of Mainau has received two more awards for it's environmental management!

Tower on the island of Mainau. (Photo: Plant Construction Dept./University of Stuttgart)

Countess Sonja Bernadotte has won this year's environmental manager prize "B.A.U.M.-Umweltpreis" for her initiative in establishing environmental management on the island of Mainau. The initiative is intended to make the island front runner in the tourism sector for environmental protection and sustainability. It was because of her pioneering work that Mainau was the first tourist enterprise and, so far, the only botanical garden in Europe since 1998 registered under EMAS.

On the island of Mainau, five willow towers have been erected in a circuit, displaying information. The towers provide space for installations that give information on the island's EMAS environmental management system. On the Island of Flowers, as Mainau is also called, EMAS has put the emphasis on environmental protection.

In 2006, the information display circuit won the EU EMAS Awards for the best environmental communication. This award was given by the European Commission in order to highlight the important contribution made by the Mainau towers of living plants. The team designed a bird observation tower, the "bird lookout" for the Bavarian state horticultural show in Waldkirchen. "It is our first two-storey building with a roof," says Ludwig. The observation platform can hold up to ten people.


Public Sector EMS Networking Event in the UK

The Public Sector EMS Networking Event, held on the 26th July 2007 at Leeds Town Hall was a huge success. Celebrating the success of the Department for the Environment, Farming and the Rural Areas (DEFRA)-funded EMS networking project, and to show that environmental management systems are an excellent tool to help public sector organisations improve their environmental performance, groups from the north east, north west, south east and south west of England, the East Midlands and Humberside attended.

Starting in August 2006, the EMS Networking Project is managed by Kirklees Council, financially supported by DEFRA and provides a support network for public sector organisations who are registered or certified to an environmental management system, or who are working towards one.

Awards, with prizes donated by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), were made for case studies with the winners of the three categories being:

  • Energy - Rushcliffe Borough Council
  • Environmental Communication - Leicester City Council
  • Environmental Innovation - Bradford City Council

Further groups are currently being established in the West Midlands, East of England and London with the aim of 100% coverage across all Government Office Regions by the end of 2007.

If you would like to know more about the network or would like to become a member please contact Adele Wiseman by phone on +44 (0)1484 223565 or email her.


Holidays with EMAS

The TENDA camping and leisure park is situated on the foot of the Wendelstein mountain, adjacent to the biggest fruit growing area in southern Germany. Since his takeover in the year 2002, the manager, Mr. Ulrich Thoma, has aimed to arrange the campground in an increasingly environmentally friendly way. He is using EMAS to assist him with this objective.

Mr. Thoma is ensuring that protection for the environment does not diminish the comfort or the quality of the campground. Indeed, the 4 star campground still offers a heated swimming- and paddling pool but the energy supply has changed. "We are now heating our pools with solar energy" declares Thoma.

Since energy is an important issue on a campground with about hundred thousand (100.000) over night stays per year, further initiatives have been implemented during recent years. The application of condensating boiler technology is one example. A plant which provides waste heat recovery was installed in the community building. The washing machines are provided with a warm water supply which is regulated by a corresponding controller. Energy saving lamps are in use to a large extent on the camping ground. Additionally, the sanitary buildings are split into zones which have individual light switches. The light switches in the wing for women are separated from those for men and even the toilets, showers and washing facilities can be individually illuminated. Big rooms are separated into different zones and the outside lighting is using an infra-red sensor.

As well as the installation of technical and electrical novelties which help to protect the environment, the campground manager likes to encourage his guests to live their holidays in an environmentally-friendly way. He does this with different information and communication on his work to protect the environment on the campground and promotes this through the offer of environmentally-friendly leisure activities, such as bike rental.

A natural playground and a herb garden contribute raising the environmental awareness of his visitors.

For more information, visit the TENDA camping website.

Cementos Portland Valderrivas goes green!

Grupo Cementos Portland Valderrivas has made a commitment to commercial improvements aimed beyond the mere strict observance of the current regulation regarding the production of cement, concrete, aggregates and mortar.

This commitment is manifested through investments in:

  • Measuring and monitoring equipment for mining and production activities with the objective to better identify potential environmental improvements.
  • Restoration of the land exploited for the mining and production of cement, concrete, dry goods and mortar.
  • Rationalization and optimization of the energy required in all production processes.
  • Application of technologies that contribute to a better and more efficient process management.

Currently, only one cement-manufacturing centre of Cementos Portland Valderrivas is EMAS-registered but the Group wants to implement EMAS in all its 6 centres.

Since 2003, the company has made environmental investments costing more than 6 000 000 euro in their plants. These investments helped them to :

  • use best practice environmental options for a better control of emissions, e.g. the reduction of particle emissions in clinker production processes by installing gauge filters in the plants at Hontoria and Alcalá de Guadaira (Sevilla)
  • reduce the consumption of natural resources, e.g. energy, thanks to the optimization of the processing and destruction of meat flour at the Hontoria plant (Palencia).

Organisational changes led to an improvement in waste management and a significant reduction in hazardous waste generation.

The Group has received the Environmental Award of the Regional Government of Madrid in 2005.

The first German EMASeasy-Cluster has reached its goal: New approach brings positive results exceeding all expectations!

At the end of July, the first EMASeasy cluster in Germany, a pilot project managed by the Modell Hohenlohe e.V. and financed by the Ministry of Environment and Transportation of the German Federal State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, was successfully completed, with the EMAS-verification and validation of the environmental declarations of the following companies:

  • Kölle GmbH, Vaihingen/Enz,
  • Drölle GmbH, Schwäbisch Hall-Sulzdorf
  • Mayer Kältetechnik GmbH, Kupferzell
  • Rogatti Bewegungstechnik KG, Auenwald-Däfern and
  • Kraushaar Metallverarbeitung GmbH, Neuenstein.

The size of the registered SMEs varies between 12 and about 70 employees. Four participants belong to the metal-processing sector and one company provides air-conditioning services and refrigeration technology.

It took only nine months to achieve the EMAS registrations, from the first EMASeasy workshop (all the companies were registered within the space of 3 weeks) to the finish in July. With this success, the EMASeasy Cluster has surpassed all other cluster projects managed by Modell Hohenlohe e.V., despite the fact that the project was employing new concepts.

One picture says a thousand words - it was with this conviction that Heinz Werner Engel, developed the Eco-mapping and EMASeasy tool for the Brussels Region Development Company in the mid-1990's. The tool uses pictorial elements to compile the environmental management system in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The co-operation, between Heinz-Werner Engel of Eco-conseil Entreprise (Brussels) and Dr. Stefan Müssig of the consulting company W.U.Q.M. (Würzburg), has helped the EMASeasy Cluster companies to 'picture' their company and operations in the truest meaning of the word.

Modell Hohenlohe e.V. was given the task of testing the EMASEasy approach by the Ministry for the Environment of Baden-Württemberg in October 2006 as a company research project. The resources provided under the research project enabled the participating companies to minimise their external costs.

The external verifier who audited the environmental management systems of the cluster companies auditor was able to give his seal of approval and certify that environmental management is fully integrated in the companies' operations and activities and that all EMAS requirements are met.

All participating companies expressed their happiness with the motivational and clearly-structured EMASeasy approach, which places special value on workers' participation.

Visit the Modell Hohenlohe or the ecomapping/EMASeasy website for more information.



Latest News (last updated 23 August 2007)

EMAS Newsletter on Green Public Procurement

The second edition of the EMAS Newsletter focuses on EMAS and Green Public Procurement. Green Public Procurement offers a huge market for development in reducing a range of environmental impacts from the production, use and disposal of goods and services of all kinds.

Evidence shows that EMAS can be used either as a tool to improve green purchasing practices in public administrations (as in the Italian environmental agency of Tuscany (ARPAT)), or to boost SMEs in the service and construction sector, in adopting an EMS and improving environmental performance of their products and services and related processes.

The LEAP project described in this newsletter focused on the relationship between EMAS and Green Public Procurement. The members of the project presented a series of eight different tools with which to better implement green public procurement practises inside a public administration.

Download the Newsletter here.


European EMAS Awards 2007

The European Commission, Directorate General Environment has the pleasure to announce the European EMAS Awards 2007, which will be presented on 19 November 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal.

These Awards will be rewarding the "Waste management: the reduction of the amount of waste produced by EMAS registered organisations" (by, e.g., new method of reuse, material recovery, conversion into energy, etc.), in the following categories:

  • Micro-organisations: < 10 employees and annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet total not exceeding € 2 million
  • Small organisations: > 10 to < 50 employees and annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet total not exceeding € 10 million
  • Medium organisations: > 50 to 250 employees and annual turnover not exceeding € 50 million and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding € 43 million
  • Large organisations: > 250 employees and annual turnover of more than € 50 million and/or an annual balance sheet total of more than € 43 million

This award is open to all EMAS registered organisations, from industrial, service or public sector. Only one nominee per Member State in each of the four above categories can be announced to the jury by the registration units of the Member States’ authorities (Member State EMAS Competent Bodies), through the submission of a completed questionnaire to your national competent body.

View the list of competent bodies in the different member states here.


Germany starts Internet campaign for EMAS

In Germany, at the beginning of July 2007, the Federal Environmental Ministry and the German EMAS Committee (Environmental Verification Committee - UGA) launched an internet campaign to promote EMAS. The title of the campaign is „Innovative. Sustainable. Aware of the environment. We for EMAS.â€

More than 40 VIPs lent their time to promote EMAS. Among them are well known managers of the car production industry, such as DaimlerChrysler and Volkswagen, politicians, leaders of trade unions and environmental associations and even representatives of the different churches. Environmental Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, and the State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Economy supported the Campaign with press releases to give it more public attention.

Among others, Prof. Dr. Hans-Gert Poettering, newly elected President of the European Parliament, supported the campaign with a clear statement: „To act in a sustainable way means to take responsibility. Therefore, the European parliament decided in December 2006 that, in its energy report, all European Union buildings have to aim, in the future, for a CO2-neutral state. There, EMAS will help us.“ The European Parliament, with its different sites in Brussels and Luxemburg, and about 5.000 employees, has been committed to EMAS since last autumn.


Austria holds its EMAS Conference 2007

The Austrian EMAS Conference 2007 has been held in Salzburg on the 19 and 20th of June 2007.

On the 19th of June, after a site visit to the EMAS registered enterprise« M-real Hallein AG », the participants to the conference enjoyed the evening with a concert reception in the residence of the City and County of Salzburg.

On the 20th of June, the conference opened with speeches by Mr Jörg Harbring, President of M-real Hallein AG, and Mr Günther Auer, managing director of the Salzburg airport.

Apart from delivering the Austrian EMAS Awards, environmental communication was the main topic of the EMAS 2007 conference.

Austrian Minister of the Environment Josef Pröll pointed out that “environmental commitment for enterprises today is more than one key word. Environmental communication becomes, therefore, an important factor, in order to communicate to customers, neighbours and workers the environmental impacts of an organisation’s activity in a transparent and effective way. †The environmental statement fulfils these requirements.

The assignment of the EMAS award has a long tradition and is very well perceived by the private sector. Ten enterprises received the Austrian EMAS awards 2007 from the Minister of the Environment, Mr. Pröll. Among them were:

  • Laufen Austria AG
  • Multiprint Elektronik GmbH & SKE Ing. Karl Koberger Spezial Elektronik
  • Magistratsabteilung 48 der Stadt Wien
  • Bildungshaus St. Virgil
  • M-real Hallein AG
  • Stora Enso Timber AG Ybbs
  • Marktgemeinde Telfs
  • Tiroler Flughafenbetriebsgesellschaft m.b.H
  • Voesalpine Schienen GmbH
  • Magistrat Waidhofen/Ybbs

Apart from the EMAS awards that were distributed, four recently EMAS-registered organisations received their official EMAS registration from the hands of Austrian Environmental Minister:

  • ÖAMTC Wien (National Automobile Club)
  • Senoplast Klepsch & Co GmbH
  • Marktgemeinde Telfs
  • Stift St. Georgen

More info about EMAS in Austria is available from this page


LIFE-Third Countries 1992-2006 - supporting Europe’s neighbours in building capacity for environmental policy and action

The European LIFE-Third Countries programme (LIFE-TCY) has co-financed numerous projects supporting the development of environmental policy and management capabilities in EU-bordering regions. Some of the many achievements of the programme are illustrated in a new publication, which outlines 15 years of LIFE-TCY.

Some of the capacity building measures surrounded the introduction of management tools such as EMAS or ISO 14001.

Very different organisations from the public and the private sector benefit from capacity building measures. In Tunisia, a project focused on the strengthening of environmental performance in industry through the introduction of EMAS and ISO 14001 to small and medium sized enterprises.

In Russia, the “MEEMAS†project helped to implement EMAS in a local government, the municipality of St. Petersburg, while the Lebanese “SPASI†project aimed to assist the Ministry of Environment in reinforcing the system of permits, monitoring and evaluation in the industrial sector.


European Commission supports EMAS implementation in the municipalities of Latvia

Local authorities in Latvia and in other new member states are facing many similar environmental problems, such as air, water and soil pollution, waste, uncontrolled resource consumption, urban decay, etc. As practice shows, local authorities can be an important contributor to environmental degradation and that is why they have to increase the efficiency of their environmental performance.

EMAS provides organizations with a systematic approach to the solution of their environmental problems, but the system is not widely used as yet by municipalities of the new member states. The “EMAS 4 New Members States†project, funded under the European LIFE-Environment programme, specially aimed to increase the number of EMAS-registered local authorities in a new member state, Latvia.

The main objectives of the project were:

  • to demonstrate and promote EMAS to local authorities of new member states, using Latvia as a role model;
  • to introduce new, effective tools for EMAS implementation and dissemination;
  • to assist new member states in their integration process to the EU, introducing EU environmental regulation.

The project focused on municipalities from 5 regional clusters. Out of the project, two municipalities are currently preparing an application for EMAS registration and 5 more municipalities are currently being verified.

The website of the project contains the workshop materials and specific, step-by-step guidance for local authorities willing to implement EMAS.

Check out the handbook drafted for local authorities under the LIFE project under this address.


During the Euro 2008 football tournament it’s not only the lawn that will be "beautifully green"

So that the UEFA Euro 2008 TM tournament becomes an ecologically sound event, Austrian Environmental Minister Josef Pröll and his Swiss colleague, Moritz Leuenberger, togehter with the Euro 2008-Tournament director Christian Schmölzer signed a "Charter for Sustainable Development" on 25.06.2007.

Four football stadiums in Austria will be EMAS-registered before the beginning of the UEFA Euro 2008 TM tournament and these registrations will be maintained and used for further matches after the 2008 tournament, announced Austrian Environmental Minister, Josef Pröll. Mobility, integrated waste management and the avoidance of unnecessary advertising material are on the agenda, as well as attempting to make the tournament carbon-neutral.

Read the press article


German Evangelist Church Day conference is, for the first time, EMAS-registered

Federal Minister for the Environment, Sigmar Gabriel, has given the 31st Evangelist Church day conference in Cologne it’s official EMAS registration. He praised the responsible persons for the fact that “they have not only noticed how strongly they load the environment during such a conference, but from these concerns they have also drawn conclusions and taken positive measures†.

Since 2001, the Church day conferences have offered a good overview of their ecological balance. The central office building in Fulda has been EMAS-registered for some years to support their environmental management. It is, however, the first time that the entire, large "church day conference" meeting has been distinguished with EMAS.

For more information about the environmental programme of the Churchday Conference click here.

source: Environmental verification committee Germany (UGA)


Radio Vatican: Green Limburg

The diocese of Limburg in Germany has submitted, for the first time, an EMAS- validated environmental statement. The administrative head of the diocese, Günther Geis, received on the 23st of July from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce a registration certificate on the verified environmental management system in place.

With a logo at the entrance of the bishop’s office (Ordinariat), the diocese of Limburg now shows to visitors that it considers all its significant environmental impacts and has introduced an environmental management system for continuous improvement. The 36-item environmental statement will be sent to more than 300 churches which are member of the diocese.

For more information, click here



Latest News (last updated 24 June 2007)

The National Park of Teide on the Canary Islands has received EMAs registration as the first in Spain

The National Park of Teide has received the EMAS certificate, becoming the first Spanish Protected Natural Park to get this environmental accreditation and the second in Europe.

The National Park had to pass a group of audits to obtain the certification, in which the organisation demonstrated its high commitment to environmental protection, managed under EMAS. AENOR has been the organisation charged to carry out the studies to guarantee that the National Park of Teide comply with the EMAS requirements.

The studies for the implementation in the National Park began in 2002 with the technical-legal assessment by AENOR in all the sites of the Protected Natural Park. The target of these tests was to know the compliance with the EMAS Regulation and the environmental legislation.

The National Park of Teide, in the achievement of the EMAS certification, has become in the milestone for Spanish national parks, thus giving evidence for the correct management of the environmental in the park.

The effort of the park management set out to obtain the verification has pushed forward the commitment of the Canary Government to better support pioneer organisations which want to be registered under EMAS.

The government intends to improve the availability of economic resources and to start information campaigns for citizens and organisations.

Source: Canary Government


First Romanian EMAS for Small and Medium sized Enterprises conference in Bucharest on the 12th and 13th of July 2007

The European Commission Technical Assistance Information Exchange Instrument of DG Enlargement is organising, in co-operation with the Romanian Ministry of Environment and Water Management, the First National conference on EMAS for Small and Medium sized Enterprises in Bucharest on the 12th and 13th of July

The EMAS Regulation was implemented in the Romanian legislation through Ministry Order no 50/2004. In 2006 a first national conference focused on EMAS for local authorities. Due to the success of last year's conference, this year's event will be focused on promoting organizations' participation in EMAS, with a special focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The target group will include NGOs, sectorial associations, etc.

During the first day of the conference, the EMAS Team, Environment Directorate General, Unit G2, European Commission representatives, will present the EMAS regulation and the revision process. The role of the competent bodies and the verifiers will also be specified.

The second day of the conference will focus on practical tools and experiences of EMAS implementation in Small and Medium Sized Enterprise and service sectors. Heinz Werner Engel will represent the EMAS Helpdesk. Together with the Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation, he will present new approaches to the implementation of EMAS in small organisations - the EMAS Easy methodology, illustrated with Romanian and other new member state experiences. The Federal Environment Agency of Austria will present the Eco Business Plan initiatives.

For more information contact Mrs. Felicia Ioana, counsellor at the Romanian Ministry of Environment and Water Management (MEWM)


Bulgarian Local Authorities were introduced to EMAS and its benefits

The second seminar on the implementation of EMAS in Bulgaria took place in the town of Lukovit on June 4-5, 2007. The first of two seminars for local authorities was held in the framework of the project "Support for the promotion of EMAS in Bulgaria", lead by TIME Foundation, and financed by the EC Phare "Civil Society Development 2004" Programme.

The seminar, named "Local authorities and EMAS", was hosted by the partner organization, Regional Association of Municipalities "Central Stara Planina", and was also attended by the Rousse Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Green Bourgas Foundation, also partners in the project.

Local authorities are key partners in the regional economy of the country. As the governmental structure which are closest to the citizens, they have an important influence on conduct and attitude towards the environment. Through their environmentally sound policies and activities, local authorities can engage themselves, not only for their own benefit, but also as a role model for their local communities.

EMAS can provide local authorities with a structured framework for managing and improving their own environmental performance. There are a number of indirect environmental aspects immediately connected to the activities of local authorities, such as public procurement, transport, planning, etc. By means of a voluntary instrument like EMAS, local authorities are able to control and minimize such aspects, and demonstrate to society the meaning of "responsible policy".

The participants in the seminar were introduced to the main elements of the scheme, as well as the legislative changes, stemming from the integration of the EC Regulation 761/2001 into the national legislation. A detailed presentation was made on the responsibilities of local authorities on their road towards EMAS registration. Furthermore, several examples of good practices, the experience of Spain and the role of consumers and consumer organizations were presented. Ms Mihalkova, from the State Agency for Tourism, presented the meeting points between EMAS and the opportunities for municipalities to develop sustainable tourism and, respectively, existing and future means for financing such activities.

The number of EMAS registered public organizations in Europe is growing every year - now 197, but most of these are in Western Europe. Therefore, Bulgaria is facing the opportunity of becoming a leader among new Member States in this area, by increasing the uptake of EMAS among its local authorities.


Environmentally-sound Cable Recycling registers to EMAS

KMR Kabel-Metall-Recycling GmbH is a true Small and Medium Sized Enterprise. It developed, since it's establishment 10 years ago from 15 employees and a turnover of €1 million to more than 35 employees and over €30 million turnover. KMR operates the largest and highest performance cable recycling plant in Europe, converting 1000 t of waste cable to high-quality copper and aluminium granulates each month.

Hans Peter Zmrzly, CEO; describes why KMR decided to participate in EMAS: "The recycling of cable wastes, large transformers and generators requires, beside the technology and qualified staff, a high level of responsibility for the environment, because special materials used in the isolation of the cables frequently leads to hazardous wastes".

Since 2000 the KMR, has been certified as a waste management facility and, in December 2005, the first verification and validation of EMAS was successfully completed. Similarly, the basic work for an integrated environment, quality and safety management system was implemented and completed successfully at the end of 2006. Regular training, verification of the technical personnel, recurring technical verification and provision of occupational medicine is guaranteed.

Even if certificaton requires a certain effort - at KMR this means about 750 working hours - it pays off...' In Germany, the price is more relevant than environmental aspects', rues Zmrsly. But, a big foreign customer prefers KMR because of its EMAS validation.

For more information, visit Kabel-Metall-Recycling GmbH's website

Source: Environmental Verification Committee Germany (UGA)


The Life EMAS COMPASS PLUS project has started in the Czech Republic

The European funded EMAS COMPASS PLUS project is a capacity building project for the implementation of EMAS in the local authorities of new member states. The project will be running from 2007 to 2008 and aims to :

  1. to set up an EMAS system in twelve identified municipalities;
  2. to concentrate efforts on four core environmental areas relevant to the administration: air emissions (climate change), waste management, city-transport management and green procurement in the process of their EMAS registration;
  3. to prepare them to act in the future as EMAS mentors and, thereby, be able to extend EMAS know-how to others in their countries. The approach to follow would be the one set out in the previously-successful, EU-funded COMPASS project that ended with the award ceremony in Ravenna (IT), February 2006; and
  4. in that sense, by the end of the contract, the contractor will propose the Commission national clusters of four or five municipalities willing to be mentored in the implementation of EMAS by their national participating municipality(ies) listed below. To this end, the contractor will work in co-operation with the national competent bodies.

