Outlook on EMAS activities in 2021

The EMAS Helpdesk has a lot planned for 2021, with a focus on activities related to climate neutrality, tourism and the European Green Deal.

EMAS and climate neutrality

In line with the European Commission's 2050 Carbon Neutrality Strategy, the EMAS Helpdesk will focus this year’s activities on helping EMAS-registered organisations and businesses achieve carbon neutrality. Companies that operate an Environmental Management System according to EMAS systematically address the environmental aspect of GHG emissions and the impact of their activities on the climate. This makes EMAS particularly suitable for establishing the requirements for credible climate management. A 2020 study by the German EMAS Advisory Board (title: “Entwicklung eines EMAS-Moduls Klimamanagement”) examines how to better link existing EMAS requirements to elements of climate management and how to use the EMAS verification system to that end. Different concepts are to be discussed intensively in 2021 and prepared in materials that highlight the synergies of EMAS and climate neutrality for organisations.

EMAS in the tourism sector

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the tourism sector and led many tourists to rethink how they travel. Increasingly, they are looking for quality accommodations that respect the environment and are willing to pay more for an eco-friendly experience. However, while demand for sustainable tourism is growing, implementation remains a challenge for many operators. EMAS can effectively help the hospitality sector to improve the sustainability of their accommodations and services. In this way, EMAS in the tourism sector will be a major focus of debates and activities in 2021. In the meantime, read more about the experiences of four tourism organisations with EMAS in the case study “EMAS and the tourism sector”.

Further activities

Other activities for 2021 include strengthening synergies between EMAS and the European Green Deal, in particular the initiative on substantiating green claims. This initiative requires companies to validate their green claims against a reliable and transparent assessment of their impact on the environment using Product (PEF) and Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF) methods. EMAS and OEF could be used as complementary tools for this.

Furthermore, the member states will discuss the future of EMAS: Which topics will be important? How can EMAS be improved in line with future developments?

The EMAS Helpdesk will also publish case studies and provide up-to-date material on EMAS implementation – so stay tuned.

Please note: There will be no EMAS Award at the European level in 2021. Interested organisations are invited to participate in national competitions and the European Business Award for the Environment (EBAE), which is planned for 2022 and offers a specific environmental management category.

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