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.
- In French (Corporate Summary, Annex A: Brussels and Annex B: Luxembourg)
- In Dutch (Corporate Summary, and Annex A: Brussels, Annex C: JRC Petten and Annex D: JRC Geel)
- In Spanish (Corporate Summary and Annex E: JRC Seville)
- In German (Corporate Summary and Annex E: JRC Karlsruhe)
- In Italian (Corporate Summary and Annex E: JRC Ispra)
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
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.