The Commission has called upon the EMAS competent bodies in the New Member States to obtain the names of the municipalities interested in participating in the project. Twelve municipalities in seven countries replied to the call for interest, thereby showing their commitment to the implementation of the scheme:

  • VSETIN (CZ)
  • CHRUDIM (CZ)
  • KOPRIVNICE (CZ)
  • PARNU (ET)
  • BUDAPEST (HU)
  • PANEVEZYS (LT)
  • ALYTUS (LT)
  • MIEJSKIN GLIWICACH (PL)
  • MIASTA RACIBORZ (PL)
  • MANBOR (SL)
  • VALENJE (SL)
  • MARSASCALA (MA)

Two « two-day » practical workshops will be held in each of the seven countries. The first workshop will aim at advising council leaders, executive directors responsible for the environment policy and environmental officers on the benefits of applying EMAS in the four areas identified above. Also, they will serve to plan the work ahead and to seek full support throughout the project.

In the Czech Republic, there are currently 3 cities involved in the project (Vsetin, Chridum and Koprivnice). The first workshop has been held at the Ministry of Environment on the 10th and 11th of April 2007. Four representatives of two cities were trained in EMAS and its implementation on the basis of case studies and examples of environmental measures for local authorities, with a special focus on indirect aspects (e.g. Green Public Procurement policy and scanning planning activities). Delegates were also trained on how to use an Excel-based toolkit for the identification of municipality activities, relevant environmental aspects, their significance, evaluation etc.

In the coming months, the cities will start an EMAS implementation programme under the supervision of the Environmental Ministry, the EMAS Agency (we plan a few visits and presentations and training in participating cities) and Global To Local (support with internet and phone consultations). Then, there will be a second workshop in the beginning of 2008 to check if cities are ready for the audit and verification process.

For more information, visit the EMAS COMPASS PLUS project website.


German Ministry of Environment supports a national Conference on EMAS Easy for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises.

As result of the German project "Vereinfachtes Umweltmanagementsystem für KMU nach Europäischem Vorbild (EMAS Easy)", co-financed by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU), the application of the EMAS Easy tool, with current examples or experiences both at home and abroad, was presented at a conference on 12th June 2007, in the Bundesumweltministerium (BMU) in Bonn.

After the "warm-up" with a short exercise on EMAS Easy and words of welcome by Verena Exner (DBU) and Anette Schmidt-Ränsch (BMU), Dr. Stefan Muessig and Jürgen Paeger presented the contents and outcomes of the project:

  • about 40 people - experienced consultants, verifiers, multipliiers - were trained in the EMAS easy-methodology,
  • a German brochure and internet-website were created
  • some EMAS Easy cluster projects were launched.

Through contributions from Mathilde Angeleri (France), Roger Carthew (Australia), Dr. Sabine Mitterer (Austria) and Heinz-Werner Engel (Belgium), international applications and experiences with ISO/EMAS easy were shown, identying how the concept has spread progressively.

To the main theme, Kurt Weissenbach (Modell Hohenlohe), Sibylle Hepting-Hug (Umweltministerium BW) and Kurt Goebgen (Kölle Metallbau GmbH), representing the Small and Medium sized Enterprise-sector, reported the first German experiences with EMAS easy in the current pilot cluster-project of 6 companies, supported by the Umweltministerium Baden-Württemberg.

To sum up the contributions and discussions: EMAS Easy is a logical, effective, motivational concept, appropriate for workers' participation, and approved in practice for the implementation of a certifiable Environmental Management Systems in Small and Medium sized Enterprises, especially in cluster-projects. By using this tool to address Small and Medium sized Enterprise requirements for adapted methodology, it leads, for example, to reduced documentationt, cost-effective consultancy and the more easy achievement of verification.

You will find some more information under www.hwk-saarland.de, www.emaseasy.de or www.ecomapping.de.


EMAS for Danish fisheries

Majken Muus Meyer with the diploma demonstrating environmental responsibility (Foto: Karin Riggelsen)

The Rens Dambrug ApS fishery of Olaf and Majken Muus Meyer has received a diploma from the Green Network of Southern Jytland (Grønt Netværk Sønderjylland) for the second time since 2004. The fishery, from Rens in Denmark, is mainly interested in the marketing opportunities from its environmental activities.

In October 2004, the fish farm in Rens received its initial acknowledgement for sound environmental management. The second time around, Majken Muus Meyer was as delighted as she was when she received the diploma for the first time, even though it does not come with any direct financial benefits. She says: "Unfortunately no, we have no direct benefits, but it is more important to us that our customers learn about our environmentally-sound and quality-driven fish production."

Quality was the start line for the Muus Meyers, who opted for an ISO 9001 certification as documented evidence of quality.

EMAS registration was selected as the next step in management systems, because EMAS represents the company's commitment towards a better environment and for fulfilling more than just that which legal requirements ask for.

The EMAS registration guarantees full transparency for customers and visitors to the farm. One of the major environmental improvements is the redevelopment of the fish basins, which now use ground water instead of water from the nearby meadow called Schnäpel.

Other fisheries that have taken up EMAS in Europe include :

  • Luso Hispania de Acuicultura, S.L., Valdoviño (A CORUÑA) (ES)
  • INSUAMAR, S.L., Xove (ES)
  • Impianto Ittiogenico della Provincia di Perugia, Cerreto di Spoleto (IT)
  • Azienda Agricola Troticoltura Epifani Felicetto, Croce di Visso (IT)
  • Azienda Agricola Troticoltura Eredi Rossi Silvio di Rossi Niccola, Sefro (IT)
  • Azienda Agraria Santocore e C. snc, Cerreto di Spoleto (IT)
  • Ittica Tranquilli s.r.l., Preci (IT)

Source : Der Nordschleswiger, Skibbroen 4, 6200 Aabenraa, Denmark


The biggest Hospital in Latvia is the first EMAS-registered organization in the Country

On Thursday June 14, Latvian Environmental Minister Raimonds Vejonis presented an EMAS certificate to the biggest Latvian hospital - "Paul Stradins University Hospital", making it the first EMAS-registered organization in Latvia.

The Paul Stradins University Hospital is one of the biggest hospitals in Latvia, providing a wide range of medical services, including a full spectra of urgent and planned medical care, as well as postgraduate education and scientific research. The medical service complex is situated in Riga, the capital of Latvia and covers an area of nearly 16 hectares. The hospital has an annual attendance of nearly 42 000 inpatients and more than 152 000 outpatients. The number of employees is almost three thousand.

The environmental management system (EMAS) is implemented in the whole hospital, covering all medical services. This result was achieved, with the help of experts from Latvia and Germany, in less than 2 years. "It would not have been possible without the dedication of our environmental working group and the active involvement of all staff members" says chairman of the board of the hospital, Dr. Arnolds Atis Veinbergs. He also expressed his gratitude to German Environmental Fund and Latvian Environmental Protection Fund for their financial support.

"It is a great challenge to implement an environmental management system in such a big and complex organization as Paul Stradins University hospital", says the Environmental Minister of Latvia. "There are so many environmental aspects and impacts to be reduced. I am proud of the results have been achieved in such a short period of time".

"The greatest achievement in implementing EMAS in the hospital is the maintenance of the best standards of care for our patients, at the same time reducing the environmental impacts of our activities" - admits the chairman of the board of the hospital.

Environmental Minister Vejonis visits Paul Stradins University Hospital

Every day, Paul Stradins University Hospital releases large amounts of waste, including medical waste, waste water and other emissions. A lot of water, energy and, especially, chemical substances are used. With the help of EMAS process, the hospital have achieved a lot in reducing its negative impacts but, the greatest gratification for its staff is the improved waste management and the handling of hazardous chemical substances in a safe and proper way. "Nevertheless, there is still a lot to do in future years" says chairman of the board of the hospital.

In concluding the ceremony, Environmental minister Raimonds Vejonis remarked that the initiatives the Paul Stradins University Hospital has taken, supporting the integration of sustainable development principles in day-to-day work, is a great achievement in the context of the realization of the state's environmental policy.

As well as the registration of the hospital, two municipalities are currently preparing an application for EMAS registration and 5 more municipalities are currently being verified. These municipalities are part of the Life « EMAS4NewStates » project.

Those first verifications are being followed by two ISO 14001 EMS auditors, who are currently going through the procedure for accreditation as EMAS verifiers, administered by the National Accreditation Body.


Italian regional environmental agency of Lombardia boosts dialogue between EMAS registered organisations and public institutions

The commune of Bienno (BS) in Italy, with the support of Lombardy Region and the partnership of ArpaLombardia, is organizing, for the first time in Italy in its medieval village, the environmental registration fair "Think gGlobal, Act Local".

The event will take place on 21st, 22nd, 23rd September 2007, with two specific objectives:

  1. 1. the creation of a meeting-point for public and private EMAS-registered organisations, giving them more visibility and increasing the value of their environmental performance. Exhibition stands for the organisations willl be available for the organisations to present themselves to the public.
  2. 2. boosting a dialogue between registered organisations and public institutions, to enable a better understanding of the advantages, difficulties and limits of registration. In promoting this objective, ISO 14001-certified organisations will be involved to debate the passage to EMAS and its opportunities. Insurance companies, banks, national, regional and provincial Institutions will also be involved to give a real testimony of their experiences as EMAS registered organisations.

The Fair will offer spaces for exhibitions by public and private EMAS-registered organisations, as well as workshops for registered and non-registered EMAS organisations, to enable the presentation of the different experiences that have been derived from the development of EMAS programmes. A special roundtable will be dedicated to EMAS-registered organisations, in which they will illustrate the results of the workshop and build a dialogue with the institutions (Comitato EMAS-Ecolabel, ARPA e Regione in its different sectors), to understand the real perspectives of development of EMAS and the advantages to advantages Lombardy.

Contact : Sara Morandini, commune of Bienno (BS) in Italy - Phone/Fax 0039 0364-300307 from Monday to Friday 14.00-18.00



Latest News (last updated 24 May 2007)

EMAS exhibition and conference under the Green Week 2007

Different activities around EMAS will take place during the 2007 edition of the Green Week:

  • There will be a shared EMAS/Ecolabel information stand at the Green Week’s exhibition site in the “Cinquantenaire Park†. The exhibition will be open to the public from 3rd June (for the Brussels' Environmental Day - "Fête de l'Environnement") until the end of Green Week on 15th June. From the 3rd to 8th of June the stand will be hosted by the Ecolabel team from DG Environment and the Ecolabel helpdesk. They will also promote information on EMAS. From the 11th to the 15th of June, the EMAS team of DG ENV and the EMAS Helpdesk will host the stand.
  • Conferences will be organised at the exhibition site during lunchtime on the 4th and 11th of June. No specific registration to the conference is needed but participants have to be registered to the Green Week.
    • 4th June
      • 12:30 to 13:30 Ecolabel - by the Ecolabel Helpdesk and Ben Casper from DG Environment
      • 13:30 to 14:30 Green Public Procurement - by the Ecolabel Helpdesk and Ben Casper from DG Environment
    • 11th June
      • 12:30 to 13:30 SMEs and Environment – the ECAP programme to support legal environmental compliance - by Andrea Vettori from DG Environment
      • 13:30 to 14:30 EMAS and SMEs by Heinz Werner Engel from the EMAS Helpdesk

For more information and registration to the Green Week, click on the link.


German's Ministry of Environment supports a national Conference on EMAS Easy for SMEs

On 12th June 2007, a conference will be held in Bonn to present German and international experience around the EMAS Easy methodology. The conference is promoted by a project funded by the German Foundation for the Environment (DBU), which has asked the German Environmental Centrum (Saar Lor Lux Umweltzentrum) of Saarbrücken to adapt and test the EMAS Easy methodology for German requirements. Practical experience from EMAS Easy cluster applications in Germany (Modellerfahrungen Hohenlohe, Baden-Württemberg, etc), France, Austria and even Australia will be presented.

Download the invitation for more information and registration.


Belgian conference on EMAS for public administrations

80 participants gathered in Brussels on the 24th of April for a conference on EMAS for public administrations.
The conference was organised to present a first evaluation of the Belgian Federal Council of Minister’s decision of July 2005 to implement gradually EMAS in every public federal service.

EMAS has been successfully implemented at federal level in 4 departments from an initial project of 6 “small†(between 50 and 200 employees) and 1 “medium†(800 employees) sized public departments. The public service of sustainable development, the federal planning office, and the federal service for scientific policy, the technical cooperation agency are all EMAS registered. The Chancellery of the Prime Minister, the federal budget service and the federal service of Mobility and Transport are in their final internal and external audit phase.

First conclusions from EMAS implementation in these departments were that each administration has underestimated the human resources required, that EMAS is more than simply reducing waste production and energy consumption, but that EMAS also influences the core business of the departments. This was especially true in the federal service of Mobility and Transport, where huge environmental benefits can be made by putting environment high on the agenda of national mobility and transport regulation and planning activities. Another benefit of the convoy approach was the organisation of a group/project dynamic, which was good for sharing ideas and organising peer reviews.
During the conference, presentations were also made by EMAS registered public administrations such as the European Commission, the Walloon Ministry of Environment, IBW – a public waste water treatment and waste collecting facility, and the local authority of Kirklees.

All presentations are available on the public service of sustainable development website.


Hungarian AUDI holds EMAS roundtable

On the 13th of April AUDI Hungaria Motor Ltd. held a one day round table to discuss the Hungarian EMAS situation, to find ways to improve the EMAS-uptake in Hungary, and to start a permanent communication among EMAS stakeholders.

23 people participated, representing six registered companies, the Hungarian Ministry for Environment and Water, the Hungarian Competent Body, concerned NGOs and verifiers.

The participants agreed that EMAS is a useful tool in promoting more sustainable practices, and it must be introduced widely among Hungarian organisations.

The round table was a success and, in future, will be held four times a year to find ways to make EMAS more attractive in Hungary and to sustain communication among registered companies.


Craftsmen want completely happy customers...

...and today’s customers want beautiful, individual, environmentally-sound products.
Fulfilling these desires is up to the cabinetmaker’s workshop of Axel and Renate König and their eight employees. The entire crew (2 foremen, 3 assistants, 2 apprentices and 1 office worker) is a harmonised team, characterised by excellent craftsmanship and continued training and development of staff. The enterprise pays special attention to perfect work and delivery on schedule, to working in an environmentally-sound manner, with careful consideration for occupational health and safety.

“Already, in the customer advisory service, we refer to the careful use of resources- and long-life materials, to the employment of environmentally-sound production procedures where possible, not forgetting the recycling-oriented disposal that is part our holistic concept for an operational environmental management system“, Axel König reports.

The concept works like a charm and makes a living for the “Holzerstätte†that is situated in Budenheim in the west of Mainz. For the third time in succession since 1998, the craft enterprise achieved EMAS validation. Even the third verification provided helpful suggestions to the enterprise. The environmental report has now become a strong advertisement of the enterprise.

The environmental report is available in German on the company’s website.

Source: Environmental Verification Committee Germany (UGA)


INA-Schaeffler: Exemplary Environmental Protection Extends all over Europe

Two years ago, INA-Schaeffler KG was presented with the EMAS Award in the Large Organization category during the international EMAS Conference in Villach, Austria. Norbert Hörauf, the Schaeffler Group’s environmental protection manager was there to accept the award. The international jury recognized “the company’s environmental performance as well as its proactive promotion of EMAS beyond European borders†. Norbert Hörauf therefore considers the award as recognition for the Schaeffler Group’s efforts to implement EMAS’ strict requirements worldwide. Norbert Hörauf was already looking to the future: “By the end of next year, we will be managing all our production locations worldwide according to this system†. The award is therefore an additional incentive.

Today, 36 production locations in the Schaeffler Group’s worldwide have implemented an environmental management system which is ISO 14001 certified and has been verified against EMAS requirements. Two locations have just been EMAS registered in Slovakia.


Walloon regulations boost EMAS registrations in the waste water treatment and waste treatment sectors

In the Belgian region of Wallonia, the number of EMAS registered sites has grown dramatically in the last three years. This follows the implementation of three innovative regional regulations making EMAS mandatory not only for the public sector but also for the private sector.

Two waste landfill sites managed by the Economic Development Agency of the Province of Namur have recently been EMAS registered. They are now part of the six EMAS registered landfills in Wallonia.
This follows a regulation from February 2003, which obliges Wallonian landfill owners to implement EMAS within three years of the renewal of their environmental permit. In the long term, all public and private landfills will have to be EMAS registered.

A second regulation, put in place by the previous Walloon government, obliges all waste incinerators to become EMAS registered. Today 100% of the Wallonia waste incinerators are EMAS registered.

A third regulation, dated of May 2002, requires all Wallonian waste water treatment sites to be EMAS registered. Today, the whole sector is EMAS registered. This represents more than two hundred and fifty sites, which are part of seven organisations. Also, the headquarters of the Wallonian water distribution supplier SWDE became EMAS registered in March 2007.

For more information, contact Jean-François Rivez, the Wallonian EMAS competent body


Saarland's Environmental Centre EMAS-revalidated

The German Environmental Consulting Center in Saarbruecken, south-west Germany, was the first consulting enterprise with EMAS-registration in 2003. Ever since, internal processes have been improved (less heat, less electricity) leading to a 12% cutback in CO2-emissions.

In regard to indirect environmental aspects and corresponding objectives, the Centre has, since registration, always supported SMEs in improving their environmental performance The Centre has recently started a pilot project to support SMEs in achieving EMAS, using the “EMAS easy†method, to lower effort and costs.
For more information, contact Stefan Hirsch, EMAS responsible at the Saarland’s Environmental Centre


When it's burning: EMAS

The professional Munich fire-brigade, with 10 fire stations, is EMAS registered. 300 employees are on alert 365 days a year and 24 hours daily. 3900 alarms in the last year demonstrate that the fire-brigade is important, not only for fire fighting but also for emergency situations for technical aid, for disaster control, etc.
Environmental protection is therefore a central element, so it was essential to introduce EMAS to systemise their own environmental protection activities.

Source: Environmental verification committee Germany (UGA)


Latest News (last updated 24 April 2007)

Report on European Commission Public Consultation on the Revision of EMAS Regulation

Between 22 December 2007 and 26 February 2007, the European Commission undertook an internet public consultation on the revision of the EMAS regulation. Very active participation was evident and in line with the Commission's commitment to transparent and interactive policymaking, a report is now available. This report provides an overview and general impression of the feedback received by the Commission in the context of the consultation. The statements and opinions expressed in the document do not therefore necessarily reflect those of the Commission.

Several key findings can be drawn from the consultation.

About 91.1% of respondents declared that they know EMAS very well or fairly well and 83.8% of them regard EMAS as a useful or fairly useful tool. Around half of all respondents would like to make EMAS mandatory for public organisations(58.5%), polluting companies or companies located in high environmental risk areas (51.7%) and organisations receiving EU funds (56.7%).

Other general observations are that over half of respondents:

  • support the idea of further consolidating EMAS (63.8%);
  • support changes aimed at sharpening legal compliance requirements (71%);
  • support changes aimed at sharpening performance improvement requirements (70%);
  • support changes aimed at sharpening the requirements concerning indirect environmental aspects (60%).

Respondents consider that revision of the EMAS Regulation will raise the attractiveness of EMAS for candidate and participating organisations, mainly by way of links between EMAS and other environmental legislation at national level (79.8%).

Respondents take the view that revision of the EMAS Regulation will increase the user friendliness and affordability of the EMAS scheme for candidate and participating organisations, mainly by:

  • redrafting the Regulation in a more logical and easier-to-understand way (79.9%);
  • aligning and harmonising accreditation, external verification and registration procedures for EMAS organisations across all countries (79.1%).

You can read the following documents (in PDF format):

In parallel, the results are published on /environment/emas/consultation_en.htm.


New EMAS Newsletter on Energy Efficiency

In this first issue of 2007, we show that, whether as individual companies or in partnership with others, significant energy savings are achievable. Examples from Bombardier in Poland and from the Austrian Laufen AG Company show that EMAS helps to improve environmental performance in terms of energy efficiency. Partnerships like the energy efficiency roundtables in Germany have also demonstrated that huge benefits can be gained from a collective approach.

Download the Newsletter here.


Sustainable Energy in Italy

Varese Liguria, a small village in the region of Liguria, has reversed econcomic decline through sustainable development and the procurement of renewable electricity.
In order to reverse a declining economy and a decaying community, the village leadership embarked on a programme of sustainable development. Encouragement for urban regeneration and organic farming – resulting in early certification to ISO 14001 and, subsequently to EMAS – promoted an ambition for total dependence on organic produce and renewable energy.

EU and regional funds, supported by substantial private investment, have enabled the purchase a wind farm for €1.8 million and further € 155 000 from regional and local funds has underwritten a photovoltaic installation.

Contact: Ms Roberta Casapietra
Best Practice: http://www.fonti-rinnovabili.it/, Legambiente per le Energie Rinnovabili, October 2005


France has hosted the 5th European Seminar of EMAS-registered and ISO 14001-certified schools

From the 14 March to 16 March, the 5th European Seminar dedicated to schools involved in Education for Sustainable Development and Environmental Management Systems has been organized in the city of Louviers, in France. With support of the French Ministry of Environment (ADEME), around 40 delegations met in the premises of the Lycée Jean-Baptiste Decrétot, a professional high school which is ISO 14001-certified. Ten European delegations representing EMAS-registered and ISO 14001-certified schools from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Romania, as well as NGOs active in environmental education and EMS, joined the many representatives of the regional schools and institutions. Each school was represented by two students and two teachers, all of them closely involved in the implementation of their school environmental management system.

The aim of the meeting was to give the opportunity to schools to exchange information and share best practice in environmental management. One of the outcomes has been the creation of a European network of 12 schools and some NGOs involved in the implementation of Environmental Management Systems in schools. The first steps for this network are now to identify the potential for exchanging information, to organise common activities to support their EMS (e.g. exchanging audits) and to set up an information platform to spread best practice to a wider audience.

A project has also been introduced by this network to the European Comenius programme with the following objectives:

  • increasing the knowledge of students concerning the impact of human actions on the environment
  • developing teachers' and students' management skills
  • promoting experiential learning through participation in their EMAS programmes
  • making EMAS more easily adopted by schools and/or other non-profit organizations
  • making EMAS more visible within the educational systems of the participating schools and in their local communities
  • promoting intercultural dialogue – through regular interaction with students and teachers from the partner schools.

Contributions from the participants will soon be available on the Lycéee Jean Batiste Diderot Website.


An integrated management system for European cities

Managing Urban Europe-25 (MUE-25) is the largest European project so far of on cities' environmental management systems (EMS). It has been running since 2005 and will end in 2008. MUE-25 aims to improve the environmental quality and sustainability of 25 European cities by delivering a framework for better implementation of existing environmental management systems like EMAS, ISO 14001 and ecoBUDGET.

Currently, Europe has185 municipal sites (not cities or towns) that are EMAS-registered and still the number of local governments that have registered their entire city functions is less than 10 out of about 115,000 in the EU. It is a fact that many local authorities have implemented EMAS only for a site or service and not for strategic aspects such as planning or for the whole city's organisation. As such, cities are failing to address the environmental performance of a whole urban area. Public authorities do not prioritise environmental issues if they are considered and managed in isolation. Cities' responsibilities should go further than that. Therefore, the project needs to show the interrelation between environmental aspects and common social goods.

The project is developing a framework model for an integrated management system for an entire urban area. By using the system, cities should be better able to improve the administration of environmental legislation in their area, manage municipal policy integration and coherence, improve urban management and municipal compliance with existing legislation and voluntary agreements, as well as undertake environmental assessments and reporting and communication with local stakeholders.

The model takes its thematic reference from the Aalborg Commitments and so enables the integration of sustainability within a management system. The project is closely linked to the Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment within the 6th Environmental Action Plan of the European Union.

A test implementation phase is currently taking place in all the project cities. Utilizing this practical test and further developing the methods based on it, the MUE-25 project should be able to, by the beginning of 2008, propose an improved system and implementation methodology to be used potentially in all cities of Europe. This system will address the whole urban area of the city and it will also include more sustainable development dimensions that just the environmental ones.

Some cities participating in MUE-25 will try to verify their system according to EMAS. Discussions have already started with competent bodies on whether or not they would find it possible to verify systems implemented using methodology proposed by MUE-25.

The project is coordinated by Union of Baltic Cities (UBC), Commission on Environment. Its steering group is made up of UBC, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, University of West of England, Bristol, UNEP/GRID-Arendal and Bodensee-Stiftung. It is part-funded by the European Commission DG Environment, Finnish Ministry of the Environment, German Federal Environment Foundation, the German Federal States of Baden-Württemberg and Bayern and the participating cities.

Contact Project Co-ordinator Annika Claesson - Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC) Environment and Agenda 21 Secretariat.


Dunapack is improving energy efficiency

Dunapack produces from waste paper 300.000 tons yearly of containerboard and from that, approximately 140.000 tons of corrugated boxes in Hungary and 130.000 tons of corrugated boxes in its foreign subsidiaries. Energy efficiency is improving its competitiveness.

Dunapack is the largest paper and packaging producing company in Hungary. It is owned by the Austrian Prinzhorn-Group and employs 1000 workers in its three production sites in Hungary (Budapest, Dunaujvaros and Nyiregyhaza), in addition to 800 people in its subsidiaries in Central-Eastern-Europe.

Paper manufacturing is using electricity and heat energy in large quantities. Energy efficiency improvement has been, for both economic and environmental reasons, a high-priority for the company. In recent years, a variety of investments, technological developments and conservation measures have been taken to reduce the energy use. Some of these measures include:

  • Investing approx. 5 M€, the wet press on the paper machine was changed for a new one with larger capacity. As a result, less water is evaporated during the production of 1 kg paper - a yearly energy reduction of approx. 220.000 GJ.
  • The heat recovery system was updated on the company's biggest production unit, bringing further yearly savings of approx. 90.000 GJ.
  • In the course of the paper production, the quantities of air and fluids has to be controlled and regulated in more than hundred places, requiring the diameter of the tubes or air channel to be varied. Now, this process can be regulated by changing the speed of rotation at the ventilators and pumps. Dunapack has switched to this new method and achieves an energy saving of approx. 7 GWh per year.
  • Production was increased by 30% by implementing different rationalization and efficiency improving measures. In this way, less electric and heat energy can be used for the production of 1 kg paper.

The graph below shows the improvement in energy efficiency arising from these changes:


"Most pollution free hotel in the world" is EMAS registered

A consistent and holistic commitment to environmental performance improvement brings recognition for the Hotel Victoria in Freiburg. With an ambition to be a ‘zero-emission' hotel, it has already won numerous awards for its environmental excellence.

This 4-Star hotel, a member of the Best Western group, successfully operates the European environmental management model EMAS.

Rising energy prices, competition in the market, intensified legal compliance and tighter financial controls are many reasons to take the resource management of a hotel under the magnifying glass and initiate steps for energy saving, complemented by efficient environmental protection measures.

The hotel lowered costs by 6.4 per cent of its total sales by employing a variety of energy-saving measures:

  • Water heating is supplemented by the hotel's solar panel array, which has a collection area of 30 sq. m. On sunny days, this satisfies the entire requirement for hot water for showers and for washing.
  • The solar power array, installed on the hotel roof, has a capacity of 7,600 watts and generates approximately 7,000 kilowatt-hours of solar power per year. This is enough to supply a quarter of the hotel's rooms.
  • Energy-saving lamps and economic, low-flow shower heads were installed in the whole house. The costs per room were approximately 800 euros. However, this investment was amortized after scarcely one year, the water and electrical current savings achieving at least of 35 per cent.
  • The oil central heating system was replaced in Spring 2002 by a modern, 300- kilowatt unit burning wood pellets. Some 100 tonnes of wood per year will cover the central heating and the balance of the hot water requirements of the hotel's guests. By choosing pellets as fuel, the hotel saves 50.000 litres of heating oil per annum.

The hotel is also part of the European funded Life project "SUTOUR", which aims to support tourist businesses setting up environmentally-friendly company management systems.

Read more on the hotel's environmental performance


First environmental benchmarks for hotels and camping sites in Europe!

The environmental performance of more than 450 hotels and other tourist accommodation in 15 European countries has been presented at the Reisepavillon in Hanover. Their performance has been calculated within the framework of the European projects “TourBench†and “SUTOUR†, supported by the LIFE programme of the European Commission and the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt. The projects asked such questions as:

  • What is the energy and water consumption of 2-5 star hotels and camping sites in Europe? What is the waste production per day?
  • What are the costs for energy, water and waste per night?
  • What is the difference in consumption between “best businesses†and others?
  • What new international environmental management tools are available to tourism businesses?

The project leaders - Eva Haas, project assistant at ECOTRANS, Saarbrücken, and Sven Eckardt, project manager at IER, Stuttgart - have presented up-to-date results to an interested audience:

  • The average energy consumption in the participating hotels was approximately 300 kWh per square metre (m2), with a typical overnight demand of 75 kWh. The hotels in the lowest quartile (25% of the total) for energy consumption were analysed to establish benchmark criteria – 170 -210 kWh per m2 and 34-59 kWh/night. ‘In particular, smaller, 2-star hotels show higher consumption than 4 and 5-star hotels. This probably reflects the lack of resource available to the smaller operator’ said expert Sven Eckhardt.
  • The benchmarks for water consumption per night are at 96 litres on camping sites, 133 litres in accommodation-only hotels and 213 litres in hotels with restaurants. The potential for saving is enormous! The average water consumption of a 4-star accommodation-only hotel is 235 litres per nightwhile the benchmark for this group is only 91 litres.
  • In respect to waste management, analysis by the two European projects has shown that there is a difference in waste weight and waste volume in a tourism business from that of the average ‘waste bag’. While average solid waste is 50%, paper 12% and organic waste 31% of the total, the percentages of waste volume is in the subject hotels were solid waste 55%, paper 23% and organic waste 9%. Hotels in Germany and Austria produce 2 kg or 6 l waste per person per night.

The project conclusion showed that the average consumption figures and benchmarks present a valuable guide for hotel managers and camping site owners. In times of intense competition and increasing costs for energy, water and waste equipment, investments can be amortised quite quickly.
22 examples of good practice and innovative environmental performance from 10 countries were presented at the event. "It is impressive to see what hotels and camping sites, holiday apartments, group accommodation and Bed & Breakfast businesses can do with encouragement and some creativity to reduce their environmental consumption and CO2 emissions and to achieve economical success and recognition for these initiatives. Let’s hope that more and more businesses use the new management instruments TourBench and SUTOUR down-loadable from the Internet, to identify potential savings and reduce costs", said Eva Haas at ECOTRANS, the European network for sustainable tourism development.

Download the brochure "Environmental initiatives by European tourism businesses: Instruments, indicators and practical examples" with the presented results.

Contact: Herbert Hamele - ECOTRANS e.V., Saarbrücken or Sven Eckardt - IER, Universität Stuttgart


Lincoln saves money with EMAS

After one decade of environmental management within Lincoln’s, numerous improvements which lead to financial savings have been brought to the company, says the environmental responsible Ulrike Schweizer. Despite expansion of the production and an almost three-time higher turnover since 1996 the today's current electricity consumption is strongly under the value at that time.
The installation of a rainwater recuperation system for the supply of toilets brought in four years a saving of 930.000 litres of distribution water.

The waste disposal costs have been reduced by a factor four. By simple valuable material separation, Lincoln achieved total saving of 183 tons and a cost reduction of approximately 35,000 euros.
These improvements were particularly due to the active participation of the employees.â€

Read Lincoln’s environmental statement.

Source courtesy of Environmental Verification Committee, Germany (UGA)


Hungarian Competent body publishes an EMAS brochure

Good communication about EMAS may account for Hungary’s success, in receiving the EU Award for the highest growth rate of EMAS Registrations among the new Member States in 2006.

A new brochure explains who can take part in the Scheme, mentions the characteristics of EMAS, differences compared to ISO 14001 and lists some company opinions as well. The brochure refers to a helpdesk run by the Ministry for Environment and Water and the National Inspectorate to inform interested parties, via phone, e-mail or personally/face-to-face, if requested.

This way information on EMAS has been provided for interested organisations (about 3000) to companies, SMEs, local authorities in order to involve them in the scheme. Dissemination has been made via NGOs, municipalities and "Green point bureaus†within the Ministry for Environment and the National Inspectorate.

If the target intended is met, EMAS will be more well-known among the potential site owners and operators, and let us be optimistic; the number of applicants will rise significantly.

Download the brochure.



Latest News (last updated 23 March 2007)

The Belgian Technical Cooperation agency gets EMAS registration for its headquarters

The Belgian development company, the Belgian Technical Corporation (BTC), has published its EMAS statement for its Brussels-based operations.

The BTC’s principal mission is to support the preparation and the implementation of development actions in the partner countries of Belgian cooperation. The interventions of Belgian international cooperation focus on 5 sectors (education and training, healthcare, basic infrastructure, agriculture and food security, and good governance) and 4 cross-cutting themes that should be considered in each project (environment, equal opportunities for men and women, social economy and AIDS). The BTC is managing more than 270 development programs in 26 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America (including 18 partner countries). With a planned turnover in 2006 of 200 million Euro, BTC is employing more than 300 staff, 130 of them at headquarters in Brussels and 175 in countries where projects and programmes are being implemented. BTC has her own representatives in about 20 foreign countries.

In December 2006, BTC was rewarded for its efforts in environmental management by a further endorsement from the regional Brussels Eco-Dynamic Enterprise label that BTC won previously in 2002 (1 star) and in 2005 (2 stars). BTC has also been certified ISO 14 001.

EMAS, the Eco-Dynamic Enterprise label and ISO 14 001 apply to the activities at BTC headquarters, yet good environmental practices have already been extended to all BTC activities.

These certifications validate BTC’s efforts in reducing water, energy and paper consumption, the application of good practices regarding waste management, the efforts regarding internal and external communication, the awareness-raising and staff training and, in the field, the integration of the environment into the development projects. More than 270 projects are currently being screened on the basis of environmental criteria.

The EMAS registration of BTC fits into the policy of the Belgian federal government, which has suggested that all public services and federal institutions implement an environmental management system such as EMAS. BTC, which already had a quality management system in operation and a regional environmental label, was selected to participate in a pilot group of six public institutions for the implementation of EMAS. This group will serve as an example and reference for other institutions considering a commitment to this approach.

For more information on EMAS at the BTC contact Claude Croizer or visit its website http://www.btcctb.org/showpage.asp?iPageID=2043.

Download BTCs Environmental Declaration (285 kB) here (in Dutch and French). Details about Brussel's Eco-Dynamic Enterprise label are available from this web site: http://www.ibgebim.be.


First European Environmental Verifier Day (EEVD) in Brussels

The European Federation of Associations of Environmental Professionals (EFAEP) is organising the first ever European Environmental Verifier Day on May 25th, 2007. EFAEP’s EMS-Expert Group is keen to prepare itself for the publication of EMAS Draft III. It sees a real opportunity for dialogue with experienced verification professionals in order to ensure that EFAEP’s contribution to the revision consultation is a strong one.

EEVD will take place in Brussels, at the permanent representation of Baden-Württemberg, between 10.00 and 16.00. The very compelling agenda includes an introduction by the EU Commission to the current draft of EMAS III, a presentation by the Forum of Accreditation Bodies on the working methods of environmental verifiers and some of the issues surrounding international accreditation. The meeting also includes a presentation by Martyn Cheesborough, the project manager for the pan-European REMAS project, which links environmental management performance to improved compliance with regulation.

The fee for the meeting is € 250, including lunch, coffee and soft drinks and the agenda and registration form may be found at http://www.efaep.org and http://www.vnu-ev.de.


City Council of Vienna returns to EMAS

The city council of Vienna, an EU frontrunner among local authorities in registering to EMAS in 2000, although later did not keep the registration, .it has now decided to rejoin EMAS again presenting a comprehensive statement on its performance.

The Vienna City Council is one of the largest employers in the administration of the Austrian capital, with 3859 employees operating from 71 sites in the city. Among its operations, the Council includes:

  • A waste separation (transfer) station,
  • Three landfills
  • A mechanical-biological treatment plant
  • A training centre for apprentices
  • A storage for towed-away and abandoned vehicles
  • An aggregate recycling site and a depot for snow-clearance equipment

  • All these services are managed by the Council’s Department 48 (“Magistratsabteilung 48†) for road cleaning services, car pool and waste management. An integrated management system, incorporating EMAS, ISO 9001 (quality), occupational health and safety and risk and legal management has been found the first choice for these complex activities.

In setting out the environmental performance for its registration, the Council reports on:

  • waste separation and the reduction of transport through the compaction of recycled plastic waste
  • collection of storm water to avoid groundwater contamination on the waste separation site
  • re-using nearly 80% gravel applied in road maintenance during winter (collection, washing and sieving)
  • Methane emissions from the mechanical biological waste treatment plant have been reduced by a factor 10 by optimizing humidity and turnover of material.
  • Green procurement: plastics are collected in containers at public collection places for recycling, subsequently Department 48 procures containers made from 30% recycled High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) to stimulate the market of recycled plastics.
  • Reduction of transport from public waste collection centres by 14 %, as waste is condensed by wheel loader on-site
  • Preventing pollution (from leakages of toxic fluids) by carefully transporting and storing cars damaged in accidents
  • Replacing conventionally-powered vehicles with those converted for use with methane
  • Public education in the reduction of waste, better separation, recovery of construction waste, etc.
  • Training material for under-graduates to learn how to handle recycling and avoiding waste

© Foto: Magistratsabteilung 48

Contact with the environmental manager of Vienna City Council can be made through Elisabeth Klimpfinger. Interested parties can read the environmental statement (in German): http://www.magwien.gv.at/ma48/publik.htm. The Department 48 provides some of its publications in English: http://www.magwien.gv.at/ma48/download.htm#info


University of Macedonia presents its guide for EMAS in universities

The University of Macedonia (UoM) is not only the first academic institute but also the first public authority in Greece to have ever succeeded in the design and implementation of an Eco-Management and Audit System according to the EMAS Regulation. The University was officially registered in the EMAS Greek National Registry in December 2005.

The University of Macedonia (UoM) has served as a focal point for the wider dissemination and promotion of the Eco-Management and Audit Systems (EMAS) to other academic institutes, as well as public local and regional authorities, in Greece, the Balkan Region and the European Union (e.g. "European Virtual Network of Academic Institutes for Sustainable Development" in the framework of e-Learning Program/DG Education and Culture). UoM was awarded the "2006 EMAS Greek National Award for SMEs" and represented Greece in the "2006 EMAS European Awards Competition" held in Athens on 13 November 2006.

For further reference, please consult the UoM EMAS Project website at: http://www.greenuniversity.gr/

Further reading :

Contact: Sophia Gregou, EMAS Coordinator and Internal Environmental Auditor


EMAS registered consultants run the EMAS Helpdesk of the European Commission

Following the registration to EMAS of the Belgian eco-consultants Eco-Conseil Enterprise (B-BXL-000007 - NACE: 74), two thirds of the Commission’s EMAS helpdesk is operated within the EU Eco-management and audit scheme. The Federal Environment Agency completed its EMAS in 2004 and was the first Environmental Protection Agency registered in the EU.

Besides good housekeeping practices in the office, Eco-Counselling Enterprise’s (ECE) environmental management system mainly addresses:

  • The quality and relevance of their work which represents their most important indirect environmental impact. To reduce this impact, ECE is assessing the quality and relevance of their work and interventions beforehand. As a result each new project or proposal is assessed before it is undertaken using a preliminary evaluation matrix incorporating potential environmental and sustainable development impacts.
  • CO2 emissions related to transport. Given the international nature of ECE’s activities, international travel is our most important environmental impact. For travel in Belgium (travel for work and to and from the workplace), ECE gives preference to sustainable transport and car-sharing. Their European travels give preference to transport by train. All the travel related CO2 emissions are accounted for and offset by purchasing certificates, which go towards financing Clean Development Mechanisms. Eco-Counselling Enterprise’s proposals, contracts and invoices to clients currently include a reference to CO2 emissions and the costs relating to carbon offsetting.
  • Participation in dialogue. Eco-Counselling Enterprise’s associates participate actively and on a voluntary basis in meetings of standardisation bodies, provide their support to Belgian, European and international non-governmental organisations and trade unions and assist interns and students of environmental management and sustainable development.

Contact: Eco-Conseil Entreprise scrl, rue Van Elewyck, 35, B-1050 Bruxelles, tel: +32 (0)2 6449669, fax: +32 (0)2 6449420. The Environmental Statement is available in English and in French: http://www.eco-counselling.com


EMAS spreads to Croatia

DG Enlargement hosted and funded a TAIEX capacity building seminar on the implementation of EMAS on February 27-28, at the Hotel Palace, Zagreb.

DG Environment presented practical benefits of EMAS and promoted discussion among environmental and commercial experts from Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and Italy. Among the key points identified were:

  • The need for efficient administration and the implementation of robust and cost efficient funding for Environmental Management Systems.
  • How to build an efficient EMAS administration and accreditation system and how to attract businesses

Croatia, scheduled to join the EU in 2009 or 2010, will renew its environmental protection act later this year, which will set the legal basis for both Competent Body (Ministry and EPA) and Accreditation Body. The event was co-hosted by the Croatian Accreditation Agency (HAA): www.akreditacija.hr. For capacity building in public administration, the Commission provides further assistance through Twinning and TAIEX instruments.

The contact for EMAS in Craotia is Mr. Damir Rumenjak, Ministry of the Environment, 10000 Zagreb, Ulica Republike Austria 14.


A “LIFE Third Countries†project helps Russian municipalities to introduce EMAS in water supply companies and district heating companies.

The LIFE-Third Countries Project 'Building Environmental Capacity in Municipal Enterprises through EMAS Implementation' was developed by Municipal Institution 'Environmental Centre 'ECAT-Kaliningrad' as initiative of Kaliningrad City Hall with the active support of Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation for the Kaliningrad Region.

The main objectives of this project, started in 2004, are:

  • to use the EMAS Regulation as a tool for the development of environmental policies and action programmes in the municipal enterprises of third countries, through capacity building and the establishment of appropriate administrative structures, and
  • to create good practice examples for third countries through the implementation of EMAS in Kaliningrad's water and heat supply companies (the Municipal Unitary Enterprise 'Vodocanal' and the Municipal Unitary Enterprise 'Kaliningradteploset')

Two Greek municipal companies were also part of the project - EPTA Ltd (Energy-Environment-Local Development Company) and ALFA-ALFA (Municipality of Agii Anargiri Development Company).

From 24th till 27th October 2006, a pre-audit for EMAS standard compliance of the municipal enterprises 'Vodocanal' and 'Kaliningradteploset' has been carried out by verifiers from EUROCERT S.A. After the pre-audit the representatives of EUROCERT made a list of remarks on EMAS improvement for each municipal enterprise. Their audit report showed that the work done by the two companies was quite advanced in implementing EMAS. The final audit and verification process is planned for the end of November 2007.

A helpdesk has been created in order to raise the environmental awareness in the local public sector and the local community. Contact person is Mr. Valeriy Lepa tel.: +7 4012 96 53 80. Inforamtion about the project is available from http://www.meemas.ru/eng/.


Become a smarter EMAS consultant for small businesses

DG Environment is currently supporting a capacity building program for environmental management consultants in Southern Europe, to better focus on smart and easy implementation of EMAS in small business. In the seven Southern European Member States covered by the program (Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Cyprus, Malta, Greece), 96% of the businesses are typically small organisations with less than 5 employees.

In the next 12 months, Eco-Counselling Enterprise will have to deliver hands-on training courses for a selected number of experienced environmental consultants to enable them to integrate the EMASeasy methodology in their work with SMEs. 35 consultants have to be embedded in networks and organisations and they will trial the “easy†implementation of the EMAS scheme within 70 small organisations as an integral part of their training.

One of the main objectives for the training process is to provide good coverage across the EU of consultants trained in the use of the system and operating in most of the community’s languages. Interested consultants will be selected by the European Commission during the month of March.

The programme for the next 12 months includes:

  • Kick off and short meeting with competent bodies and consultants on EMASeasy: March-April 2007
  • 3-day EMAS Easy intensive on site course for the selected consultants: May or June 2007
  • National Evaluation workshop and dissemination seminar: November 2007
  • International workshop in Toulouse, France: March 2008

DG Environment will support the technical costs for the workshops, and the consultants co-finance their contribution in kind by working with the SMEs.

The typical sector examples of SMEs that consultants participating in the training process will be bringing in are likely to be: hotels, vineyards, solar panel industries, olive oil producers, construction companies, etc.

More information:
Heinz Werner Engel - Project Coordinator and EMASeasy Expert info@emas-easy.org - Eco-Counselling Enterprise tel : +32 2 644 96 69 - http://www.eco-counselling.com; http://www.ecomapping.org


Audi Hungaria Motor aims to foster the uptake of EMAS in Hungary

AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft. in Györ is organising an EMAS workshop on the 13th of April. This will be organized for the Hungarian EMAS registrated companies, the Hungarian EMAS-verifiers, some EMAS consultants and the accreditation body.

The aim of this meeting is to establish a common forum to discuss the experiences of the companies in operating EMAS, and to form a common standing-point regarding a national wide EMAS-strategy. This initiative can help to improve EMAS-uptake in Hungary, to establish an efficient knowledge-transfer between the companies (best practises, environmental performance, etc.) and to discover and use synergies between the different actors involved in EMAS.

For more information, contact Mr Andras Torma from Audi Hungaria Motor Kft.


German Federal Ministry of Environment publishes an "EMAS-Good practice" guide for public administrations

A good environmental management system offers public administrations the opportunity to improve its performance and become a role model within in its administrative area and relieve the public budget at the same time!

The good practice guide recently published by the German Federal Ministry of Environment gathers the experiences from a so-called ‘EMAS-convoy project’, in which a small group of federal authorities prepared to implement EMAS under the coaching by the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Federal Office for Environment Protection.

This guide targets managers of public administrations and answers the most important questions on the steps to be followed for individual approaches in EMAS implementation.

A large quantity of working material on EMAS and environmental management in public administrations, which originated partly from the convoy project, is available under http://www.umweltbundesamt.de/EMAS/forum

To download the manual, visit: http://www.bmu.de/files/pdfs/allgemein/application/pdf/emas_leitfaden__behoerden.pdf


Latest News (last updated 22 February 2007)

First European Environmental Verifier Day (EEVD) in Brussels

The European Federation of Associations of Environmental Professionals (EFAEP) is organising the first ever European Environmental Verifier Day on May 25th, 2007. EFAEP's EMS-Expert Group is keen to prepare itself for the draft of EMS III and sees a real opportunity to have some dialogue with experienced verification professionals in order to ensure that EFAEP's contribution to the revision is a strong one.

EEVD will take place in Brussels, at the permanent representation of Baden-Württemberg, between 10:00 am and 16:00 pm. The very compelling agenda includes an introduction by the EU Commission to the current draft of EMAS III, a presentation by the Forum of Accreditation Bodies on the working methods of environmental verifiers and some of the issues surrounding international accreditation. The meeting also includes a presentation by Martyn Cheesborough, the project manager for the pan-European REMAS project, which links environmental management performance to improved compliance with regulation.

The fee for the meeting is € 250, including lunch, coffee and soft drinks and the agenda and registration form may be found at www.efaep.org and www.vnu-ev.de.


Polish industry catches up on EMAS

The Polish Ministry of Environment has announced a further four registrations to EMAS in the New Year, bringing the country total to six. A further registration - Bombardier Transportation Poland SA (see January's newsletter) - is awaiting finalisation.

The majority of the current EMAS registrations in Poland arose from initial training in EMAS undertaken with the help of EU PHARE funding for the project Implementation of EMAS in Poland. The new registrations represent very different sizes and sectors of Polish industry. KAZ, one of the most recently-registered companies, is an SME supplying car accessories and other, oil-based materials. Przedsiebiorstwo Budowy Dróg I Mostów Sp zoo is a construction company with more than eighty years' experience in the construction and modernisation of bridges.

One of the largest corporations in the group of registrations is the largest national manufacturer of industrial and power generation boilers, RAFAKO SA. The service sectors is represented by the Voivodeship Fund for Environmental protection and Water Management (WFOSiGW), from Katowice, which provides financial and technical assistance for the implementation of national environmental policy at regional and local level, through variety of funding routes.

Visit: www.emas.mos.gov.pl


Spanish Private Sector promotes EMAS in Catalonia

Private sector interests in Catalonia are promoting environmental performance improvement through Club EMAS.

Members attending the Constitution of Club EMAS, June 6, 2006

Members attending the Constitution of Club EMAS, June 6, 2006

Based in Barcelona, Club EMAS is a membership organisation made up of companies from many sectors of activity. It offers a location for meeting and networking and an opportunity for organisations considering the implementation of EMAS the opportunity of speaking to those with experience of the system. The club has the support of Departament de Medi Ambient I Habitage de la Generalitat de Catalunya, the Catalan Competent Body for EMAS, and is open to organisation from all sectors of industry.

Visit: www.clubemas.cat


EMAS makes progress in Estonia

International projects bring initial success with the EMAS registration of two major companies

Two international projects to promote the European Union's Eco-management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) have taken place in Estonia within last three years. Firstly, the Estonian Ministry of the Environment co-operated with the Dutch consultancy company Tauw and the Estonian consultancy company Maves. The second project, which concluded in 2005, was promoted by the International Network for Environmental Management (INEM) and co-ordinated with the Estonian Institute for Sustainable Development and project partners from other Baltic States and Poland and Hungary.

The first project (2204-2006) provided capacity-building to improve policy and legislation, in order to support and encourage the implementation of environmental management systems (EMS) in companies and to assist with the establishment of the national competent body. It also produced a variety of awareness-raising initiatives on EMAS, which are documented under www.envir.ee/emas.

The second focused on SMEs, which usually have difficulties in implementing standardised EMS. Pilot companies - 17 in all - used the novel EMAS-Easy toolkit. The project was quite successful although registration of participants is pending while the access to verification at an appropriate level of cost is established.

Meanwhile, Estonia has two EMAS registered-companies - Tallinn City Water Company and Iru Power Plant. Tallinn Water Company (AS Tallinna Vesi) is owned by city of Tallinn and United Utilities Tallinn BV. With a turnover of 38 billion EUR (2005) and 337 employees, it produced 25,5 billion m3 of drinking water and treated 47 billion m3 of waste water in 2005.

ÕÜ Iru Elekrijaam

ÕÜ Iru Elekrijaam

ÕÜ Iru Elektrijaam is an associate company of the biggest energy company in Estonia - Estonian Energy. Situated on the fringes of Tallinn, the site produced 465 GWh electricity and 1234 GWh heat power in 2005/2006. It is the biggest heat power producer in Estonia and the 3rd largest electricity producer in Estonia. It currently employs 76 workers. More information about Iru is available here: http://www.iruenergia.ee/


EMAS-Easy and Ecomapping supported in South Tyrol/Alto Adige

Sustainability and globalisation are big challenge, especially for small enterprises, who are often confronted with problems which cannot be solved. In Italy, EMASeasy and its companion tool, Ecomapping have been introduced to SME managers in South Tirol/Alto Adige.

Recognising that sustainability and environmental management represent a challenge for smaller business, the Occupational Training and Environment Agency in the Italian county of South Tirol have initiated work with a number of small organisations to help them deliver environmental improvements using EMASeasy and Eco-mapping.

In a day-long workshop, Heinz Werner Engel of Eco-Conseil Enterprise presented the EMASeasy method, using maps and plans of a shop in describing the requirement for the first audit. Lucia Catalano of Eco-Conseil-Enterprise demonstrated how a company can start with the Eco-mapping system, creating separate "eco-maps" for water, energy, waste and safety. EMAS-Easy builds upon Ecomapping and provides a complete environmental management system suitable for verification.

Local Councillors Michl Laimer and Luisa Gnecchi are convinced that Ecomapping provides important help for enterprises in South Tyrol in managing environmental improvements and legislation. "In today's event, enterprises had the opportunity to learn about options for implementing environmental management systems. This makes it much easier for them to pursue sustainable production", said Barbara Repetto, representing the local council.

The South Tyrol's Entrepreneur association also presented a project of 10 companies which had stated implementing EMS and the regional environment agency identified some funding opportunities.


UK Government publishes guidelines about key performance indicators (KPIs)

The UK Government's Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published guidelines entitled Environmental Key Performance Indicators - Reporting Guidelines for UK Business

The publication of the document follows a period if significant debate between industry and government on the growing need for greater transparency in the publication of environmental information. In his foreword, the former Director of the UK's Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Sir Digby Jones, states that reporting on environmental performance has two benefits - the discovery of significant management information which would enable significant costs savings in the business and an opportunity to set out the environmentally significant factors in the business.

These are key interests for the UK Government, but also reflect the concerns of NGOs lobbying for improvements in the next revision of EMAS.

While the guidelines are voluntary, there seems little doubt among ministers, investors and other public stakeholders that about the value of public reporting and Sir Digby sums up his comments by stating his belief in business communicating its success as wells as being honest about its challenges.

Link: http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/business/envrp/guidelines.htm


The Barden Corporation (UK) Ltd

The Barden Corporation (UK) Ltd

The Barden Corporation (UK) Ltd is a recognised world leader in super-precision in the manufacture of precision ball-bearings and counts international aerospace companies, who demand the best, among their clientele. The company, an associate of the INA Schaeffler group, became EMAS registered in November 2006 (UK-000147).

INA Schaeffler has environmental protection as a priority in product development, purchasing, production and the supply and disposal of materials. EMAS certification is held by 64 companies across the Group worldwide, consisting of 190 locations (including sales), with 80 being manufacturing sites. This figure is growing constantly, and the aim is to have all Schaeffler sites holding EMAS.

The Barden UK site, with 440 employees, has held ISO14001 for many years, but felt that a further commitment to EMAS would be beneficial, both from the perspective of supply chain management and customer-facing perspectives. Continuing environmental protection is, and continues to be a major consideration in all Barden UK activities and it is hoped that the EMAS statement will advertise the company's performance in the years to come.

Barden's verified environmental statement will be published on the group site shortly :
http://www.ina.com/content.ina.de/en/company/environment/e-certificates-awards/e-certificates-europe.jsp

The Barden Corporation (UK) Ltd:
http://www.bardenbearings.co.uk/index.cfm?articleid=562


EMAS easy gets a boost in Germany

The Ministry of Environment in Baden-Wuerttemberg supports the first German EMASeasy pilot project.

Modell Hohenlohe, a network of about 180 companies which works for better environmental management and sustainable economics, has initiated a cluster project with 6 small and medium sized enterprises (SME), mostly from the metal processing sector. The project objective is to introduce an environmental management system to the companies using the EMASeasy-concept and over 70% of the project's costs are being provided by the Ministry of Environment.

"A picture says a thousand words" and, with this concept, Heinz-Werner Engel developed the Ecomapping tool with SMEs in mind. Since its inception in the 1990's, Ecomapping has spread worldwide and has been used in many projects as an initial step in environmental management system development. Using these experiences Ecomapping has been developed into the ISO/EMASeasy-toolbox, allowing SMEs to implement a full EMS in an easy, timely, employee-oriented and cost-effective way. EMASeasy is well-suited to cluster projects with several companies and this German pilot hopes to achieve EMAS registration for all participants by June 2007.

For network information, contact Jutta Bauer, Modell Hohenlohe e.V., Hohebuch 36, D - 74638 Waldenburg, Germany, tel. +49 (0) 7942 / 9 44 91- 0

For information on the project management, contact Dr. Stefan Muessig, WUQM, Frankfurter Strasse 7, D - 97297 Waldbuettelbrunn, Germany, tel. +49 (0) 931 / 409400.

 

 

Latest News (last updated 25 January 2007)

European Commission starts Internet Consultation on the EMAS revision process

The EMAS regulation EC 761/2001 is to be revised soon. New commission rules require an Internet consultation process, aimed at collecting comment from all stakeholders for consideration during the drafting process.

The first draft of the new Regulation will be finalized by the Commission for September 2007, which might make it possible for the revised regulation to come into force in 2010.

The internet consultation, initiated on 22 December 2006, will be open until 26 February 2007 and calls on everybody interested in the EMAS Regulation to answer questions including:

  • How will EMAS relate to other Management systems and to environmental legislation?
  • How can EMAS contribute to the innovative use of product information and to sustainable development?
  • How can SMEs be persuaded to participate and improve their environmental performance further?

The Commission has a special interest in the opinion of companies who have not participated in EMAS so far.

The stakeholder consultation process can be found here:
/environment/emas/consultation_en.htm

Train Manufacturer speeds towards EMAS registration for their European operations.

locomotive and logo

The European operations of Canadian railroad equipment manufacturer Bombardier are being encouraged to compete in their registration to EMAS.

Bombardier Transportation GmbH is a global leader in the manufacturing of railroad equipment and its servicing. The company has recently received EMAS certificates for another two German sites, in Bautzen and Görlitz, taking the number of sites registered there to a total of seven.

Bombardier, offering its products under the TRAXX brand, produces integrated transport solutions. It manufacturers locomotives with either diesel or electrical propulsions units for both freight and passenger services, is committed to improving its environmental performance even further. With environmental product declarations prepared by its Design for Environment Centre at Vasteras, in Sweden, and its membership of the German Environmental Management Association (BAUM), it is now also a subscriber to the International Union of Public Transport's (IUPT) Sustainability Charter.

In addition to its German operations, its Polish site in Wroclaw, already certified to ISO 14001 in July 2000, has now been assessed by an independent verifier and recommended for registration to EMAS.
The site produces railcar bodies and bogie frames and awaits ebing included in the register by the Polish Ministry of the Environment.
Bombardier also makes use of the EMAS logo during their product exhibitions, explicitly referring to the promotion of EMAS and not by using the EMAS logos “validated environmental management†on the locomotives. Examples are presented here

More information is available from Mr. Michael Schemmer, Senior Director for HSE at Bombardier Transportation.

Large organisations well represented among German EMAS participants

Graph as of May 2006

Nearly one fifth of all EMAS-registered companies in Germany are large companies

Two thirds of all German EMAS-registered organisations are classifies as SMEs, with less than 250 employees. Of these, the largest fraction consists of organisations employing 50-100 people.

Large companies, with more than 250 employees, account for 20% of all registrations while only 1% of all registered organisations belong to the category employing more than 500. The smallest EMAS organisation has one employee, the largest more than 50.000. Among the largest, the German automotive manufacturers are well represented with the names of Volkswagen, BMW and DaimlerChrysler listed.

Graph as of May 2006

Statistics and graph courtesy of Environmental Verification Committee, Germany (UGA): For more information read http://www.uga.de/downloads/EMAS_AKTUELL_no_9_2006.pdf ; (page 4), in German.

Bayernoil registers three refineries to EMAS

Bayernoil registers three refineries to EMAS

Rare registration from refinery sector

With 300 registrations making Bavaria one of the most successful EMAS regions in the EU, the state has now gained a significant representative from the oil and gas sector! The Bayernoil Refinery Corporation has started EMAS in all its three sites, at Vohburg, Ingolstadt and Neustadt, situated along the Danube River east of Ingolstadt. All function as one large refinery, connected through a network of 16 pipelines transporting gasoline, gas oil components and other refined products.

The Corporation employs 830 to process crude oil into gasoline, diesel, heating oil and bitumen, refining close to 12 million tonnes per year. The total storage capacity of the complex is 3.4 million cubic metres.

The chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce of Ingolstadt-Pfaffenhofen, Mr. Fritz Peters, handing over the certificate of registration to Bayernoil Refinery Corporation, said 'By acting voluntarily, people show considerably more ambition than those forced to act against their belief. Free competition liberates more commitment and imagination than the dead hand of legislation†. He went on to praise the success of EMAS and to highlight the rigorous standards imposed on companies and their environmental performance.

He concluded 'Participating in EMAS offers good benefits, not only to the environment, but also to the company, helping, for example, to identify threats to local ecology from their operations but offering potential cost savings.'

The environmental statement of Bayernoil provides additional information: http://www.bayernoil.de/Umwelterklaerung.90.0.html

Early success for EMAS Easy

Early success for EMAS Easy

Currently, Hungary has 8 EMAS registrations of which four are small organisations. This success arises from participation in a capacity-building cluster project to implement EMAS in a simplified way in new member states SMEs. The approach used was based on the Ecomapping (http://www.ecomapping.org) and 'EMAS Easy' methodology.

The 'EMAS Easy' capacity-building project was started in Hungary in March 2005, to show Hungarian SMEs a simpler way to achieve EMAS. The programme lasted until spring 2006 and, with Belgian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Latvian and Polish partners, a total of 57 SMEs took part in EMAS implementation. Ten Hungarian and one Romanian companies participated in the Hungarian EMAS Easy project, including the project coordinator, KÖVET-INEM Hungária (Hungarian Association for Environmentally Aware Management).

Ultimately, four SMEs achieved registration – KÖVET, Crew Print (a print shop), Waterworks of Kaposvár (sewage plant) and Premed-Pharma (medical services and trade). The system was also implemented in the other seven companies, but they did not want to have an external audit. Further information in Hungarian is available in from http://www.kovet.hu.

Together with the EMAS Easy pioneers, KÖVET, Crew and Kaposvári Vízmuvek, two other Hungarian registrations, Elgoscar-2000 and Ricosta contributed to the highest number of registrations in New Member States, winning for Hungary the EMAS Award 2006.

Building on the expertise of the †Networking with EMAS for Sustainable Development†project (NEST) in urban environmental management

The NEST project has identified numerous examples of best practice to assist in the development of environmental programmes amongst the participating municipalities.

Best practice examples can be a source of inspiration for local authorities implementing EMAS. A series of 'Best Practice' guidance documents have been produced to help local government authorities to implement environmental improvements. New examples of these have been added to the project website including:

  • The ambitious Vienna Climate Change Programme (KliP), which shows how climate protection can be mainstreamed into local government;
  • "From park waste to energy" - how the city of Stuttgart is using waste wood for heating municipal buildings

A series of eight fact sheets are under preparation as part of the NEST project. These give guidance for local governments on the positive environmental actions and measures that can be taken, for example, in town planning, waste management and building management. The first 4 fact sheet drafts will be available soon from the NEST website and they will cover the following themes:

  • Greening of offices (good housekeeping)
  • Sustainable construction
  • Building management
  • Overcoming barriers in implementing environmental management

One of the project partners, the municipality of Serres (Greece) has produced a leaflet for the staff based on the fact sheets. This is a good example on how local governments can adapt the material produced in the NEST project to their own local circumstances.

The next NEST partner meeting will take place in Poland in the municipality of Trzebinia in October 2007. The meeting will be crucial for the local government partners in their preparation for the EMAS verification. The training in autumn will be organised to help local government partners to carry out internal audits as well as peer reviews.

The best practice work will also come to an end this autumn and the series of 8 fact sheets and up to 20 best practice case examples will be available for the project partners, and for the other local governments in Europe that wish to take on the challenge of implementing environmental management. The material produced can also be useful for cities and towns that are implementing Local Agenda 21 or other local sustainability processes, including the Aalborg Commitments.

German hospitals EMAS working group provides practical help

The representatives of more than 80 German hospitals will meet in Limburg this spring to update their EMAS tools for industry practitioners.

The German Hospitals EMAS Working Group, founded in 2003, has a membership of around 80 registered hospitals in Germany. The main target of the working group is the provision of better EMAS tools for practitioners. The group's participants, mainly environmental managers of hospitals, will share and profit from the practical expertise and ideas of their colleagues.

In 2006, the experts discussed the identification and assessment of indirect aspects, including procurement, and the integration of EMAS with quality management systems.

Participants in the working group meetings receive a certificate, demonstrating their commitment to Continuing Professional Development.

Experts interested in the training course contact Mr. Martin Nöthe.

Constructing the Acropolis Museum under EMAS

In November 2006, 30 representatives of the European Commission were astonished when visiting the construction site of the Acropolis Museum in Athens. The project, budgeted at more than €100 million, and which consists of the new museum development and related urban planning activities, is managed by Greek construction company AKTOR SA., which is EMAS registered.

In Greece too, construction companies have to demonstrate how they manage environmental requirements. †, Niki Siouta, Environment, Health & Safety Manager with AKTOR says. 'EMAS helps us underline our technical capacity in major construction contracts.'

When building the museum, the contractor was required to demonstrate the ability to work within the famous archaeological site with minimal interference to the remains, as well as its commitment to sustainable construction methods. The impressive new construction had to be piled on very few pillars, above the ground, in order to keep the sensitive soil from over-compaction compaction.

'Our participation in EMAS has already paid off' Mrs. Siouta stated.

The environmental statement of AKTOR is available in English here:

Source courtesy of Environmental Verification Committee, Germany (UGA): http://www.uga.de/downloads/EMAS_AKTUELL_no_11_2006.pdf

EMAS-registered companies support European recycling network

A number of companies registered under EMAS are working in the RREUSE initiative to promote re-use and recycling of materials.

RREUSE – Re-use and Recycling European Union of Social Enterprises – comprises a European network of national and regional social economic federations and enterprises with activities in re-use and recycling. The network comprises many institutions dedicated to the more sustainable management of many waste streams, providing employment and support for the long-term unemployed, the less-able and those at risk.

With funding from the Belgian Secretary of State for Sustainable Development and Social Economy, RREUSE has just completed and inventory of the quality and environmental systems in use among its European members, researching the reasons for their use and the benefits derived from them. The results are to inform the drafting of a practical quality manual.

Meanwhile, the study shows examples of environmental management systems in Belgian and Finish SMEs of the RREUSE Network. There are seven such registrations across the network – in Spain, Austria and Belgium. The two Belgian SMEs obtained their registrations employing the innovative 'EMAS Easy' methodology. EMAS and ISO 14001 are quoted as being the starting point and the incentive to develop a better Quality, social and safety management system.

The Quality Manual for Social Enterprises (November 2006) is available in English, French and Dutch Version on the web under the address http://rreuse.org/33/index.php?id=71.

 

Latest News (last updated 22 December 2006)

New EMAS Helpdesk

As of 1st January the Helpdesk team will change. The new contact details of the EMAS Helpdesk will be :

E-mail: emas@ec.europa.eu
Voice mail: +43-1-31304-7000
Fax: +43-1-31304-5958
Letter: Federal Environment Agency
Spittelauerlände 5
A-1090 Vienna
Austria

We wish all EMAS colleagues and friends all the best for the New Year 2007 and would like to thank you for your collaboration and support over the last six years.

EMAS workshop in Brussels

On 11-12 December the European Commission held a workshop on the revision of the EMAS regulation in Brussels. During the two days 65 participants from 21 Member States debated requirements, incentives, procedures, marketing and promotional strategies for EMAS. In four different working groups crucial aspects for the amendment of the Regulation were scrutinised. Topics included legal compliance, the attractiveness and user-friendliness of the scheme, the roles of bodies involved, the use of the EMAS logo and many other issues. Due to a balanced participation of representatives from relevant sectors and stakeholder organisations, a broad range of aspects key to all parties concerned was introduced in the working sessions. This will allow for a comprehensive view on the future regulation, which is envisaged to enter into force by 2009.

Spanish handbook on Environmental Statements

The Spanish Ministry of the Environment has recently published a handbook to facilitate the elaboration of environmental statements by organisations who wish to implement EMAS. The aim of the publication is to establish minimum criteria that can be used as a reference to improve the quality, reliability and understanding of environmental data and information. At the same time it is intended to promote the homogeneity of environmental statements, making it easier to follow organisations’ environmental performance through different years and to allow comparison with each other. In addition to presenting, step by step, the requirements established by the EMAS Regulation and clarifying how to approach them, the handbook shows a series of “good ideas†, suggestions and best examples based on input from the regional Competent Bodies and analysis of different environmental statements.

The handbook (in Spanish) can be downloaded here.

Prizes for best environmental reporting in Germany

Every autumn a jury at the Chamber of Public Accountants in Berlin selects the best environmental and sustainability reporting of the year. The winners of the German Environmental Reporting Award (DURA) in 2006 were announced on 29 November, by Chamber President Dieter Ulrich and State Secretary Michael Müller of the Federal Environmental Ministry. Two EMAS enterprises were awarded, airport Munich for "best environmental reporting“ and Lincoln GmbH & CO KG for "best environmental communication in small and medium-size enterprises“, based on their 2005 environmental statements. Lincoln is a fast growing medium sized company which is world leader in grease lubrication systems and equipment. One of the reasons their environmental statement was voted so highly is because of the proactive participation of the work council. Airport Munich was awarded for its innovative and transparent way of reporting. See all winners on http://www.wpk.de/dura/preistraeger_2006.asp

Please also download the Environmental Statement 2005 of Munich airport (in German) and the Environmental Statement 2006 of Lincoln GmbH & Co KG (in English).

