Transforming our world with Sustainable Development Goals

EMAS can help organisations and governments meet SDG goals

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a major output of multilateral supranational diplomacy in the summit year 2015 and sets an aspiring future guideline containing 17 goals and 169 targets. From poverty alleviation to biodiversity conservation, from equality to sustainable production and consumption, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a far more universal approach to solving global challenges than the previous Millennium Development Goals. By working to increase organisations' sustainability, EMAS can help contribute to “transforming our world"!

As a tool designed to reduce organisations' environmental impacts and increase their sustainability, EMAS can most directly contribute to achieving Goal 12. EMAS improves sustainable consumption and production patterns through, for example, an efficient use of resources (target 12.2), a substantial reduction (12.5) and sound management of waste (12.4). Most clearly, EMAS links up with the SDG goals by encouraging the adoption of sustainable practices and requiring a high-quality reporting cycle (12.6).

EMAS's connection to sustainable development doesn't stop there though - the scheme can also be contribute indirectly to Goals 6 & 7 through its encouragement of clean production methods and use of renewable energy. EMAS core indicators on air emissions (including greenhouse gases, energy use, water use and biodiversity) and the scheme's goal of continual performance improvement can also help contribute to goals 13, 14, and 15. Furthermore, EMAS stakeholders work to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth by fostering innovation (Goal 8).  As evident from the EMAS High Level Conference in November, EMAS plays an inmportant role in helping a number of public administrations on their path to achieving green and sustainable cities (Goal 11).

Finally, through cooperation and partnerships with the private sector, the EU will focus on promoting and enabling business environment and responsible business practice throughout the world. The performance, credibility and transparency of EMAS sets a leading example on the path to a more sustainable future.

Additional information on the Sustainable Development Goals can be found here: