EMAS in the European Institutions

The European Commission was the first EU Institution to become registered with EMAS and currently, 11 EU Institutions and bodies are EMAS-registered. The European Commission EMAS team members are proud and honoured to have served sometimes as 'mentors' to their colleagues in setting up the scheme in other institutions – "Walking the talk", as we say!

Discover the Emas registered European Institutions
The European CommissionThe European Commission

The European Commission (EC) sets an example by reducing the environmental impact of its own activities through EMAS. Key priorities are the efficient use of natural resources (mainly energy, water and paper), the reduction of overall CO₂ emissions, waste prevention, recycling and re-use, green public procurement, and sustainable mobility. In September 2001 the EC decided to pilot the implementation of EMAS in four services in Brussels. The Commission was the first EU Institution to achieve an EMAS-registration already in 2005. Since January 2010, this system has progressively extended to all the services' activities and buildings in Brussels, Luxembourg, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) sites and DG SANTE's site at Grange, significantly increasing the number of concerned employees from 4,000 to approximately 32,000.

Currently, the Commission's environmental management system covers its eight largest sites which are located in seven European countries, meaning all occupied buildings in Brussels (62), 10 buildings in Luxembourg, and the five Joint Research Centre (JRC) sites in Petten, Geel, Seville, Karlsruhe, Ispra and DG SANTE's site at Grange. In total, this reaches up to 1,601,662 m2 – or 92% of the EC sites.

For the coming years, the Commission aims to further extend the scope of its EMAS registration to include executive agencies under Commission facilities management control and by doing so to ensure the continuous reduction of its environmental impact.

Since the first EMAS registration in 2005, the Commission has achieved significant results
(These results refer to the Brussels site during the period 2005-2017):

  • Energy for buildings = - 63% (MWh/person)
  • CO2 emissions for buildings* = - 87%* (tonnes/person)
  • Office paper = - 68% (sheets/person/day)
  • Water use = - 59% (m3/person)
  • Non hazardous waste = - 32% (tonnes/person)

* CO2 emissions reduction exceeds that of energy consumption as electricity has been purchased from 95% renewable sources since 2009.

Concerning its 2014-2020 environmental performance improvement targets, the Commission has already in 2017 reached and far exceed its targets for water (-8%), office paper (-31%) and non-hazardous waste (-7,3%).

These impressive achievements led the EMAS Steering Committee on 30 January 2019, following mid-term review, to adopt more ambitious environmental performance targets for 2014-20. These included reducing water use by 5% (instead of 4%); office paper consumption by 34% (instead of 0.4%); CO2 emissions of Commission fleet vehicles, according to manufacturer specifications, by 14% (instead of 6%) and non-hazardous waste generation by 10% (instead of 2%). See EMAS Results’ brochure.

These impressive improvements result from a combination of technical measures, green public procurement and the personal commitment of the European Commission's staff.

The Commission has generated cumulative energy savings of 107 million € (around 371 € per person per year, 2005-2017) in Brussels alone, at a direct cost of under 72 € per person for coordinating EMAS in 2017.

For further information, see the Environmental Statement 2018 (period 2017) – Consolidated Volume: Corporate Volume and 8 Annexes.

See also separately: Corporate Volume, Annex A for Brussels, Annex B for Luxembourg, Annex C for Petten, Annex D for Geel, Annex E for Seville, Annex F for Karlsruhe, Annex G for Ispra and Annex H for DG SANTE-Grange.

Lastly, for your reference, see also:

  • The Environmental Statement 2017 (period 2016) – Consolidated Volume: Corporate Volume and 8 Annexes.
  • For your information, see also other linguistic versions of ES2017, specifically:
  • The Environmental Statement 2016 (period 2015) in English, and the Environmental Statement 2015 (period 2014) in English.

    Contact information:

    Mr Celso Sanchez Martinez - EMAS Management Representative
    Mr Michael Rourke – EMAS Officer
    Mr David Da Camara Gomes – EMAS Officer
    Mrs Sofia Gregou – EMAS Communication, Training and Documentation

    European Commission - DG HR: Human Resources and Security
    Unit D.2: Working Environment & Safety
    Rue Montoyer 34, MO34 01/78, B-1049 Brussels/Belgium
    Email: EC-EMAS@ec.europa.eu

    NOTE: Please only use this contact information if you would like to get in touch directly with the team dealing with the Environmental Management System of the European Commission premises. For example, this may apply if you are a Commission employee or contractor, or you are a neighbour who wants to make the environmental team aware of environmental issues.

