Issue 04 / December 2015

Eco-management and audit scheme

Dear EMAS Community,

Another exciting year is coming to an end – a year in which the Commission delivered on its promise, and returned with a strengthened Circular Economy package on 2 December. The new package will help "close the loop" of product lifecycles with more recycling and re-use, with benefits for the environment and the economy. What we are proposing includes actions to improve design and production and provide better quality information to consumers, better waste management and an improved market for secondary raw materials. The package also comes with financial support, in the shape of ESIF funding, €650 million from Horizon 2020 (the EU funding programme for research and innovation), €5.5 billion from structural funds for waste management, and investments in the circular economy at national level.

This has also been an exciting year for our EMAS community, as we celebrated 20 years of commitment to environmental and resource management. The High Level Conference on EMAS, held in Frankfurt on 13 November, demonstrated how thousands of organisations have improved their environmental performance through the scheme. Environmental management experts and representatives from registered organisations highlighted how EMAS can help organisations of all sizes, from industry to public administration, begin a transition to a more circular economy. The conference also presented an excellent platform for exploring the future evolution of EMAS.

You can read more about the event on the conference website and in a brochure coming out in early 2016.

In addition to the EMAS video (available on in 10 languages), the EMAS website and social media will be publishing the most impressive results achieved by registered organisations on a regular basis. Did you know, for example, that the Accord Housing Group saved over 100 tonnes of CO2 in 2014 thanks to renewable power generation? Or that the European Central Bank, which kindly hosted the EMAS conference, reduced their office paper consumption by almost 15% between 2011 and 2013? Leading by example, the European Commission has also achieved impressive performance improvements through EMAS, with €74 million in energy savings and an 88% reduction in per capita CO2 emissions from its Brussels buildings in the last ten years. Visit the #EMASperformers web page to read about the goals reached by organisations in sectors ranging from transport to accommodation to public administration.

Another topic highlighted in discussions at the High-Level Conference is cooperation between public bodies and private organisations, facilitated by universities and non-profit organisations, for achieving the maximum potential of EMAS. The newly published Compendium on EMAS Promotion and Policy Support gives inspiring examples of how Member States have recognized the achievements of EMAS-registered organisations over the past five years. It also provides inspiration for future opportunities to continue to support and extend EMAS registration in every country. I look forward to seeing what new initiatives will come about in 2016 and beyond.

I hope you enjoy the articles, and I wish you all the best for the festive season and the coming year!

Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries


EMAS celebrates 20 years of environmental excellence

On 13 November 2015, EMAS celebrated 20 years of premium environmental management, honouring organisations that were among the first to register with the scheme and highlighting EMAS’s future role as a step towards a more circular economy. Find out in the official press release and here...

Hot off the press: the EMAS Compendium on Promotion and Policy Support

The 20th anniversary of EMAS presents an excellent opportunity to look back on past achievements and on EMAS goals for the future, as was done at the High Level Conference on EMAS on 13 November in Frankfurt/Main. Distributed for the first time at the conference, the new EMAS Compendium on Promotion and Policy Support in the Member States gives policymakers, EMAS registered organisations and stakeholders a closer look at past and future opportunities for realising the benefits of EMAS in the Member States.

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Austrian Environment Agency brings EMAS to Israel

The Environment Agency Austria together, with the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the company Northern Ireland Cooperation Overseas (NICO), has started a new administrative partnership with the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP). The two-year project, "Support to the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection in Improving and Implementing the Environmental Regulatory and Management Framework for Industry and Business – Strengthening the Environmental Framework for SME, Resource Efficiency, Eco-Management and Audit-Scheme", focuses on permitting and inspections with an introduction of the EMAS regulation.

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EMAS highlights organisations’ outstanding achievements!

The EU EMAS Helpdesk has developed a new campaign to celebrate EMAS registered organisations’ commitment towards environmental management for the scheme's 20th anniversary. The campaign uses these organisations' reputations to raise awareness of EMAS and its benefits. Through an interactive infographic page, web visitors are invited to discover EMAS performers, access their profiles and read about their environmental performance.

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Mapping and assessment of ecosystem services in enlargement countries

Date: 26-28 January 2016

Ispra, Italy

The aim of this workshop is to take stock of the progress made in enlargement countries on mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services, to analyse gaps in knowledge and to initiate training activities on mapping and modelling ecosystem services using a tiered mapping approach. The workshop will increase the capacity of enlargement countries to meet their international obligations under the Convention of biological diversity and increase the role of the MAES activities as crucial input to the IPBES regional assessments. The following countries will be invited to participate to the meeting: Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Israel, Turkey, Albania, Montenegro, and Iceland.

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Practical course on Horizon 2020 proposal development

Date: 25-26 February 2016

Brussels, Belgium

This course is built on our direct experience gained over the past 15 years from developing and submitting proposals and implementing projects under the EU's Research Framework Programmes. The trainers of Europa Media are actual project managers, coordinators and financial administrators of EU-funded research and innovation projects.

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Adaptation Futures

Date: 10-13 May 2016

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Adaptation Futures is the biennial conference of the Global Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PROVIA). In 2016, the European Commission and the Government of the Netherlands co-host the fourth edition. Adaptation Futures 2016 is where scholars, practitioners, policymakers and business people from all around the world go to connect, learn and inspire. It highlights adaptation practices and solutions for people, governments and businesses. The programme addresses all sectors and all parts of the world. The registration (with an early bird rate until 15 March) is open.

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24th European biomass conference and exhibition

Date: 6-9 June 2016

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EUBCE) is a world class annual event which, since 1980, is held at different venues throughout Europe. The EUBCE covers the entire value chain of biomass to conduct business, network, and to present and discuss the latest developments and innovations, the vision is to educate the biomass community and to accelerate growth. The EUBCE will host a dynamic international Exhibition for companies and research labs to showcase their latest products and bringing scientists, technologists and key players together with leading Biomass industries and organizations.

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