EMAS Newsletter on Education available

The December newsletter focuses on EMAS in the education sector, which affects about 92 million pupils and students, over 20% of the EU population. EMAS increasingly finds its way into schools, universities and other educational institutions where a wide implementation allows for environmental education, efficient resource use and ecological optimisation. In terms of sustainable development, early familiarisation for children and young adults is important to guarantee improved environmental behaviour at home and in professional life. EMAS contributes to keeping high-quality education systems affordable while providing for sustainable maintenance of our habitat.

In this edition we feature innovative institutions such as the University of Macedonia in Greece, the Italian school Lyceo Cornao and the Politenich Institute Jesús Obrero in Spain. Finally, an interview with project coordinator Christiane Bodammer-Gausepohl offers an insight into the DIR-EMAS in schools project which created a network between schools in Germany, Austria, Finland, Sweden and Romania. Please find the full version of the newsletter here

EMAS@School: making connections between education and services in the agrarian sector

Escola Superior Agrária de Coimbra (ESAC) in Portugal is a public polytechnic teaching institution which, alongside education and research, carries out services in agriculture, forestry, environmental engineering, food science and technology, and ecotourism. Now the institution aims to become EMAS registered and is assessing how EMAS can take forward the priorities of the Common Agricultural Policy. The initiative started in 2003 with the LIFE project EMAS@Schools. Since then the EMAS team has strived to integrate all their fields of activities into the environmental management system. At the end of September 2006 the ESAC organised the project's final International Conference where the role of Environmental Management Systems and Tools was discussed. One of the Institution's main challenges is the implementation of an efficient management system on the enormous area of its grounds of 142 ha. As a result they have developed a Geographical Information System to rationalise all tasks in the area. Another challenge is to involve all members of the organisation, not only to make the environmental management system possible, but also so that students can experience good environmental practices applicable to future professional activities. The project also seeks to promote EMAS among public institutions and organisations working in the agricultural sector. For further information please visit the website EMAS@Schools (in Portuguese and partly in English).

EMAS can be as easy as that

The EMAS easy methodology is going to be adapted to the particularities of German SMEs, in the framework of a pilot project at the Federal Foundation for the Environment. Experiences in France, Hungary and Belgium show that SMEs can obtain an EMAS registration with minimum cost and time effort. Individual consultation and workshops with interested organisations, as well as standardised documentation, minimise costs for external consultants and verifiers. In Germany the first workshops have taken place to train Representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and consultants who are now implementing the methodology in small companies. Other organisations that implemented the methodology directly are expected to register in 2007.

The Catalan Competent Body leads by example

The Department of the Environment and Housing of the Government of Catalonia is a very active Competent Body when it comes to promoting EMAS in this Spanish region, which holds 30% of EMAS registered organisations in Spain. Now they have taken a step further and are leading by example thanks to their achievement of EMAS registration. The figures included in their environmental statement show significant improvements in 2005: electricity consumption was reduced by 6%, the amount of paper by 25%, natural gas usage was cut by 8% and water by 5%. All 272 employees are striving to reach the goals of the environmental management system through a programme of best environmental practice at the office, which was initiated in 2004 to tackle efficiency in the use of paper, water, energy and management of waste. In addition to training, office posters and messages sent by the IT services ensure that nobody forgets that every individual contribution is fundamental to the final result. Besides staff involvement, technical and organisational measures have been undertaken. For instance, an energy audit was carried out in 2004 following the methodology of the European project GREENEFFECT which addresses reduction of CO2 emissions through energy efficiency and purchasing of green electricity. Today, an electronic panel at the building entrance allows visitors and staff to follow the building’s consumption of energy, with information on current figures and deviation from the established targets. Green Public Procurement is also an issue, with the introduction of environmental criteria when purchasing paper, stationery, vehicles and ITC equipment, and when contracting cleaning or printing services.

More detailed information (in Catalan) can be found here and the Environmental Statement is available for download here.

New website to support EMAS in Lombardia (Italy)

ARPA Lombardia, the Regional Agency for the Protection of the Environment, has recently launched a new website to facilitate implementation of EMAS in this Italian Region. The sections include information about the scheme in Lombardia and Italy and different challenges as far as its promotion is concerned. In addition to legislative text, guidance documents and different tools to assist with the registration procedures, case studies on EMAS registered organisations in Lombardia, Italy and other countries can be downloaded. Moreover, through the section “Progetti di promozione†, information on all initiatives aimed at promoting EMAS is available. In particular, it is worthwhile highlighting the project “Traghettare da ISO 14001 ad EMAS†, supported by APAT, which aims to promote EMAS among those organisations from the province of Bergamo that have the ISO 14001 certification. Within this project different activities to support verifiers and organisations are foreseen. For instance, a convention to inform organisations about the role of ARPA and all actors involved in the registration process has been announced. An EMAS Newsletter will also be a key element of promotional activities. In addition, to present EMAS as a system of excellence that goes beyond ISO 14001, the project highlights a range of administrative and financial incentives from which EMAS registered organisations can benefit. For example, the environmental statement is recognised within the framework of the Directive 96/61/EC concerning integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC) and the validity of IPPC permits is prolonged from 5 to 8 years for EMAS registered organisations.

Currently there are 80 EMAS registered organisations in Lombardia. With this initiative ARPA Lombardia hopes to increase the number of organisations that see EMAS as a scheme of excellence and decide to join.

The address of the EMAS website is: http://www.arpalombardia.it/emas

Latest News (last updated 24 November 2006)

2006 European EMAS Award ceremony held in Greece

The European EMAS Awards 2006 were presented during a prestigious dinner ceremony at the Ledra Marriot Hotel in Athens on 13th November. The Environment Directorate General of the European Commission, the Ministry of Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, Greece, and the Umweltbundesamt, Austria, announced the European Awards for three EMAS registered organisations, one for each category of organisation (micro, small and medium, large organisations). The award criterion this year was outstanding internal and/or external environmental communication. Out of 25 Member States nominees from Hungary, Czech Republic, Finland, Austria, Greece, Italy, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Norway and the UK, the following organisations received the EU award:

  • The Spanish organisation "Asociación de comerciantes minoristas del Mercado de Canillas" in the category of micro-organisations (<10 employees).
  • The German "Mainau GmbH" in the category of small and medium organisations (<250 employees)
  • and the Italian Local Authority "Provincia di Bologna" in the category of large organisations (>250 employees).

The 2006 award for the new Member State with the largest growth in the number of EMAS registrations on October 1st, 2006 was given to Hungary, and Greece received the overall Member State Award. During the event, Endesa Italy received a special mention for its hydro power plant in Terni, which is the 5,000th site to be registered under the European Union’s Environmental Management and Audit Scheme.
For more information about the winners and ceremony please visit: http://www.emasaward2006.eu/index.htm. A press release on the EMAS Awards from the European Commission can be downloaded here.

Canadian Bombardier Group registers further sites under EMAS and becomes a member of the Saxon Alliance for the Environment

Bombardier Transportation GmbH, a global leader in the rail equipment manufacturing and servicing industry, has received EMAS certificates for another two sites in Bautzen and Görlitz, taking their number of registered sited in Germany to a total of seven. The company, whose products range from metro cars, rail control solutions, bogies and high-speed trains to high-capacity urban transit systems and complete transportation systems, is committed to improve its environmental performance even further. Both newly EMAS registered sites were also affiliated to the Saxon Alliance for the Environment. The Alliance's objective is an environmentally sustainable development of the economy in Saxony. The Representative of the Saxon Ministry for the Environment, Mr Kuhl, recognised the Bombardier sites in Saxon as exemplary, not only in view of their economic performance but also with particular regard to climate protection. Mr Kuhl emphasised the organisation's exceptional environmental commitment, for example, the planned reduction of water and energy consumption to minimise carbon dioxide emissions by 3% per year from 2004 to 2008. This will bring about a total emission reduction of 2,000 tons. Please find more information (in German) here and on the company's web-site

EMAS guarantees efficient water use and makes administrative procedures easier in Catalonia

Many EMAS organisations have expressed the desire to be able to use the information available in Environmental Statements within the framework of administrative procedures. The Competent Body in Catalonia last month welcomed one step taken in this direction, praising the efforts made by Catalonian organisations participating in the scheme. As a result of the Law on efficient use of water passed in July 2006, the Environmental Statement can now be used as a way to demonstrate legal compliance. A new system has been established to reduce water rates of those companies with NACE codes belonging to sections B (05.02), C, D and E and that can prove efficiency in water use. This system considers both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to calculate water rates, applying a coefficient of 0.95 to companies which are improving their environmental performance. The qualitative method which includes, among other aspects, quality and origin of water, releases to water, manufacturing process and good practices such as cleaning, refrigeration, reutilisation and recycling of water, allows the presentation of Environmental Statements in order to benefit from this tax reduction.
You will find more information (in Catalan) here

Results of the Local Authority EMAS and Procurement (LEAP) Project now available

The LEAP project, funded by the European Commission, was completed on 31st October 2006. The project objective was to link green public procurement with environmental management systems. Currently 182 public authorities are registered under EMAS, which as a management system provides an effective framework for systematic implementation of green procurement. Since local authorities purchase large quantities of a wide range of goods on a regular basis, this activity can have a huge impact on the environment. Combining the purchases of several organisations allows environmentally friendly products to be bought at economically favourable conditions, even though the single unit price for green products is usually higher. In the course of the project eleven public authorities around Europe determined how current green purchasing practices could be improved by their integration into EMAS and other EMS. A toolkit was developed to enable this integration in order to organise procurement in the most environmentally friendly way. The toolkit is now available in Greek, Spanish, Sweden, Portuguese and English on the project web-site.

EMASplus: The Foundation Ecology and Development passes its exams to lead by example in Spain

ECODES (Ecology and Development) is a NGO operating in Spain and South America, which works in the field of sustainable development. Last month, it proudly announced the final implementation of EMASplus, a sustainability management model, developed within the framework of the European LIFE project "Sustainable Churches", and which, based on EMAS and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), allows continuous ecological, social and economical improvements. The scope of the organisation’s sustainable management system includes all aspects of the management of projects, activities and services to promote sustainable development in the field of water efficiency, energy efficiency and renewable energies, economy and social responsibility, responsible consumerism, fair trade, environmental conflict mediation, health and environment. The NGO deems this process as an opportunity to improve its efficiency as far as organisational, environmental, social and economic aspects are concerned, and, at the same time, to lead by example. After having passed a double exam with AENOR, who has verified its compliance with both the requirements of the EMAS Regulation and those established by EMASplus, the organisation is currently in the process of becoming EMAS registered.
ECODES, responsible for coordinating EMASplus in Spain, is giving advice and providing supporting material to SMEs and other small organisations interested in joining this initiative. For further details please see their Website (in Spanish). More information about EMASplus and the LIFE project can be found here.

Chamber of Commerce in Forlì-Cesena trains EMAS and Ecolabel Auditors and Consultants

The Centre of Innovation and Economic Development of the Chamber of Commerce in Forlì-Cesana (Italy) is to hold the second edition of the EMAS and Ecolabel "School", which aims to train Auditors and Consultants on EMAS and Ecolabel to support those organisations hoping to become EMAS registered or to achieve the Ecolabel for their products or services. From 10th of November until March 2007 a total of 20 participants will be attending the course on EMAS in the agrifood and thermal sectors, while the course focusing on Ecolabel for tourism products and services will receive 10 "students".
Forlì-Cesana is the first EMAS "School" accredited by the Emilia Romagna Region to organise this course and results from the cooperation of the Chamber of Commerce di Forlì-Cesana, the Province of Forlì-Cesena and the Town Hall of Forli. You will find more information on the course and its activities here.

200 participants attend EMAS Seminar in Madrid

On the 7th of November the Spanish Ministry of the Environment organised a Seminar on "EMAS initiatives and development of the scheme" with the objective of supporting and informing EMAS registered organisations about the development of EMAS in Spain. A total of 200 participants coming from Spanish Competent Bodies, EMAS organisations and stakeholders had the opportunity to discuss benefits and difficulties faced by EMAS registered organisations. In addition, the Ministry of Environment, which is currently introducing EMAS in its organisation, presented the results and state of play of its own experience and explained the main aspects of the future regulation for the application of EMAS in Spain. Furthermore, the participants were informed about the situation concerning the revision of the EMAS Regulation and its potential positive impacts for organisations. The organisers invited the Town Hall of Oviedo and the Association of Merchants of the Market of Canillas (Madrid), EMAS registered since February 2003, to attend as examples of best practice.
With a total of 617 registered organisations and 775 sites, the number of registrations is increasing continuously in Spain, where the national and regional Competent Bodies are very active in promoting EMAS.
The programme for this event can be downloaded here (pdf PDF, 21.9 kb)

Latest News (last updated 26 October 2006)

EMAS adds its 5,000th registered site

The milestone of more than 5,000th EMAS registered sites has been reached for the first time since EMAS entered into force in 1995, with the registration of the Italian “Impianto di Galleto Pennarossa†, a hydroelectric power plant which belongs to the energy company Endesa Italia SpA. The total number of sites as of 10 October 2006 is 5,066. Endesa Italia is part of the Endesa Group, a Spanish multinational which is the major electricity company in Spain and also operates in Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Peru. The company integrates environmental management into its corporate strategy, where environmental criteria are taken into account during planning and decision making processes. As a result the company has committed itself to an ambitious Environmental Policy, which includes a climate change strategy to enhance renewable energies and to research and develop clean and efficient technologies. “Impianto di Galleto Pennarossa†is one of the 21 hydroelectric power stations “Nucleo Idroelettrico di Terni†, which are located in the river basin between Umbria, Lazio and Marche on the rivers Tevere, Nera e Velino, and have a combined production capacity of 530 MW. With the registration of “Nucleo Idroelettrico di Terni†, Endesa Italia has now registered all its sites of production and distribution of electricity under EMAS. An exhaustive environmental management programme has been established for the Terni group covering aspects such as: reduction of risk of water and soil pollution by lubricants, oils and other hazardous substances, increase of waste recycling, respect of the ichthyic fauna and ecosystems, energy recovery and total elimination of hazardous substances. At the same time priority is given to cooperation with stakeholders in order to improve the natural conditions of the territory, so increasing its environmental facilities for local communities.
The European Commission believes that reaching the landmark 5,000th site is a significant achievement in the development of EMAS and reflects the continuous growing success of the scheme.
Environmental Statements of Endesa Italia site may be consulted at: http://www.endesaitalia.it/index_f4.html

Experience EMAS with all senses on the Isle of Mainau

The Isle of Mainau in the Lake of Constance is a popular destination for tourists in Germany and was one of the first botanical gardens to become EMAS registered. The garden was founded in 1827 and received its EMAS certificate in 1998. Now a new initiative called “EMAS with all senses†introduces an EMAS walkabout on the Isle, to depict the principles of EMAS to the general public in the most tangible way. Five innovative information points in the garden demonstrate the benefits of EMAS. The EMAS plaza, found in the rose garden of the colourful historic garden aims at inspiring the visitor to pause and explore the elements of nature, air, water, and soil which are under environmental management. Furthermore four interactive "EMAS towers" have been integrated into willow trees. Visitors are attracted to discover the constructions at close range and find information on the principles of EMAS hidden behind branches and leaves.The concept ensures that no elements other than plants are visible from the outside, so that the info points do not interfere with the historic park. In this way the idea of sustainable ecological management is perfectly implemented. Interactive technology, as well as workshops and activities for school children, further support this approach. The main target of the organisers is to encourage visitors to become involved and to demonstrate where they can start to introduce the principles of EMAS in their own life.
For more information about EMAS on the Mainau please find the environmental statement here (pdf PDF, 2,333 kb) and visit http://www.mainau.de/htdocs/en/0109.htm

University of Life Sciences in Vienna takes up the EMAS principles

The University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Science in Vienna, also known by its acronym "BOKU", is the first EMAS registered University in Austria. EU funded projects for the implementation of EMAS in Universities are ongoing in many Member States, with a number of Universities already registered in Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Sweden. The BOKU, founded in 1872, is also called the "Alma Mater Viridis", has 1360 employees and is specialized in renewable resources as a basis for human life. For four years the Institute has been participating in the ECOPROFIT programme, which aims to strengthen businesses economically through preventive environmental protection. Now the final step has been reached and a detailed sustainable report published. Vice Chancellor Hubert Dürrstein praises the strategic approach of EMAS, as it reaches far beyond single measures such as waste separation and reduction of environmental damage. EMAS has become part of all departments of the organisation and will be particularly important for infrastructure management, research and teaching. Communications on EMAS and its role for sustainability, both internally and externally, will be essential to implement the concept among all key players. “EMAS registration is a major step towards a responsible university†, says Karl Braun, Environmental Management Representative at the BOKU. Main environmental targets in 2006 are green procurement, reduction of paper and energy consumption and improved management of chemicals.
For more information (in German) please visit http://www.boku.ac.at/8610.html and http://www.boku.ac.at/7058.html

Legal amendments in Spitsbergen, Norway pave the way for EMAS

The islands of Svaløbard (Spitsbergen) have been the northernmost part of the Kingdom of Norway since they were made a part of the country with the Svaløbard Act of 1925. However, although the Svaløbard Treaty recognises Norwegian sovereignty over Svaløbard, not all Norwegian law applies for the islands-group. This means that the EEC-agreement between the EU and Norway does not apply, and as a result the EMAS-regulation was not applicable to organisations in Spitsbergen.
Following the Svaløbard Environment Act of June 2001 the EMAS regulation has now been made applicable for Svaløbard, with effect from July 2006. Organisations situated in Svaløbard can now be registered under EMAS and are welcome to implement the scheme. The Norwegian Competent Body reports that about 150 organisations have the potential to register with EMAS, bringing the scheme to the "most Nordic place" in Europe.

EMAS enters the catering sector

The Minister for the Environment in Baden-Würtemberg, Germany, Tanja Gönner, handed over the EMAS certificate to Herbert Kratz, owner of HERBY’S PARTY-SERVICE, in Kraichtal. "The Commitment of the company deserves high recognition and it is desirable to promote such good examples to further support the scheme", said Tanja Gönner. The company is one of the pioneers in the catering sector in Europe that has successfully introduced the eco-management scheme in all fields of its business. "Through EMAS we made future oriented developments that essentially improved our environmental performance. EMAS registrations are trend-setting for the whole catering sector since customers start to profit from confidence, transparency and safety based on an internationally recognised standard" says Wolfgang Finken, business manager of the company.
A further two catering services are EMAS registered in Europe: Apetito Catering in Schlehdorf, Germany and IBERSWISS CATERING, S.A. in Madrid, Spain. The German Catering Union aims at encouraging all its member organisations to register under EMAS and to achieve energy savings, reduce water consumption and improve waste avoidance through the management scheme.
Please find more information (in German) here

The island of Albarella in Italy manages tourism through EMAS

The number of tourism organisations registered under EMAS is growing steadily in Italy. This year, after the registration of Residence San Pietro Barisano (Matera), Bibione Mare (San Michele al Tagliamento) and Ostello Amolara (Adria), the Island of Albarrella has become the 11th EMAS registered organisation in this sector. Albarella is a 528 ha private island with two million trees situated in the “National Nature Resort of the Po Delta†, where access to cars is restricted and 3,000 bicycles are the main means of transport. The island is managed by Comprensorio turistico dell'isola di Albarella, a consortium set up by the three companies responsible for all activities on the island. The tourism agency runs accommodation and tourism services for two hotels, several hundreds of villas and guest houses, the sports centre, the golf club and the Marina (harbour). With the help of EMAS, its 45 employees are striving to keep the environment clean and raise awareness for the limited natural resources on the island of Albarella. In EMAS they have found a fitting tool to boost tourism management that is sensitive to the natural values of this territory and to its sustainable development.
For further information please visit: www.albarella.it. The Environmental Statement may be downloaded here (pdf PDF, 1,738 kb).

25 nominees compete for the European EMAS Awards 2006

A total of 25 organisations have been nominated by the national Competent Bodies for the European EMAS Awards 2006. A jury of five experts will be responsible for making the Awards on 13 November in Athens, Greece. The nominees come from countries such as: Hungary, Czech Republic, Finland, Austria, Greece, Italy, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Norway and UK. This year the awards will be for the best internal and/or external communication campaign run by an EMAS organisation in the category of micro-organisations (<10 employees), small and medium organisations (<250 employees) and large organisations (>250 employees). The ceremony will offer a great opportunity to draw organisations’ attention towards exemplary environmental communication activities. These include activities aimed at employee involvement and information, the promotion of environmental improvement actions taken by organisations, and the promotion of the values of EMAS to a large number of stakeholders.
Detailed information will soon be available on the EMAS Award web-site

EMAS Newsletter on SMEs with less than 15 employees published

The latest EMAS Newsletter focuses on EMAS registered organisations that have less than 15 staff. We report on former EMAS Award winners, Butchery Steinmetz in Germany and Austrian Chimney Sweeper Engelbrechtsmüller, and on three family businesses in the decoration and food sector in Spain and Italy. In addition you can read about "EMAS–Easy", the tool to facilitate the implementation of EMAS in Micro and Small Enterprises in a matter of months.
The EMAS Newsletter is available to be downloaded here (pdf PDF, 430 kb)

Latest News (last updated 24 September 2006)

European EMAS Awards 2006: Athens 13th November 2006

The European Commission has announced that the EMAS Awards 2006 will take place on 13th November 2006 in Athens, Greece. This year the awards will be for the best internal and/or external communication campaign run by an EMAS organisation in the category of micro-organisations (<10 employees), small and medium organisations (<250 employees) and large organisations (>250 employees). The ceremony will offer a great opportunity to draw organisations’ attention towards exemplary environmental communication activities. These include activities aimed at employee involvement and information, the promotion of environmental improvement actions taken by organisations, and the promotion of the values of EMAS to a large number of stakeholders.
This award is open to all organisations, from the industrial, service or public sector. The Member States EMAS Competent Bodies are responsible for nominating one entry per Member State in each of the three above-mentioned categories to a jury of five experts on 29th September.
Detailed information will soon be available on the EMAS Award web-site

First EMAS registrations for the Greek tourism sector and the municipality of Ancient Olympia

The Municipality of Ancient Olympia in Greece has proudly completed EMAS verification and is currently awaiting its EMAS registration together with a number of local restaurants and hotels that are also applying the scheme. These are the first registrations in the field of tourism in Greece. Images from the site of the original Olympic Games and EMAS can be seen linked together on a sign at the entrance to the town.
This is a fitting conclusion to the Green Cult LIFE project, which has focused on the development of a methodology for integrating environmental considerations into the organisation of cultural events, together with protection of the local environment and the cultural assets of the area. Synergies between local authorities and the private sector are critical to the process. Thus, in addition to involving all departments of the Municipality, cooperation with restaurants and hotels has been fundamental, in particular to achieve important improvements in areas such as waste handling and energy use that show how good environmental practice improves business.
Citizen participation also plays an important role in Olympia. For instance, local students play an active role in the implementation of the local environmental programme, particularly in actions related to waste management. The city also aims to raise environmental awareness among over one million annual visitors to the Olympic sites. Other relevant actions include: environmental assessment of the annual budget, promotion of renewable energy in new construction projects, construction of a recycling centre and cooperation with neighbouring municipalities in waste management.
Ancient Olympia, which will become the first municipality in Greece to achieve EMAS registration, is already promoting EMAS among other cities, in particular through its contribution to the Life NEST Project where participants from Poland, Hungary, Greece and United Kingdom are benefiting from others' experience.
For further information please visit: http://www.globaltolocal.com and www.emasnetwork.org

EMAS under full sail: "Shipping with EMAS" project aims to improve the situation of sea transport

The final meeting of the Life project "Shipping with EMAS" was held in Rome at the headquarters of Confitarma, the Italian Shipowners Association, at the end of July. It was the conclusion to 33 months of work leading to valuable results which will contribute to the promotion of EMAS among European shipping companies. To this end Confirtama, together with its partners Consar, D’Appolonia, Deiulemar, and Rina, have produced a methodological manual providing technical and strategic information on how to implement EMAS in a shipping company. The manual has been enriched with the experience gained during the implementation, validation and revision of an EMS according to EMAS, in the shipping company Deiulemar. Efforts have been made to analyse existing tools for the environmental management and integration of an EMS with the tools already applied in shipping companies. As a result, it includes specific tools such as: step by step guidance, check lists, comparison with existing EMS and integration with security instruments adopted by the International Maritime Organization.
Despite the success of Livorno, the first harbour registered under EMAS in the EU, Italy at present has very few EMAS registered organisations in the field of sea transport. It is expected that the impact of the "Shipping with EMAS project" and the distribution of the methodological manual to all EU shipping companies will help to increase the number of organisations applying EMAS in this field. The results of the project, started in 2003, could be applied to some 15,000 ships flying EU Member States’ flags, of which some 1,500 are Italian.
Further information on the results of the project can be found at: http://www.life-emasship.it/eng/. For more information about the event please visit: http://www.emas-ecolabel.it/site/it-IT/ContentChannels/Archivio_News/News/shipping_emas.html

Packaging of ink cartridges – EMAS made the managers think

Tigerline is a small Austrian wholesaler for IT equipment which distributes items such as cartridges and printer equipment. It has eight employees and registered with EMAS in June 2005. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (BMLFUW) in Austria, itself registered under EMAS, required EMAS verification from Tigerline as its supplier of ink cartridges, so giving the company the impulse for innovation. Packaging is a major cost factor and also has important environmental impacts through material consumption, secondary fuel and transport. Tigerline therefore set the environmental target to reduce plastic waste by 30% and initiated a plan to replace plastic packaging by blister packages. Previously, ink cartridges were packed in plastic bags and cardboard to protect ink from drying and UV-induced decay. Tigerline developed a new wrapping for their ink cartridges made from corn starch, which makes it 100% CO2 neutral. The new packaging, which has been used since February 2006, saves 50% of package weight and 50% of scrap packaging In this way the business sets a rare example of how wholesalers can facilitate even their customers to have a more environmentally friendly performance.
For more information please read the organisation's environmental statement here and visit http://www.tigerline.at/ and www.eco-pacsystem.com

Examples of integrated management systems compiled by German Newsletter "EMAS Aktuell"

The Environmental Verifiers Committee, UGA, which regularly publishes the German EMAS Newsletter "EMAS Aktuell", now intends to report on the successful integration of EMAS with other management systems. Integration of management systems saves time, for instance on maintenance and on applying the system, as well as saves money. EMAS can serve as the ecological column of sustainability management with the environmental statement becoming a part of the sustainability report. This will avoid doubling reporting and auditing efforts for different areas of a business, such as occupational safety, hygiene or total quality management. The UGA invites all EMAS organisations to submit reports on experience of the integration of EMAS into other management systems. The initiative could also generate valuable input for the EMAS Revision.
Experts are invited to contact the Environmental Verifiers Committee by email : info@uga.de.

EMAS could form a cornerstone for modernisation and updating of accounting rules

On 1 January 2005, the Directive 2003/51/EC, stipulating the new requirements for environmental aspects within the annual and the consolidated annual financial report, was transposed into national legislation in Austria and Germany. The Austrian Federal Environment Agency, acting as the Austrian EMAS Competent Body, has seen this as an opportunity for a new approach to strengthen the reputation of EMAS. By the end of September the Austrian Federal Environment Agency will have sent letters to about 800 large corporations affected by the Directive, to inform them about the possible advantages of using EMAS to address these legal improvements. One of the main goals of EMAS is to provide environmental information to the public and other interested parties, a possible link to Directive 2003/51/EC, which requires corporations to draft their financial review as a "balanced and comprehensive analysis of the development and performance of the business".
With this EMAS marketing initiative, funded by the Ministry of Environment (BMLFUW), the Federal Environment Agency hopes to strengthen further the knowledge of managing directors and boards of directors about EMAS, and to underline its link with economic indicators.
The Federal Environment Agency has drafted a research project with Ernst & Young in order to investigate further the conditions under which data from EMAS can be used as the environmental indicators required under the Directive 2003/51/EC.
For more information about the initiative please contact Monika Brom, Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt), Unit for Environmental Management, Transport and Noise (monika.brom@umweltbundesamt.at).
The Directive 2003/51/EC for the modernisation and updating of accounting rules of large companies can be downloaded here.

Pioneering German Federal Ministry becomes the first to register with EMAS

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety has become the first German Federal Ministry to introduce EMAS. On 29th August, Dr Hermann Hüwels, from the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) handed over the certificate to the German Minister for the Environment, Sigmar Gabriel. Mr Gabriel expects that others will follow the example of EMAS implementation in his Ministry and contribute voluntarily to environmental protection beyond the legal regulations. "EMAS allows us to identify potential cost savings systematically and professionally and improves our internal procedures" says the Minister. Future environmental objectives are to decrease emissions and the use of natural resources and raw materials. It is also planned to reduce the consumption of water, energy and paper and to encourage train transport for business trips.

Please download the environmental statement of the BMU here

 

 

 

Latest News (last updated 24 July 2006)

EMAS is considered core for compliance with the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Voluntary ecological and social responsibility have become increasingly important and challenging elements of CSR for European organisations. The Environmental Verification Committee (UGA) in Germany has just issued a press release highlighting that more than 4,600 organisations in the EU already fulfil one major element of CSR through EMAS. In Germany 1,500 EMAS registered organisations revalidate their EMAS registration annually and voluntarily fulfil high standards of permanent and sustainable environmental management. The Chairman of the Environmental Verification Committee, Dr. Michael Schemmer, points out that the scheme guarantees reliable information on organisations’ CSR activities and promotes social aspects through involvement of all employees. The EMAS scheme is therefore an indicator of sustainable management and makes all EMAS registered organisations pioneers of the CSR movement. To read the press release (in German) please click here

Spanish Opinion Study on the Revision of the EMAS Regulation
The Ministry of the Environment in Spain has carried out an Opinion Study on the Revision of the EMAS Regulation. A comprehensive questionnaire was sent to 583 interviewees such as registered organisations, verifiers, Competent Bodies, consultants and the National Accreditation Entity. The results reflect a wide array of advantages and challenges in applying EMAS and provide useful input for the EMAS revison. A total of 50.4% of all recipients participated and gave their opinion. Proposals ranged from assessment and control of indirect environmental aspects to voluntary benchmarking and promotional activities to allow organisations to compare their environmental performance with other organisations in their sector. The study was published on 6th June 2006 and is available here

Comune di Fabbriche di Vallico is the first mountain local authority in Tuscany to receive EMAS registration
Following the recent completion of the LIFE Pioneer Project in Italy, the Commune of Fabbriche di Vallico becomes one of the first EMAS registered local authorities in the Tuscany region and the first one to focus on protection of the mountain environment. Mayor Mr. Giurlani pointed out that the registration of Fabbriche di Vallico “was achieved through the encouraging participation of all responsible members of the community, which have immediately understood the importance of introducing environmental management in the municipality". In total 18 organisations registered during the course of the project, the aim of which was to foster stakeholders’ involvement by applying EMAS as a territorial policy instrument and to favour its integration with other key instruments, such as Agenda 21. For further information please visit http://www.life-pioneer.info/

35% growth in EMAS registrations in the Czech Republic
In May 2006 the Recycling company REMAT Jihlava, in Prague became the 21st EMAS registered organisation in the Czech Register. The number of EMAS registered organisations in the Czech Republic has grown significantly over the last year, with seven new organisations, mainly from the construction and waste management sectors, being registered by the EMAS Agency, so increasing the total number of registrations from 14 to 21. Another two registrations are expected to be completed during the summer months. For further information please contact Pavel Ruzicka

Siemens Medical presents a new way to use the EMAS Logo
Siemens strongly supports the approach of the European Commission towards a sustainable improvement of an environmentally friendly management system and therefore promotes and advertises EMAS in an exemplary manner in their entire scope of business. Following the Commission Decision in March 2006 to allow the use of the EMAS logo on transport and tertiary packaging, Siemens Medical Solutions has recently started to promote EMAS as its Management Scheme on placards and transport packaging. The aim is to stimulate dialogue and co-operation on the organisation’s environmental policy at large, with all actors in the production chain being involved to the same extent as users of Siemens medical products. Siemens uses the EMAS Logo, on its internationally shipped transport containers and explicative posters in their factories and customers’ areas to communicate EMAS as part of their successful corporate strategy. Dr. Peter Illini, Environmental Protection Manager at the Siemens site in Erlangen, Germany has highlighted how far reaching EMAS can be on a voluntary basis. EMAS, when applied during all production stages can considerably lower environmental impact, even of newly designed products, hence improving product efficiency for the benefit of the user. Siemens Medical operates worldwide with 33,000 international staff developing innovative devices and services to produce equipment for hospitals and medical practices. Please find examples of the Logo on transport packaging and placards here and in the Logo Corner.

Italian Ministry of the Environment aims to make Italy the European leader in implementation of EMAS III
The Italian Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Landscape intends to create an Italian Model for the adoption of the future EMAS scheme to promote EMAS registrations for enhanced quality of environmental performance. Their objective is to become a reference point for the implementation of EMAS III for all EU Member States and in particular for the new Member Countries and accession countries. The Ministry has demonstrated its strong commitment to promote EMAS registrations, in particular in the Public Administration sector, and also to contribute to the design and development of EMAS under the future Regulation. Following the Ministry’s submission, the Italian Parliament recently approved the restructured environmental framework which includes the fundamental principles of EMAS in future environmental legislation.
For further information (in Italian) please visit http://www.emas-ecolabel.it/site/it-IT/EMAS/


Order your EMAS pin
Due to continuing demand for EMAS pins, the agency at the Environmental Verification Committee (UGA) is organising a centralised purchase of EMAS pins. Please submit your order, by 31 July 2006, to the UGA-agency by email info@uga.de or by phone +49. 30. 29 77 32 31.

Latest News (last updated 19 June 2006)

EMAS in the European Parliament

EMAS in the European ParliamentDuring the Green Week an information and awareness campaign on EMAS activities in the European Parliament was launched in the EP buildings in Brussels. An EMAS information stand provided brochures and leaflets about EMAS in the Parliament. Representatives of the EMAS Coordination team were present to answer questions on EMAS and presented short films on EMAS and environmental issues in general. In addition visitors had the opportunity to browse the EMAS website. As part of further information activities EMAS Seminars will be open to the public in Luxembourg and Brussels on 20-21 June 2006.

Seminar on EMAS in Romania

In cooperation with the Romanian Ministry of Environment and Water Management, the Technical Assistance Information Exchange instrument of the European Commission organised a seminar on EMAS in Bucharest, Romania. The aim of the two-day meeting was to share experience on the implementation and application of EMAS and to assist its setting up by delivering short-term technical assistance to the relevant Romanian authorities and parties involved. The agenda included: initiating a consultative process between the target groups, improving the authorities’ activities related to EMAS and assisting in issues related to the provisions of the EMAS Regulation.
Source: http://taiex.cec.eu.int/

New in Europe: Club of EMAS organisations in Catalonia (Spain)

The EMAS Club, created on 6 June 2006, consists of 37 organisations, all registered with the Catalonian Competent Body. The creation of such a Club is unique in Europe and renews opportunities for the environment, the economy and the companies to work together closely.
The EMAS registered organisations in Catalonia realised that the Club was a necessary tool to represent them and could help them to have a voice when dealing with the administration and other social and economic stakeholders. With this in mind and with the support of the Ministry of Environment and Habitat, the new association will look for solutions to common issues encountered by all organisations, such as issues linked to public procurement or the integration of EMAS in sectoral standards. Please find more information here and on http://www.revisioemas.net

LIFE Project for EMAS in Local Authorities in the new Member States (NEST) publishes first Newsletter

EMAS is a fresh challenge in the new Member States, in particular for local authorities. Recent projects such as EMAS Cities induced interest and encouraged many local authorities to take the first steps towards a certified management system. The EU Life funded NEST Project will introduce EMAS to a network of 10 local authority partners in Poland, Hungary and Greece. The project provides hands-on measures and procedures to implement EMAS effectively, e.g. a guide book on the implementation of EMAS for small and under resourced authorities, best practice case studies to set international benchmarks and verification of the participating local authorities. Broad information dissemination to all local authorities in the EU is part of the strategy and the project’s first newsletter is available here
For more information on the project http://www.emasnetwork.org/

EMAS promotional material now available in Polish

The consortium LEMTECH Konsulting Sp z.o.o, Royal Haskoning and SEI implemented two Phare projects "Implementation of EMAS in Poland" and "Promotion of EMAS in Poland" together with the Polish Ministry of Environment between December 2004 and December 2005. Considering access to up to date information tailor-made for the relevant local sectors as key to inspire the uptake of EMAS in businesses and local authorities, these two projects aimed at promoting a high uptake of EMAS in Poland and published four manuals on EMAS in Polish language: EMAS -Przewodnik, EMAS -Poradnik dla administracji (in public administration), EMAS -Poradnik dla organizacji (in organisations), EMAS – Manual for verifiers. A film "Time for EMAS" was produced and a number of EMAS promotion posters and leaflets were published and distributed to interested organizations.
All manuals can be downloaded from this web-site. For more information please also visit http://www.emas-polska.pl/index_en.html

Conference on EMAS at German Universities and Colleges

On 31 May 2006 the German Environmental Verification Committee (UGA) and the University of Bremen held a conference in Bremen, Germany to discuss experiences and challenges of EMAS at research and educational institutions. The first college in Germany was registered under EMAS in 1999. Today there are ten universities and more than 100 other educational facilities using the scheme. Universities and Colleges play an important role as multipliers for the implementation of environmental management systems among enterprises and other organisations. Topics such as “how Universities could strengthen their role in developing and testing environmental management and sustainability instruments” and “how it could transfer own management experiences into outside practice” were part of the agenda. In Bremen the University, College and three R&D institutes use the Eco-Audit Scheme to check the environmental aspects of all estates, services and activities. “Bremen has the highest density of EMAS-registered R&D organisations. This demonstrates a very high innovation potential in environmentally sound research and teaching. We hope that the positive examples will encourage more organisations to introduce the scheme“, said Dr. Michael Schemmer, chairman of UGA.
The results are now published at: http://www.uga.de/?warp=archiv&b=7
Information on EMAS at the University of Bremen in German is available on http://www.ums.uni-bremen.de

Green Week 2006: EMAS registered organisations Aceria Compacta de Bizkaia SA, Volkswagen and City of Copenhagen win European Business Award for the Environment

The European Business Award for the Environment is awarded biannually for outstanding contributions to sustainable development achieved by companies and local authorities. The award is presented in four categories: products, processes, management and international collaboration. EMAS registered organisation Volkswagen AG (Germany) was awarded for its environmentally friendly processes and technologies and received the first prize for the development of an industrial process to recycle secondary raw material from scrapped old cars. The second prize of the management award for businesses which continually and significantly improve their environmental performance is shared between General Electric Hungary Ltd Light Source Factory (Hungary) and the EMAS registered company Aceria Compacta de Bizkaia SA from Spain for its measures in environmental management and a system to monitor pollution. Another EMAS registered organisation -the City of Copenhagen- received the European Mobility Award for their interpretation of this year’s motto “clever commuting“: Copenhagen tested new concepts and traffic plans which improved car sharing during the Mobility Week and cleared the City centre for pedestrians and bikers for three days.
Please find further information here

500th EMAS registration recorded in Italy

Since 2006 Italy has noted a significant growth in EMAS registrations by more than 30 % annually, including the highest number of new local authorities registered under EMAS and a series of innovative EMAS LIFE projects. In May the EMAS and Ecolabel Committee of Italy added Pasquale Vena & Figli Amaro Lucano SpA., located at Pisticci (MT), as the 500th EMAS registered organisation to the Italian register. Over the last three years the number of registrations has exceeded former registration rates by more than 250% year on year. Businesses constantly show high interest and consider EMAS the top management system to guarantee improved performance. Italian EMAS officials including Pino Lucchesi, president of the EMAS and Ecolabel Committee, are satisfied by how Italy proves that growth of EMAS registrations is manageable given sufficient state support and strong networking, both on a national and regional level. For further information please visit the Italian EMAS and Ecolabel web-site

Stadiums in Munich and in Nuremberg registered under EMAS for FIFA World Cup

Following the Franken-Stadion in Nuremberg, the Allianz Arena in Munich has now been EMAS registered for their modern approach to environmental management. Management teams in both stadiums intend to set an example in terms of environmental protection since 600,000 foreign visitors are expected. From energy and water savings to waste reduction, systems for rainwater seepage and refusal of wood from tropical forest in the stadium interior, extensive measures were taken to reduce costs and at the same time increase sustainability. For example, in the stadium of Munich, energy savings reach up to 50% due to the installation of energy-saving lamps, motion detectors in stairways and the players’ area and regulated air conditioning. For 2006 and 2007 further savings of 5% in energy and 3% in water consumption are planned.
For more information on the stadium in Munich please visit http://greengoal.fifaworldcup.yahoo.net/en/news/details.php?id=105
and for Nuremberg http://greengoal.fifaworldcup.yahoo.net/en/news/details.php?id=71

Latest News (last updated 22 May 2006)

Reduce fees with EMAS in Saxonia (DE)

In 2004 the European Commission Study on deregulation incentives was published, which resulted in Germany implementing a wide range of measures at a federal states’ level. The recommendations of the Conference of German Environment Ministers for a sustainable EMAS form part of the initiative to reduce bureaucracy and add to the new deregulation initiative which has been in place since November 2005. German federal states report reduced efforts for the authorities when EMAS organisations apply for permission or supervision since those organisations can provide well maintained documentation and data about the environmental situation in the organisation. Following the recommendations federal states have shown intention at a regional political level to foster EMAS. As such Saxonia recently introduced a reduction of administration fees for annual approvals and state controls by 30% for EMAS registered organisations. Brandenburg is planning to reduce fees for emission control by 20%. Other federal states such as Nordrhein-Westfalia are considering similar measures. For more information please visit the UGA web-site

Regulative advantages to EMAS registered companies in Galicia

In Galicia the Dirección General de Calidad y Evaluación Ambiental provides a grant for SMEs willing to apply EMAS. Organisations located in the autonomos community of Galizia that register directly to EMAS before October 2006 can cover up to 85% of their costs for registration and verification. Companies that move from ISO 140001 to EMAS are entitled to receive a supporting grant of 1500 EURO max.

The 2006 law is published here in Spanish and Galician.

The SIAMESI project combines EMAS with security management

ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and the Environment is a public institution to support competitiveness and sustainable development. The ENEA is mainly called upon to promote and carry out research and innovation technology activities, to disseminate and transfer technologies, encouraging their use in production and social sectors and to provide high-tech services, studies, tests and evaluations to both public bodies and enterprises. Taking the EMAS scheme as a starting point the ENEA has launched the SIAMESI project, which aims at intertwining environmental management systems with a system for continual improvement of safety. At the campus of technology at Matera in Southern Italy (Bari region) the first prototype of a combined EMAS security management system has been implemented. The system aims at managing processes related to nuclear energy, renewable energies (solar and biomass) and agro biotechnology. Focusing on monitoring and waste treatment in order to manage the most hazardous aspects of these technologies environmental and security performance were continuously improved. For further information (in Italian) please visit http://www.trisaia.enea.it/08_certificazoine_Convegno_ForumPA_2005.htm or click here

Naturvårdsverket

On March 6th, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Naturvårdsverket, received its EMAS certificate. Naturvårdsverket is the institution for promoting and securing sustainable development in Sweden, based on the ecological dimension of nature. Lars-Erik Liljelund, the General Director of Naturvårdsverket, pointed out that the primary environmental impact of paper consumption was reduced by 10% between 2004 and 2005. Employees were called on to prevent waste and to cut down on business travel. Future targets are further reduction of waste by 2%, equivalent to 0.6 kg per employee, and paper consumption by 3 % as well as the substitution of short distance flights in Sweden by means of video conferences. The Environment Agencies in Germany, Denmark, Austria, Belgium (Wallonia) and the UK have also taken steps towards EMAS registration in order to promote the system and to manage their environmental impacts more efficiently. Please also read the environmental statement and visit the agency’s website

LIFE PIONEER scrutinizes the benefits of EMAS for the paper manufacturing cluster at Lucca (Italy) – 11 organisations already EMAS registered

The LIFE project PIONEER aims to apply a methodology based on the EMAS Regulation to the paper industry cluster of Lucca (Tuscany-Italy). The methodology fosters a co-operative and integrated approach for environmental management at a local level, by involving all relevant stakeholders in the improvement of the region’s environmental performance. The overall target of the project is to ensure that 50% of all 35 participating organisations achieve EMAS registration. Within the scope of the project, eleven organisations comprising local authorities and service providers have already implemented EMAS by means of common procedures, shared resources and collaborative training initiatives. The former minister of the environment Altero Matteoli handed over the EMAS certificates during a ceremony at Lucca in the Palazzo Ducale in February. The president of the Tuscany province, Andrea Tagliasacchi, emphasised the importance of the EMAS verification for the 11 organisations: "this certificate provides a fundamental value added to the competitiveness of the industrial district, because it adds a horizontal responsibility to the environmental activities, involving institutions, economical parameters and companies.” As one example, the commune Capannori of Lucca has a cluster of paper manufacturing comprising 12 sub-municipalities on a surface of 750 km2, with 132 companies, 6,500 employees, 2.4 Billion € turnover, producing 950,000 tons of paper and 900,000 tons of cardboard. This cluster forms part of the so called “EMAS in the region” approach (“Emas di distretto”) and has been implemented for the first time with the involvement of larger industries, service providers, SMEs and local authorities.