  • The European Environment AgencyThe European Environment Agency

    The European Environment Agency was the first EU body to introduce an environmental management system in 2004 and received its EMAS registration in spring 2005. Since then, EEA has helped other organisations introduce environmental measures and was itself nominated for an EMAS Award in 2009.

    More information can be found at https://www.eea.europa.eu/about-us/emas/index_html.

    The European ParliamentThe European Parliament

    The European Parliament is EMAS registered for its three places of work (Strasbourg (FR) - Luxembourg and Brussels (BE)) since December 2007. In 2016, President Martin Schulz and Secretary-General Klaus Welle signed a new environmental policy reaffirming the EP's administration commitment to "maintaining its EMAS registration and its environmental approach to continuous improvement with a view towards achieving environmental sustainability in all its administrative activities".

    The EMAS project in the EP was launched by the Bureau in 2004, with the aim to continually improving its environmental performance.

    By relying on the commitment of every single employee and the support of all its services, EMAS provides the framework for the European Parliament to save resources for future generations.

    More information can be found at: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/aboutparliament/en/20150201PVL00096/Environmental-management.

    The European Union Intellectual Property OfficeThe European Union Intellectual Property Office

    EUIPO is the European Union Intellectual Property Office responsible for managing the EU trade mark and the registered Community design and has been EMAS registered since September 2008.
    The EUIPOs Integrated Management Policy states the following: "Our commitment to making management standards better includes both learning from international best practices and establishing an integrated policy to ensure all our processes are efficient. This means combining operational efficiency with advanced human resource capabilities, information systems as well as the physical infrastructure."

    More information can be found at: https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/quality.

    The European Central BankThe European Central Bank

    Since it registered with EMAS in 2010, the European Central Bank (ECB) has constantly been improving its environmental management system through its Green ECB initiative. The ECB is always looking for ways to reduce its carbon footprint and make its environmental performance even stronger. Take a look this video to learn more about what the ECB is doing.

    You can also find more information on the ECB’s website.

    The European Economic & Social Committee / the European Committee of the RegionsThe European Economic & Social Committee / the European Committee of the Regions

    The European Economic and Social Committee and the European Committee of the Regions are two consultative bodies of the European Union. They are unique in that they share joint services and infrastructure. They have also jointly undertaken to implement an environmental management system, formalised by EMAS registration and ISO 14001 certification in 2011. This approach has made it possible not only to obtain these certifications but also to make all stakeholders aware of the environmental aspects associated with everyday activities. Implementing EMAS also provides an opportunity to take account of the principles of sustainable building management, to optimise heating, lighting and paper consumption, to develop a more sustainable canteen, to select environmentally friendly cleaning products and paint, to reduce and sort waste, to reduce food waste at events, etc.
    All measures and results are set out in the environmental statement:

    The General Secretariat of the CouncilEuropean Council and Council of the European Union

    Many of the General Secretariat of the Council's (GSC) activities have some impact on the environment. The GSC has been working since 2010 to reduce this impact and protect the environment, through high quality environmental management which applies to all GSC activities in the buildings it occupies in Brussels. The GSC obtained ISO 14001 certification and the EMAS registration in 2016.

    The main goals of the GSC's environmental programme include:

    • cutting primary energy consumption through renewable energy production and efficient energy use
    • ensuring efficient use of water and preventing water pollution
    • waste prevention and reduction, re-use of materials and promoting recycling
    • employees involvement
    • reducing greenhouse gas emissions
    • reducing paper consumption and using recycled and eco-friendly paper

    The GSC also promotes environmentally-friendly mobility among employees and visitors and incorporates environmental criteria into public procurement procedures.

    For more information, please consult GSC's Environmental statement.

    The Court of Justice of the European UnionThe Court of Justice of the European Union

    The European Union is at the forefront of commitments to ensure protection of the environment worldwide. The Court of Justice of the European Union, as an institution, attaches great importance to this question and it has decided to commit itself to that endeavour with vigour and conviction by using the Eco Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) and being EMAS-registered since 2016.

    More: https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/P_134088/en/

    The European Court of AuditorsThe European Court of Auditors

    The Court was officially EMAS-registered on 10 March 2017, and we successfully operate an environmental management system in line with EMAS Regulation (EC) No 1221/2009 and ISO 14001. Our registration number is LU-000004.
    For additional information, please see the Court's corporate environmental management webpage, where you can find our environmental statement, in which we present our environmental performance results and any future plans for improvement.
    The European Food Safety AuthorityThe European Food Safety Authority

    Since 2015, EFSA has been working on the implementation of an environmental management system, obtaining in November 2016 the ISO 14001:2004 certification and, in February 2017, the EMAS registration. Being EMAS registered has contributed to the implementation of EFSA's key values such as openness and transparency, meeting the expectation of the local communities; innovation, pushing EFSA to be pro-active encouraging the green economy; and cooperation, establishing a strong dialogue with the other organisations part of the EMAS community.

    For more information, check out EFSA's Environmental Statement:

    The European institutions' EMAS stories

    Together we make a world of difference Towards paperless institutions Waste reduction and recycling Greening of EU buildings Water reduction
    Dicover our stories European Parliament Council of the European Union European Commission European Central Bank European Economic and Social Committee and European Committee of the Regions Commuting and mobility Towards paperless institutions Waste reduction and recycling Water reduction Greening of EU buildings Green purchasing Employee involvement

    The European institutions' EMAS news

    Interinstitutional EMAS Days 2019: Let’s get more sustainable together!

    EMAS daysEU Institutions have been among the first to commit to the fight against climate change and to continuously reduce their environmental impact, by implementing the EMAS environmental management system.

    EMAS - the only premium environmental management tool currently available on the market - encourages environmental excellence and helps organisations meet their sustainability objectives.

    Following on previous common EMAS events, 6 EMAS-registered EU Institutions have joined forces to organising the Interinstitutional EMAS Days between 18 to 19 March 2019 dedicated to green public procurement, mobilizing the EMAS networks and groups of volunteers, the gradual suppression of single-use items and the staff involvement on EU institutions’ commitments against oceans’ plastic pollution and climate change. Find the poster here.

    This will be an opportunity to share environmental best practice and know-how acquired by the EMAS pioneers. The programme will include thematic debates, participatory workshops, thematic panels, film-screenings and much more..

    Staff from all 6 participating EU Institutions* are invited to join the debates, share ideas and inspiration and be part of the change!

    * The European Parliament, the General Secretariat of the Council, the Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Committee of the Regions.

    Interinstitutional EMAS Day 2017: Let's get greener together

    Let's get greener togetherBuilding on the experience in 2016, the European Parliament, the General Secretariat of the Council, the Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Committee of the Regions have joined forces to organising an Interinstitutional EMAS Day on 8th June 2017 (soon after EU Green Week) at EC building, Rue Philippe Le Bon 3, in Brussels dedicated to sustainable infrastructures, biodiversity in the city and staff involvement.

    This was an opportunity to share environmental best practice and know-how acquired by the EMAS pioneers.

    The programme included thematic debates, info-fair stands, an art exhibition and much more…
    read more on: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/emas/emas_for_you/news/news48_en.htm

    The first "Interinstitutional EMAS Week": Lessons-learned and the way forward…

    From 23 to 27 May 2016, just before the Green Week 2016, the Commission, the Parliament, the General Secretariat of the Council, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee, joined forces by organising the first Inter-institutional EMAS Week in Brussels. "Institutions invest for a greener future" was dedicated to sustainable infrastructures, alternative mobility, green purchasing and staff involvement. A unique opportunity to share environmental best practices and know-how. The programme included thematic debates, info-fair stands, film screenings, staff forums, photography and drawing competitions and much more. The interinstitutional EMAS week culminated with the EU Open Days event on Saturday 28 May 2016. For an insider's view about the events of the week, have a look at the special of the EMAS Reflex and the relevant video (below). Moreover, see video by European Parliament's Vice President Ulrike Lunacek concerning the event. All EMAS teams agreed that it was an experiment worth repeating, so there will be another interinstitutional EMAS week next year!