B.R.A.V.E. - Better Regulation Aimed at Valorising Emas

LIFE10 ENV/IT/000423

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Marco FREY
Tel: +39 050 88 39 83
Fax: +
Email: frey@sssup.it

Project description:


The European Commission and other institutions have promoted initiatives in recent years to codify, consolidate and simplify existing EU legislation, and to evaluate the likely economic, social and environmental impacts of new regulations. Implementing regulations and laws entails costs, some of which are linked to legal obligations to provide public or private parties with information. This can become excessively complicated or time-consuming, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), making it harder for them to comply with environmental legislation. By reducing unnecessary reporting requirements, businesses can spend more time on core activities, thereby reducing production costs and improve productivity and competitiveness.


The B.R.A.V.E. project aimed to support the full integration of EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) into the environmental legislation of EU Member States. The aim was to facilitate EMAS implementation by all organisations and remove, reduce or simplify the administrative burdens for EMAS-registered organisations, as well as for companies adopting the EU Ecolabel and other forms of voluntary certification.


The B.R.A.V.E. project successfully supported the full integration of EMAS (and of other voluntary certification schemes) in the environmental legislation of two EU Member States (Italy and Spain). This demonstration action was achieved through the identification and development of effective measures for better regulation and regulatory relief. Its main innovative aspect was the high level of sharing of regulatory reliefs.

The project analysed about 200 existing European directives and regulations, including recommendations for EMAS registration in the development of new and revised legislation at national and regional level in Italy and Spain. 155 incentives for EMAS-registered organisations were identified at regional level and 81 at national level. The effectiveness of 14 case study incentives was analysed in depth. The project set up a participatory process with the involvement of seven regional working groups, two national working groups, and one European working group; regional consultation boards were also established. All groups worked to define simplification and relief measures, and facilitated the creation of a consensus for the proposed measures. Eventually, 184 simplification proposals related to existing legislation were elaborated (54 at European level, 39 at national level and 91 at regional level). The project tested 35 of the identified proposals with the direct involvement of competent authorities. As a result, three were modified and the others were confirmed.

Adoption of the proposals was encouraged in all project areas. Overall, 30 proposals (27 by regions, and 3 at national level in Italy) were approved and 6 related tenders published. The adopted regulatory reliefs have modified environmental legislation in the regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Liguria, Lombardy and Tuscany in Italy; and in Andalusia and Valencia in Spain. In addition, Veneto, a region not originally involved, adopted one of the project’s proposed measures as a result of its general dissemination activities. The project’s approach can easily be followed by other regional governments. The main technical output of the project, created with the aim of facilitating replicability, was the ‘Guidance tool for the EMAS-based regulation and better regulatory relief’, which was distributed to all regions involved in the project and to 11 other regions in Italy and Spain. This tool introduces the methodology and suggests approaches for improving environmental legislation. The project activities were accompanied by extensive communication, networking and training activities. Many events were organised, including two conferences attended by representatives of institutions, trade organisations, private companies and others. The project also disseminated its findings through a website and social media.

For each legislative simplification and regulatory relief adopted there are many advantages to the EMAS-registered organisations and the public institutions, mainly because they eliminate inefficient actions and increase the productivity and efficiency of both types of actor. This brings a range of socio-economic benefits. For instance, the Tuscan EMAS companies had a reduction in their regional fee from 2014, and the small companies implementing EMAS or ISO 14001 (International standard for environmental management systems) can have a reimbursement of up €15 000 for the incurred costs. In Lombardy, EMAS companies pay reduced costs (approx. 30%) for administrative procedures and for checks. In Friuli Venezia Giulia and Liguria, EMAS and ISO 14001 companies have simplified procedures for checks and monitoring by competent authorities. In general, green public procurement was encouraged. Two adopted amendments aimed to encourage the market for Ecolabel products and of EMAS companies as service providers for public administrations. In Italy, EMAS companies with Environmental Integrated Authorisation obtained a permit extension of up to 16 years. Thanks to B.R.A.V.E., EMAS and ISO 14001 companies received a significant "recognition" of their commitment by public institutions. The project's environmental benefits are connected to the EMAS adoption process, as it supports companies in their environmental management. Studies previously showed that companies which had been EMAS-registered for four years, for instance, were roughly 1.3 times more likely to show decreases in CO2 emissions by at least 75% than they were to show minimal reductions of 25% or less, or increased CO2 emissions. The project’s survey conducted among European EMAS companies confirmed this. Around 50% declared improvement in air emissions and reduced water consumption, and around 60% confirmed a reduction in waste. The companies operating in the manufacturing sector achieved the best results concerning pollution reduction. For this reason, the adoption of regulatory reliefs as incentives is very important, especially in a period when EMAS registrations were decreasing.

The project supported the European Strategy for better regulation and the implementation of the Communication ‘Minimising regulatory burden for SMEs’ (COM(2011) 803 final).

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Environmental management - Certification
Environmental management - Certification


EC regulation on eco-management and audit‚  environmental management‚  environmental law

Target EU Legislation

  • Environmental management & assessment
  • "Regulation 1221/2009 - Voluntary participation by organisations in a Community eco-management an ...
  • Development of new legislation

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitarie di Perfezionamento Sant’Anna
Type of organisation Training centre
Description The Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies is an autonomous, special-statute university offering undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education in the field of applied sciences.
Partners Ambiente Italia s.r.l., Italy Istituto Andaluz de Tecnologìa (IAT), Spain Chamber of Commerce of Valencia, Spain Confindustria Genova, Italy ARPA-Lombardia, Italy IEFE-Bocconi, Italy Confindustria of Liguria, Italy


Project reference LIFE10 ENV/IT/000423
Duration 01-OCT-2011 to 01-JAN -2015
Total budget 2,219,679.00 €
EU contribution 1,109,839.00 €
Project location Toscana(Italia)


Read more:

Brochure Project's brochure
Brochure Project's brochure
Brochure Project's brochure
Press article "Environmental performance improvements and extern ...
Project web site Project's website
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "GUIDANCE TOOL for the EMAS-based regulation & reg ...
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version