The project results can be viewed (in Italian) on the PIONEER web site. Documents include a common list of environmental statements, a synthesis of the environmental statements of the Capannori cluster and a survey on the perception of the local population regarding environmental management and its impact on the quality of life. The environmental statements are published here and for further information please visit the web-site of the Comitato Ecolabel e Ecoaudit

Participation in EMAS provides new quality label for German craftsmen in the construction sector

The German construction sector, in the course of the revision of the handicraft regime introduced the campaign "Meisterhaft“ (“masterly“) in order to face low cost competition. Craftsmen can apply for a quality label with 3, 4 or 5 stars, handed out by the largest German auditor in the construction sector, Zertifizierung Bau e.V. In order to reach the 5-star level, craftsmen have to implement measures for training and a certified management­ system like ISO 9001, 14001 or EMAS. Craftsmen who already have implemented EMAS under a previous initiative like the so called "Umweltpakt“ can automatically apply for the 5-star level award without additional costs. Craftsmen with less than 50 employees can easily implement EMAS with less bureaucracy and at a lower cost than ISO 14001. Please find further information in the UGA Newsletter EMAS Aktuell

Eight innovative companies receive Austrian EMAS Awards 2006

Eight companies, three of which belong to the service sector, have received the Austrian EMAS Award 2006. All eight companies have participated in EMAS for several years, providing an example of excellent environmental management and environmental reporting. The Austrian EMAS Award since its introduction in the 1990's intends to specifically honour this environmental commitment. For the first time the ceremony was co-hosted by the Councillor for the Environment of Vienna, Ms Ulli Sima, which reflects the importance of EMAS in the capital’s strategy for environmental protection among companies. The award winners are

  • UPM Kymmene Austria Ltd. (paper and pulp)
  • MAGNA Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik plc (automotive)
  • Energie AG Upper Austria (energy provider)
  • MAN Nutzfahrzeuge (automotive)
  • Voestalpine TUBULARS (ferrous metal manufacturer),
  • Waste Water Association Achental-Inntal-Zillertal (waste water treatment)
  • County Hospital Mürzzuschlag and Mariazell (hospital)
  • TURKNA Sport Equipment Manufacturer Engelbrechtsmüller (wood manufacturer)

More information about the winners and ceremony please visit : http://www.lebensministerium.at
and http://www.emas.gv.at/ (“Veranstaltungen”)

Latest News (last updated 20 April 2006)

Four European Commission services register under EMAS

In a Decision adopted in 2001, the European Commission committed itself to greening its daily activities by implementing EMAS. Four pilot services, namely the Secretariat General, the Environment Directorate General (DG), the Personnel and Administration DG, and the Office for Infrastructure and Logistics (OIB) have now registered. Later this year, the Informatics DG will follow suit.

All levels of staff (3,500) in the above services continue to improve their environmental performance in significant areas. For example, the buildings policy has achieved: full legal compliance with environmental and health & safety legislation in the seven buildings occupied by the pilot services; reductions in CO2 emissions and maximised waste recycling and reuse. The mobility policy promotes the use of the train, videoconference and service bicycles. The pilot services integrate green procurement criteria in their external contracts: some toilet consumables respond to the EU eco-label criteria and renewable energy and more recycled office supplies are in the pipeline. Aside from environmental gains, EMAS has brought in important financial savings e.g. €500,000 on paper and toner in 2004.

“In launching this project, we wanted to set an example to the other European Institutions and to all public authorities, such as ministries and local councils. More and more cities and towns have to tackle fundamental and recurring environmental issues which can take many forms. We believe that EMAS can help public authorities to make the right decisions by taking better account of all considerations, including the environment, so as to make their communities better places in which to live and work. This is what we would like to contribute to our host city, Brussels†, stated senior management of the pilot services.

During a press event in Brussels on 3rd May 2006 a plate holding the EMAS logo was unveiled at the Berlaymont building. The results of the pilot project were presented by Commissioners Dimas and Kallas and by Ms Day, Secretary General.

Based on the successful results of this pilot phase, later this year, the Commission will decide how to extend EMAS to all its services.

The brochure “An abstract from the Environmental Statement - EMAS in the European Commission-pilot project” is available here . Please also read the press release and view some photos of the event (1 - 2).

Evaluation of EMAS and Eco-label for their Revision (EVER) study: final report

As part of the normal legislative process, the EMAS and Eco-Label Regulations are due to be revised starting this year. In the framework of the coming revision, the European Commission has contracted out an external evaluation study on the performance of both schemes (Evaluation of EMAS and Eco-label for their Revision - EVER). The final report of the study has now been published.

You can read the final recommendations, the research findings, and the executive summary. In addition, Annex 1 summarises the interviews, Annex 2 the EVER workshop and Annex 3 collects case studies.

LIFE Project EMAS4NewStates in Latvia

EMAS4NewStates aims to encourage a wider uptake of the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme in local authorities of new member states, using Latvia as a role model. It is a 26 month project running from November 2004 to January 2007. Its objectives are to set up five regional pilot clusters that consist of at least two municipalities which further promote EMAS in their regions. Training seminars are to be held for the clusters' members and consultants in EMAS implementation. A study tour to German municipalities is envisaged to make the cluster members familiar with the practical application of EMAS. In a number of pilot municipalities EMAS will be implemented in six phases with several intermediate audits. Their EMAS verification and registration is planned for October 2006. Based on the analysis and description of experience gained during the project a manual in both Latvian and English will be published and distributed among Latvian and EU Local Authorities at the international final seminar in January 2007. The information will also be disseminated from the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and other networks, the EMAS Knowledge Management Internet platform and national newspapers and magazines.

All presentation materials and EMAS implementation documents (workbooks), as well as other project information are published on the project web-site (in Latvian and English).

Call for tender in Lille (France) as preparatory step to EMAS participation

The City of Lille is planning to publish a call for tender on EMAS to assess the feasibility of implementing EMAS in the city and the practical aspects linked to it.

The project will have two main objectives:

  • Define a detailed framework for EMAS and a report on potential participation to EMAS, with the various steps for implementation. A recommendation report is expected.
  • Pursue the evaluation of water decontamination assessment. This evaluation will rely on the methodologies defined during two previous evaluations, but also on the recommendations coming from the previous objective. The evaluation will focus on the town of Villeneuve d'Ascq.

The call for tender is to be published on the Official Journal of the European Union and on Lille's website . Offers must be submitted in French.

EMAS in Italian sustainable tourism

Over 200 hotels and restaurants are registered under EMAS, the majority being in Spain. In Italy the European eco-label is popular for tourist accommodation, and EMAS is now starting to take off.

The “State of sustainable tourism in Italy, environmental certification†workshop was held on March 31st at San Vincenzo near Livorno, in the Riva degli Etruschi di Lazzi Vi-Tur resort, organised by Lazzi and the Italian Competent Body. For 40 years this family-owned business, which registered under EMAS in 2005, has been a forerunner of green tourism, and respectful of both the environment and local production structures, and.

“Extending environmental certification to tourist resorts such as Riva degli Etruschi," declared Pino Lucchesi, Chairman of the EMAS Competent Body, "is a great opportunity for Italian tourism because it introduces factors of environmental quality that may provide more suitable answers to international challenges and to the recurring crises of the sector.†Professor Fabio Iraldo of the Bocconi University of Milan similarly stressed the great opportunities offered by EMAS: “It provides a better competitive ability for businesses because it is synonymous with credibility. It is clear, verifiable, intrinsically efficient, transparent, and the right way of proving a real commitment towards a constant improvement of environmental performance.â€

“We are among the first tourist resorts in Italy to have reached this goal,†stated Franco Lazzi, Chairman of Riva degli Etruschi di Lazzi Vi-Tur. “It was devised with the purpose of meeting new market requirements as adequately as possible, with strict and precise rules, quality standards based on international regulations and, last but not least, with a keener eye to the impact of our activities on the environment. In short, this is not an end but rather a starting point to improve the quality of service to the advantage of our guests and of the outstanding environment around us.â€

More information on the resort is available on www.rivadeglietruschi.it and you can visit the Italian Competent Body web-site or contact them here

Ansaldo Segnalamento Ferroviario Spa

Registered under EMAS in February 2006, Ansaldo Segnalamento is a producer of rail signalling, control and automation systems for railways (NACE code 31.62, other electric equipment) and employs 1,100 people. The Italian company is part of Ansaldo Signal N.V., which has over 150 years of expertise in the railway hardware and automation system sector.

Anslado Segnalamento is the first company registered in the railway sector in Italy, following those registered in Germany and Austria (Bombardier, voestalpine, Austrian Railways, and German Railways).

More information on the company on http://www.ansaldo-signal.it/ and http://www.asf.it

EcoBusinessPlan Vienna, Austria: First pilot phase of EMAS Easy accomplished

In the framework of the Vienna EcoBusinessPlan, an Austrian scheme to promote environmental management in companies, a pilot programme has started which aims to test EMAS Easy in the Member States on a large scale. The concept addresses small manufacturers with up to 20 employees. EMAS Easy and ISO 14001Easy, based on Eco-mapping ©, are a valuable approach for small SMEs working towards environmental management systems. Within only 10 days of consultancy and coaching, EMAS Easy provides a basis to implement an environmental management system to obtain EMAS registration. These 10 days are allocated to site visits (2 days), group work (5 days), individual follow up (3 days) and step by step implementation.

Currently more than 15 small companies in the Baltic States, France, Hungary and Belgium are preparing for EMAS certification in 2006. In several Member States, programmes provide for clustering more than 100 companies in the few next months.

With the objective of promoting EMAS Easy, INEM (International network of Environmental Management) and its partner organisations have translated a guidebook to promote the uptake of EMAS in Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. This was facilitated by the EU-funded project “EMAS Capacity Building in the new Member States†. The 20-page publication provides a brief overview of environmental management concepts and tools, economic and other benefits of environmental management systems, plus a step-by-step guide to implementing an EMS and obtaining EMAS registration.

To download the guidebook visit the INEM Network

Environmental consultancy Halcrow Group assesses the environmental aspects of environmental planning and construction

Recently, UK based consultancies have taken up EMAS as a tool for managing the environmental impacts and aspects of their planning and consultancy projects. Halcrow Group Ltd follows the latest trend, registering with the scheme in 2006. Halcrow already holds ISO 9001, ISO 14001 certificates and is a Registered Assessor with IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment). The consultancy employs 5,728 staff on 28 sites in the UK, offering consultancy advice on all environmental disciplines and engineering. Halcrow has experience in the management of large multi-disciplinary and multi-national environmental programmes, with the core business sectors being transportation, water and property. In the year 2004, projects undertaken outside the UK accounted for almost 40% of an approximate company turnover of £250 million.

With regard to office management, Halcrow focused on a reduction of the overall energy consumption by 10% in Burderop Park, the reduction of paper consumption by 20% and an increased use of recycled paper by 10%. Main achievements in terms of office management are recycling and environmentally friendly construction of the company’s premises. Halcrow will concentrate on its services for future targets. This includes modified business procedures to assess the environmental impact of projects and a clear definition of targets taking into account the impacts of consultancy projects.

For further information please read the environmental statement and visit the company’s web-site

City of Malmö’s Environmental Department receives EMAS registration

Malmö in South-West Sweden is an industrial town of 269,000 inhabitants that underwent an economic crisis in the nineties. Under the LIFE 98 programme, which laid down the principles for EMAS in local authorities, Malmö participated in the EURO EMAS Project. The city is now involved in the new LEAP project for streamlining green public procurement of larger cities (www.leap.org). Malmö registered its environmental department, consisting of about 100 employees, whose responsibilities include the development and adaptation of the environmental strategy, the implementation and control of measures regarding public health, animal protection, food safety, energy management, and consumer protection. The environmental strategy aims at integrating sustainable development and Agenda 21 into daily activities and targets. The department checks several hundreds of industrial sites and other organisations which have a high impact on the environment and monitors a number of species, striving to preserve biodiversity. Work includes the analysis of contaminated soil, for example, when former industrial sites are turned into housing areas, like in the old harbour. The department likewise endeavours to minimize environmental impact of construction works and plans for better air quality by re-directing traffic in order to reduce emissions from traffic jams and bus terminals.

Future environmental targets include the reduction of CO2 emissions by 10-15% by 2008-2012 compared to 1999, the reduction of NOx and SO2 emissions by 40% and 10% respectively by 2010 and finally the protection of sea shores at the Öresund from hazardous environmental impacts. Malmö’s beaches at Ribersborg, Sibbarp as well as Klagshamn are striving to meet the European Blue Flag standard for good water quality.

The third environmental programme 2003-2008 of the city of Malmö can be downloaded in an English short version here.

The environmental statement can be downloaded here.

Latest News (last updated 16 March 2006)

New Commission Decision: EMAS Logo allowed on transport and tertiary packaging

A new Commission Decision allows the use of the EMAS logo on transport and tertiary packaging. The Decision 2006/193/EC has been published on Official Journal L 70 of 9 March 2006 and can be consulted on page 63 in all EU languages.

EMAS and the European Business Awards for the Environment

In February twelve European companies, three of which are EMAS registered, were nominated for the European Business Awards for the Environment in Vienna.
The European Commission launched the Business Awards for the Environment in 1987, recognising achievements of companies who pioneered environmentally friendly policies and products. The prizes are awarded every two years.
In Vienna Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas congratulated the 12 finalists for having made sustainable business models a reality. He recognised that Europe needs companies that invest in environment-friendly innovation.
The Business awards promote organisations which make an outstanding contribution to sustainable development in one of four categories - products, processes, management and international cooperation projects. The 12 finalists represent three candidates for each category. The chosen companies are:

The Management Award for Sustainable Development (recognising companies managed in ways that allow for a continuous and measurable improvement of their environmental performance)

  • Aceria Compacta de Bizkaia SA (Spain) EMAS registered
  • Sotral SpA (Italy)
  • General Electric Hungary Ltd Light Source Factory (Hungary)

The Product Award for Sustainable Development (recognising new products or services that contribute to sustainable production and consumption patterns)

  • VA Tech Hydro GmbH & Co (Austria)
  • Windsave Ltd (UK)
  • DTS OABE SL (Spain)

The Process Award for Sustainable Development (recognising new environmentally-friendly production technologies and processes)

  • Fortum Power and Heat Oy (Finland)
  • Volkswagen AG (Germany) – EMAS registered
  • Ten Cate Advanced Textiles BV and Color Wings BV (Netherlands)

The International Co-operation Award for Sustainable Development (recognising international partnerships that contribute to environmental protection, economic development and social equity in a developing country or an economy in transition)

  • iD-L inspired innovations (Netherlands)
  • YIT Rakennus Oy (Finland).
  • BASF AG (Germany) EMAS registered

The four winners will be selected and receive their awards on 1 June 2006 during Green Week, the Commission's major annual environmental conference and exhibition event in Brussels. Green Week is the largest annual international forum for discussing current and future European Union environmental policies. Close to 4,000 people participate each year in the week-long programme of conferences, exhibitions and award ceremony.

Further information about the European Business Awards for the Environment is available at:
http://europa.eu.int/environment/business_awards
Information about Green Week is available at:
http://europa.eu.int/environment/greenweek/index.html

CEMEX España has invested 60 million Euro to improve the environment in the past six years

CEMEX is the only EMAS registered Spanish manufacturer of cement and concrete. The company owns 152 plants and sells 60% of its production in Spain. In 2004 production increased by 7% compared to the previous year.
Manufacturing of building material consumes vast amounts of resources and leaves visible scars in the landscape. Neighbours are affected by noise, dust and vibrations – impacts which in general are difficult to measure and manage.
CEMEX has worked out a combined EMAS and sustainability statement. The environmental targets include the efficient use of energy and the efficient use of raw materials as well as the restoration of vegetation in quarries. An important step towards improving energy efficiency is the use of old tires and biomass for fuelling the production of cement. Another major target is the well-being of employees and neighbours and the protection of resources. Managing Director Rüdiger Wirthwein states that “Continual improvement will be a priority in order to excel further in economic, social and environmental targets†.
Find further information (in Spanish) here

A "wee" EMAS environmental statement

The Belgian company Droit et Devoir (Rights and Duties) working both in training and in recycling of electronic equipment has managed to publish the shortest EMAS environmental statement so far: 3 pages. Droit et Devoir collects, dismantles and separates the parts of obsolete hardware and at the same time creates a new profession in the sector of the information and communication technologies. The company also sells the separated parts at competitive prices in order to increase accessibility to computing accessories to everyone. At the same time, Droit et Devoir acts as an outreach organisation and helps marginalized people to participate in the normal job market. It thus combines the social economy with sustainable development, and contributes to implementing the Waste from Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive.

Droit et Devoir participated in the so called "ecomapping" approach, a creative and simple tool that helps small companies achieve EMAS or ISO 14001 registration. Heinz-Werner Engel, who started developing the tool as early as 1996, explains that “the development of ecomaps for water, soil, air, waste management, etc. is not the final objective. The main interest lies in the fact that it is a process that accompanies a review of environmental performance, and in the positive actions that result from the assessment provided by ecomaps.â€

The company implemented EMAS at its site in Mons in the Walloon part of Belgium. The staff, 12 people on average, participates in regular environmental training, the main environmental aspects of which are training in the reprocessing of computing equipment, the reuse of outdated computing equipment and the separation of electronic waste.

Find out more about Droit et Devoir at the company’s website and read the environmental statement here.
Find more information on ecomapping here.

First International Conference on Tourism, Environmental Certification (EMAS and ISO) and Eco-labels has taken place in Estoril, Portugal

More than 110 participants from 12 different countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom,) gathered in Estoril on the 16-17 February for the First International Conference on Tourism and Environmental Certification in Portugal. The conference was self-financed and organised by Nordec Consult.
The main objective of the conference was to present different environmental management systems (EMAS and ISO 14001) and eco-labels available for the tourism industry in order to stimulate the implementation of environmental management systems in the sector as a way to increase competitiveness and sustainability. A number of case studies from different tourism activities, such as hotels, amusement parks, campsites, golf courses, etc., were presented, representing organisations of various sizes and from different European countries.

Technical presentations included the importance of environmental certification for the Portuguese tourist sector as a competitive and distinctive factor. Views of the European industry ranged from acknowledgement of the importance and benefits of environmental certification to concerns on behalf of small entrepreneurs in the sector. Dr Eugenio Yunis from the World Tourist Organisation gave extensive information about future trends and aspects regarding sustainable tourism.

On behalf of the European Commission, DG Enterprise – Tourism, Mr. Francesco Ianniello highlighted some initiatives of the EC and stressed the importance of the conference at a high political European level.
EMAS registrations in the tourism sector have been growing steadily since 2002 and now total over 200 organisations.

For further information please visit the NORDEC Consult web-page

Spanish power provider Unión Fenosa aims to have all its power plants registered under EMAS

Power generation is one of the most active sectors in EMAS with a total of 113 power plants registered in the EU. In Spain 11 power plants are registered, including 5 of the 7 Unión Fenosa plants.
The Unión Fenosa power company has registered its fifth power plant at Narcea (Asturias) thus all the provider’s five conventional power stations now hold the EMAS certificate. Union Fenosa has set the target to reduce its CO2 emissions by 5% compared with 1990. To achieve this, coal will be complemented by natural gas and energy efficiency will be improved. The net-production of power in 2004 went up by 4% to 25,412 GWh compared with 2002 and included renewable sources from the wind parks in Corzán and Coriscada which produced 44 MW. Three more wind parks are currently under construction. Furthermore, in 2004 S02, N0x and particle emissions have decreased by 17% on average compared with 2002 through better fuels, improved combustion processes and static precipitators.
All environmental statements are on-line

Provincia di Bologna: first provincial administration registered with EMAS

On 9th of February 2006 the Province of Bologna, the capital province of the region of Emilia-Romagna, registered nine sites with EMAS, accounting for 1,300 staff, 65 schools and 1,400km of streets. The province will communicate its commitments, objectives, and the results achieved to its citizens through the annual environmental statement.

The administration of the Province aims to include environmental priorities progressively in all financial measures, to give preference to green suppliers and to offer tax breaks and administrative relief to certified organisations. Furthermore the provincial administration has high hopes for the leverage effect of its information campaign on water and energy savings, as well as for the impact of the training for staff, other organisations and enterprises.
Non efficient products and obsolete technologies are being replaced with products with less environmental impacts (cars using methane, recycled paper for printing and hygienic uses, state of the art ink cartridges for laser printers…). In addition, staff members have access to service bikes for moving between the sites and are offered reduced prices for local public transport.

“With EMAS registration, the Province of Bologna achieves an important recognition which fills me with satisfaction†, declared president of the province Mr Draghetti. Furthermore he states that “it is an acknowledgment not only of the efforts and work of the past years to reduce the environmental impacts of our activities but also of a good example to the territory that we administrate.†The president of the Italian Ecolabel and EMAS Committee, Mr Lucchesi praised the courage of the Province of Bologna to implement EMAS when handing over the EMAS certificate and an EMAS flag. He also underlined the continued effort of Italy to diffuse EMAS to local authorities. Within only one year, the number of EMAS registered public authorities in Italy has increased from 10 (end of January 2005) to 24, second only to Germany in the number of the public administrations per Member State.

Find more information (in Italian) here.

Spanish EMAS guide for local authorities

Local Authorities have been able to join the EMAS scheme since its Revision in 2001, resulting in more than 160 local authorities being registered in the EU to date. Several projects have been funded in recent years to foster the participation of local authorities in EMAS and among these, the Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the Federación Española de Municipios y Provincias (Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces), have elaborated an Interactive Guide as a practical tool for EMAS implementation.

This guide is designed for environmental managers in local authorities to help them identify sources of waste, more efficient use of energy and cost-effective input of resources. It offers different levels of information: the first level describes the structure of an environmental management system, the difference from ISO 14001 and the benefits of EMAS. The second level offers help for practical steps towards implementation (environmental review, documentation, implementation, verification and registration) with a lot of practical help. Levels three and four include sources for assistance designed for local authorities and useful links.

“Local entities have been entrusted with highly relevant tasks as regards the daily administration of the quality of urban environments. This is why the capacity to generate agreements with the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces is essential for initiatives such as this Interactive Guide to reach all local authorities“, says Cristina Narbona Ruiz, Minister of the Environment in Spain.

The Interactive Guide is available on CDROM, but also online (in Spanish). An English version will be available in the future.

Latest News (last updated 16 February 2006)

European Parliament: Josep Borrell signs a commitment to join EMAS

On 24 January 2006, the President of the European Parliament (EP), Josep Borrell, and the EP Secretary General Julian Priestley, signed an EP environmental statement, another important step on the EP's way to meet EU EMAS standards and become more environmentally friendly. Mr Borrell announced that the Parliament is proud of its pledge to meet sustainable environment targets and to implement the good environmental policy it contributes to through the EU's legislative process. He added that he hoped the EP would be given EMAS certification before the end of the year. During 2006, the text of the environmental statement and the entire Parliament's new environmental management system will be subject to an external audit to see whether the Parliament will receive official registration under the EMAS regulation.

The document was signed in the presence of Karl-Heinz Florenz (EPP-ED, Germany), who chairs the Parliament's Environment Committee. He was delighted with the initiative because it realises one of his oldest personal desires. He said the EP was working on drawing up EU legislation to ensure better environment policy and that legislation would now be applied within the EP itself. He added that EMAS required a process of continual improvement from which the EP would not be able to withdraw, and through which, as a legislator, it was required to set an example.

The Parliament currently has more than 5,000 officials working in three cities, Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg. It has more than 900,000 square metres of offices and uses more than 800 tonnes of paper every year. Its annual electricity bill is around EUR 6 million. The Parliament has already started putting its own house in order. For several years now it has been applying paper and energy saving measures. The signing of the environmental statement is the formal launch of a genuine, permanent, internal structural policy.

Amendment of the EMAS Regulation regarding the Annex I published

Annex 1 of the EMAS regulation was adopted in June 2005. In the course of the first EMAS revision in 2001, ISO 1400:2000 requirements for EMS were introduced into the EMAS Regulation. Consequently, the changes made to ISO 14001:2004 had to be included in the EMAS regulation to achieve consistency regarding the demands of environmental management systems. The new Commission Regulation (EC) No 196/2006 published on 3 February 2006 amends Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 761/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council while taking account of the European Standard EN ISO 14001:2004. It repeals the Decision 97/265/EC on the Standard EN ISO 14001:1996.

Publication in the OJ L 32 of 4 February 2006 can be found under this link pdf.

Seminar on EMAS in Estonia and the Award for Environmentally Friendly Organisations

The registration of the first EMAS organisation in Estonia, AS Tallinna Vesi, in October 2005, a tangible result of EMAS promotion, has been closely followed by another milestone, the EMAS Award ceremony on 16 February. It included a seminar on EMAS in Estonia, featuring future and past promotion of the scheme, and the presentation of the Environmentally Friendly Organisation Awards by the Deputy Minister of the Environment, Mr. Olavi Tammenmäe. Jana Kelus from AS Tallinna Vesi, which works in water supply and waste water service, made a presentation on the benefits of EMAS for his recently privatised organisation.

Another presentation concerned EMAS-Easy, a capacity building project in Estonia and four other new Member States, which was recently completed, with Mr. Sergei Leet talking about his experience of applying EMAS Easy in Adelan Prügiveod Ltd, his waste transport company. The Estonian implementing bodies for EMAS attended the conference and Margus Üürike of Det Norske Veritas Eesti OÜ, a candidate for becoming the first verifier in the country, made a presentation on certification. Verification and registration procedures were presented by the Estonian Accreditation Centre and the Estonian Environment Information Centre, while the Ministry of Environment gave an overview of a new promotion strategy for EMAS and ISO 14001, which aims at fostering EMS.

For further information on EMAS in Estonia please find the programme here pdf (PDF, 132 Kb) or visit the Estonian EMAS website.

The EMAS registered Mahle Filter Systems sets up a team for compressed air as an environmental factor and saves 232 m3 of heating oil every year

Mahle produces piston systems, air and liquid management systems and is a key supplier to the automotive industry. The site at St. Michael in southern Austria, EMAS registered since 2000, produces liquid management systems, such as fuel and oil filters, air filters for vehicles and integrated filter systems. This includes deep drawing, blanking, pressing and forming of sheets, aluminium and plastics. Since 2003 the company has increased their staff by 200 to 1,900 employees and in 2004 filter production increased by 4% to 12%, depending on the type of product.

EMAS, a popular programme in the automotive industry, allows environmental managers to focus on topics such as common environmental aspects of production units. In 2003 Mahle set up a special environmental team for compressed air consisting of the environmental manager, a head of facilities, a shift supervisor and a technician. The objective for the team was to improve the energy efficiency of compressed air systems within the site at St. Michael. Mahle runs six compressors producing an enormous 152m³/min of compressed air and another regular three compressors with 14m³/min. Those compressors are equipped with refrigerant driers in order to de-vaporize compressed air. The production of compressed air is an important parameter with respect to environmental management since 90% of the energy needed for this production is released into the surroundings. The task of the environmental team therefore was to identify, repair and reduce leakages, improve technology by modular polycyclic systems, train staff and raise awareness, keep up to date documentation of leakages and define procedures to save energy when systems have been turned off.

As a result the production was optimised with respect to waste heat. The boilers’ control system was renewed and waste heat from compressors was fuelled into the heating systems of production halls and several office buildings. This saved 232 m3 or 36% of heating oil per year. As a result, despite the company’s growth by 14.8 % since 2002, the heating oil consumption has decreased to the level of the early nineties.

For the continuation of EMAS, Mahle is intending to reduce the consumption of compressed air by 15% in off-peak periods, showing another leading example of energy efficiency within the sector.

For further information please visit the company’s website.

Second Forum of EMAS in Local Authorities and COMPASS Award Ceremony

On 10 February the Second Local Authority Forum took place in the medieval city of Ravenna in Italy. It was organised by DG Environment of the European Commission, the Italian Eco-label and EMAS Committee, the Region Emilia-Romagna, the organisation “Coordination of Local Agenda 21” in cooperation with the Municipality of Ravenna and the local development agency Ervet (Emilia-Romagna Valorizzazione Economia Territorio).

More than 280 participants contributed to discussions in workshops on topics such as EMAS and its integration with other voluntary instruments, exploring synergies, environmental accountability and Local Agenda 21 and how these can steer Local Authorities' decisions towards better management of the territory and add transparency through the publication of environmental information. The Cities of Copenhagen (DK), Kirklees (UK), Calonge (ES), Amaroussion (EL) and Ravenna, Grosseto, Mantova and the Provincia of Bologna from Italy presented their experiences. The Provincia di Bologna, which received its EMAS registration the same day, is now the largest organisation to have achieved EMAS in Europe, with about 950,000 inhabitants in the region.

During the day, important European and Italian networks of Local Authorities disseminated information about their work through presentations. In particular, the topic of environmental management systems in local authorities was shown to be gathering speed through the successfully concluded Life project Tandem and the new Life project IDEMS which started in October 2005.

In a special ceremony, the participants in the European COMPASS project were awarded a prize for their project. The COMPASS project was designed to set up clusters of EMAS registered public sector authorities in each of the Member States - Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Each cluster was lead by an EMAS-registered municipality (a mentor) who shared its EMAS know-how and experience with four neighbouring municipalities (peers) keen to follow its steps in environmental management.

The signature of an agreement between the Italian Ministry of Environment, the Region Emilia-Romagna and the Italian Eco-label and EMAS Committee, on developing initiatives to promote the instruments locally, gives testimony to the high interest in EMAS in Italy and sets an example of how the institutions are committed towards its further spread. The Region Emilia-Romagna, which holds first place in the number of EMAS registrations in the country with 30% of the national register, announced that it would seek to reinforce its commitment to the leadership in EMAS registrations in Italy.
Read more about the event (in Italian) on www.ervet.it and (in English) on the projects on the European EMAS website and on the COMPASS project pdf.

EMAS related LIFE projects in 2005

Three LIFE projects that concern EMAS were funded in 2005:

  • Collaborative Environmental Regeneration of Port-Cities: Elefsina Bay 2020 (Greece)
  • Integration and Development of Environmental Management Systems, IDEMS (Italy)
  • Maintaining quality urban environments for river corridors users and stakeholders (UK)

Read a description of the projects and their results here.

The TANDEM project leads to EMAS registrations of the Parma and Bologna Provinces in Northern Italy.

The Italian TANDEM project, a “Pilot action for promoting EMAS among Local Bodies operating on a large territory in TANDEM with Local Agenda 21” was co-financed by the European Commission, in particular by the LIFE programme. Beneficiaries were the Province of Bologna in partnership with nine public administrations, a scientific institution (University of Genoa) and two external advisers, Sogesca S.r.l. and ERVET, Emilia-Romagna Valorizzazione Economia Territorio. The project attained overwhelming organisational and operational support from the participants and found broad acceptance within the region.

Not only have two of the provinces, Bologna and Parma, recently registered with EMAS, but for the period of autumn 2004 to spring 2005 the TANDEM project has been recognised as one of 24 Best LIFE Environment Projects.

Read more information on the EMAS case studies and projects website or visit: http://www.provincia.bologna.it/ambiente/tandem and http://europa.eu.int/environment/life/project/bestlifeenv.htm

Guidance for indirect environmental aspects published in Baden-Württemberg

The Institute for Environmental Protection of the federal state of Baden-Württemberg (Landesanstalt für Umwelt, Messungen und Naturschutz, LfU) published a guidance document on indirect environmental aspects in environmental management in 2005.

As the most robust environmental management scheme on the market, EMAS not only asks organisations to monitor their direct environmental impacts but also the indirect ones. Organisations can further improve their environmental balance through involving suppliers, product related innovations and by giving better environmental information to their customers.

Indirect impacts play a considerable role, in particular for service providers and administrations which often have little direct environmental effects. Examples to consider include the planning decisions of public authorities as well the selection of products by a trading organisation. For manufacturing organisations, there is a further useful link with integrated product policy that encompasses the whole life cycle of a company.

EMAS offers a systematic tool to integrate such requirements in environmental management and to communicate it effectively to the stakeholders of an organisation. The revision of the EMAS Regulation in 2001 demanded a special focus on indirect aspects, and the new ISO 14001:2004 (recently integrated in the EMAS regulation) also requires management of indirect aspects.

Experience shows, however, that within organisations there is still sometimes uncertainty about how to determine indirect environmental aspects and how to integrate them into the environmental management in order to adopt adequate measures to improve them. The recently published guidance document is particularly helpful in shedding light on these issues. It gives 67 best practice examples and case studies and provides ideas of how to influence and monitor indirect aspects. Important interfaces to other policies, such as integrated product policy (IPP), are also shown.

The brochure in German „Indirekte Umweltaspekte im Umweltmanagement – Ein Praxisleitfaden mit Beispielen“ can be downloaded here pdf and other practical publications are available here.

Printed copies are available for free from JVA Mannheim (Herzogenriedstr. 111, 68169 Mannheim, Fax: 0621/398-370, bibliothek@lfuka.lfu.bwl.de).

Latest News (last updated 16 January 2006)

Greening sporting events with EMAS

The upcoming 20th Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Turin in February and March, respectively, will be the first ever truly "green" major sports events in Europe. Both events will achieve this goal by making good use of EU voluntary environmental tools, in particular the EU eco-management and audit system (EMAS). In view of this event, but also as a reference for future sport and other big events, DG Environment has recently published a brochure on EMAS and sporting events. It draws on concrete steps and examples from a handbook produced by TOROC.

An EU press conference took place on January 12 in Brussels on "Greening" the Torino 2006 Winter Olympic Games with EU voluntary tools such as EMAS. The press conference was held by Commissioner Dimas and he was joined by Professor Valentino Castellani, President of TOROC; Professor Mercedes Bresso, President of the Piemonte Region, and cross-country skiing champion Manuela Di Centa. 

Read the new brochure on EMAS and sporting events here.
Find the full guide on the implementation of EMAS in sporting events here pdf (PDF, 2,7 mb).
You can find the press release on the conference here.

Politics in action in Belgium: Els Van Weert’s cabinet is the first federal service to obtain EMAS

The Cabinet of the State Secretary for Sustainable Development and Social Economy, Els Van Weert, registered under EMAS in January 2006. This follows a 2005 decision of the Council of Ministers that each federal public service in Belgium should register under EMAS by 2007, a decision that is unique in the EU.

The Van Weert Cabinet minimises its environmental impact by reducing the consumption of resources and raw materials. This entails waste prevention, green purchasing, sustainable transport, reduction in water and paper consumption, and reduced energy consumption. The Cabinet has monitored environmental data in 2005 and has set targets to be reached by 2007.

Indirect impacts are also addressed by systematically integrating environmental protection and prevention in all draft laws, decrees, proposals of the Council of Ministers and other documents drafted by the Secretariat.

“The decisions taken by public authorities about sustainable development can only be credible if they show the way by setting an example. I am happy to take on this role.” says Els Van Weert.

Find more information on Els Van Weert’s website (in French and Flemish)

The “Ciba Spezialitätenchemie Lampertheim” in Germany finds its way back to EMAS registration

Ciba, a leading organisation in the German chemical industry sector, has re-registered for EMAS, having first registered in the scheme through a pilot project as early as 1995.

“The EMAS certifications proves that acting environmentally does not contradict economically viable activity, in fact both together lead to success and the necessary improvement of our competitiveness” highlighted the Managing Director of Ciba, Dr. Ruf. He also stated that the company did not want to stand as a “black box” in the region, and saw EMAS registration as a way to increase transparency.

At the presentation of the EMAS certificate, representatives of the local authorities visited the plant where Ciba produces specialised chemicals, such as screening agents which are used for sun protection both in synthetic materials as well as in suntan lotion cosmetics. In the production plant the eco-efficiency has been improved by optimising processes e.g. by an increased exploitation of the raw materials together with a reduction of waste and wastewater contamination as well as a reduced use of solvents. Moreover, CO2 emissions have been reduced by 10% per ton of output produced. “The investment pays off as it reduces our production costs and therefore increases our competitiveness on international markets”, emphasised Dr. Prestel, the head of production of the screening agents.

The decision to re-enter the EMAS scheme was also favoured by the incentives granted by the federal land Hessen: 30% fee reductions for permits, fewer external controls as well as regulatory relief. The director of the regional Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Vetterlein, called on the government to grant further regulatory relief in order to reward the efforts made by companies. He considers regulatory relief, as well as reduced fees for permits and control, as a major instrument to increase the number of EMAS registrations in Germany.

The Minister of the Environment, Wilhelm Dietzel, praised Ciba for fulfilling the highest European requirements. The objective is to reduce governmental controls for EMAS registered organisations further, while counting on increased self-control and organisation within the companies. “We want to be the controllers of the controllers” stated the Minister.

Toll Collect Ltd, the German road tax system for trucks, registers under EMAS

Toll Collect Ltd was founded by the German government to levy a tax on heavy goods vehicles which use motorways. The tax is collected automatically through a combination of Global Positioning System (GPS) and Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM), which sends data about size and motor parameters to a central unit. In addition to road policy, Toll Collect addresses environmental issues since the tax takes into account the air emissions of the vehicles.

In order to underline the organisation’s commitment to manage the environment, Toll Collect Ltd registered its Berlin and Potsdam sites under EMAS in December 2005. The following activities have already been undertaken:

  • No hazardous chemical may be used in Toll Collect Ltd equipment and On-Board units for trucks.
  • The same conditions apply for servicing equipment, which is audited regularly with suppliers.
  • Consumption of office paper has been reduced by 29% (Potsdam) and 32% (Berlin).
  • Solar panels provide green energy for the support units on the motorways.
  • Toll Collect Ltd uses some 60 vehicles. A total of 33 of the cars is currently being replaced by cars of Euro IV class (least emissions available on the market) and also have particle filters, which will reduce emissions to air.

In 2006, Toll Collect Ltd aims to reduce its emissions of CO2 by 10% and its electricity consumption by 10% through office guidance for the use of electricity. In addition, it hoped to reduce the number of business flights by 15% and to implement the company's environmental guidance for suppliers.

Toll Collect Ltd uses a high-tech system for road taxation which it aims to export to the Czech Republic and the People’s Republic of China. The EMAS scheme will benefit from the high profile of the company and its role in cutting down air emissions from transport.

You can find more information on the Environmental Statement pdf (in German)

Volker Stevin Ltd, construction partner of the UK Environment Agency, receives EMAS registration

Located at Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, near Sunderland, Volker Stevin Ltd. is the second organisation to register in the UK construction sector. Like its parent company in the Netherlands, Volker Stevin works in project management, construction and civil engineering as well as building works at clients’ sites. For instance, one of its clients is the EMAS registered UK Environment Agency, which contracted the construction of new flood defences for Wakefield starting in January 2006, and previous ones at Knottingley in 2002.

The construction sector is growing Europe-wide, especially in Spain. Some 50 organisations in this sector registered in Austria, Germany, Italy and Spain altogether. Construction results in important environmental impacts that can be improved through environmental management, for example introducing waste separation, reuse of material, and reduction of dust and noise. Often the environmental performance of buildings can be improved through energy saving in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration through appropriate planning.

Read more information about the two case studies of Wakefield and Knottingley.

Munich Airport Ltd, Germany, receives its EMAS registration certificate at the 10 year EMAS event in Bavaria

The Flughafen München GmbH (FMG), has followed the example of other airports such as those in Berlin, Hamburg, and Friedrichshafen in Germany as well as Salzburg in Austria, and registered with EMAS.

When introducing the environmental management system, all direct and indirect environmental aspects were scrutinised. Data on the use of energy, fuel and water were collected as well as on noise and pollutant emissions of aircrafts and road traffic. A number of environmental objectives and measures were established, for example, for the reduction of contamination of ground water through the use of de-icing agents, as well as the reduction of fuel use of ground transport vehicles. Other environmental objectives include encouraging airlines to employ low noise aircrafts and reducing the use of paper by 10%.

The State Secretary of the Bavarian Ministry of Environment, Health and Consumer Protection, Emilia Müller, stressed the importance of the registration of Munich Airport as a symbol for EMAS for the future when she handed over the EMAS certificate at the 10 years EMAS event in Bavaria.

Find more information (in German) at the Munich Airport website and read the speech of Secretary of State at the 10 years EMAS event.

Mr Drießen (right), deputy managing director of the chamber of commerce Munich hands over the EMAS certificate to the head of corporate development and environment of Munich Airport, Florian Fischer (middle) in the presence of State Secretary of the Bavarian Ministry of Environment, health and consumer protection, Emilia Müller (left).

Munich Airport Ltd, Germany, receives its EMAS registration certificate at the 10 year EMAS event in Bavaria

EMAS pays off: Darbo elected the most eco-friendly company in Austria

A Gallup Institute opinion poll ranked the jam manufacturer Darbo, located in Tyrol, as the most environmentally friendly company in Austria following a survey of a representative sample of the Austrian population. CEO Klaus Darbo commented: “this result is surprising, but by no means without cause. The doubtlessly good opinion about our products has been transferred to the Darbo company itself.”

The company, which registered with EMAS as early as 1996, produces jams and juices, achieving a business volume of € 27.6 million compared with € 1.8 million twelve years ago. For three generations, the family enterprise has consistently chosen a strategy of attracting consumers and retailers with high quality products, manufactured under environmentally sound conditions. In the production process, only high quality fruits and honey are used and quality and environmental management are a top priority. Thus, the new site at Stans, Tyrol, was constructed and built using environmental management concepts. A special training course for employees in environmental protection forms a key part of the environmental policy, as well as the use of environmentally friendly cooling chemicals and detergents and an internal sewage treatment plant.

Besides the economic benefits gained through long term cost-savings when implementing EMAS, the management of Darbo appreciates the environmental statement as a reporting instrument to further enhance Darbo's public image.

In Europe, the trends of EMAS registrations in the food market give a very varied picture. Italian food manufacturers see EMAS as the leading environmental instrument, as there is no tradition of food labels in southern countries. In Scandinavia, Germany, and Austria however, various labels for food provide strong competition for EMAS. Congratulations to an EMAS organisation in this sector being elected the most eco-friendly company in Austria. Klaus Darbo concluded: “We appreciate that our efforts are being recognised.”

For more information, read more in English German or French at the company’s website.

University of Macedonia (Greece) registers under EMAS and sets up an information dissemination centre regarding environmentally friendly behaviour

The University of Macedonia is the first organisation in the Greek education sector to register under EMAS, following a project called EMAS-EDIN. The university organised the conference “Sustainable Development and Eco-Management: Implementation in Academic Institutions” for companies and authorities, to help set standards for environmental and social reporting.

The primary goal of the project was to develop the key elements of the university’s systematic effort to reduce its environmental impact on the surrounding urban environment of Thessalonica.

Most important among these elements were the review of the university's current environmental situation, the identification of all necessary actions to minimize the university's environmental impact, the implementation of a set of actions in a pilot phase, and the training of students and personnel in order to participate in these efforts.

The most important result of the EMAS-EDIN project, which was co-funded by the EU under the LIFE Environment scheme, was an information dissemination centre on environmentally friendly behaviour for the citizens of Thessalonica. In addition, the project helped share best practice and lessons learned with other educational institutes, organisations and authorities in the public and the private sector.

For more information about EMAS in the University of Macedonia contact Dr. Sophia Gregou from the EMAS Office of the university.

10 years EMAS in Germany: Taking responsibility for the environment

A high level event held in Berlin on 15 December 2005 commemorated the tenth anniversary of entry into force of the German environmental audit act by which EMAS was introduced in Germany. The German Federal Environment Ministry, the German Environmental Agency (UBA), the Verifiers Committee (UGA) and the EMAS accreditation body (DAU) praised the enterprises’ environmental performances and their engagement in EMAS. More than 350 participants were welcomed by Dr. Michael Schemmer, chairman of the Verifiers Committee, at this event at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin.

Sigmar Gabriel, newly appointed Federal Minister for the Environment, said: "EMAS provides an exemplary way to complement actions of the public sector by a proactive approach of enterprises. I would like to encourage German enterprises and organisations, including public authorities, to participate in the voluntary audit scheme." Gabriel emphasized that enterprises gain cost reductions with EMAS, first and foremost because of its link to product and process innovation in areas like consumption of resources and waste generation: "Such environmentally innovative enterprises develop a special quality, which increasingly pays off in global competition".

At the event, Dr. Ludolf von Wartenberg (Director General and member of the Presidential Board of BDI – Federation of German Industries) envisaged the future of EMAS in the context of a lean environmental code of law. Dr. Thomas Holzmann (Vice President of German environment agency) pleaded for further incentives to attract more companies and organisations of public sector to EMAS which – according to Dr. Holzmann - can be seen as essential cornerstone of Corporate Social Responsibility.

Congratulations came, among others, from Prof. Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency (EEA) in Copenhagen, who addressed the event. The EEA completed EMAS registration in 2005 and belongs to the front runners of international organisations implementing EMAS. “We wish to encourage other organisations to opt for EMAS registration and will be delighted to share our experience”, says McGlade. “There are also very good side effects of EMAS on health and safety“.

Prof. Jacqueline McGlade

Prof. Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of European Environment Agency (EEA) speaking to representatives of German EMAS participants. The EEA registered for EMAS in 2005.

The Federal Ministry of Environment arranged to raise EMAS flags at the Ernst-Reuter Square, one of the central squares in Berlin. Some sites outside Germany also took part in this initiative, such as Volkswagen Brussels.

EMAS flags at the Ernst-Reuter Square

Find more information on the event at the site of the Environmental Verifiers Committee and a picture gallery of the companies taking part in the flag initiative here.