What is EMAS?
EMAS is the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme which allows all types of organizations to improve their environmental performance and achieve recognition for doing so. Its origins lie in European Council Regulation 1836/93, which allowed participation by industrial sector organizations within the EU in the Scheme. This Regulation is now in its third version and extends to all types of organizations.
The aim of EMAS is to recognize and reward those organizations that go beyond minimum legal compliance and continuously improve their environmental performance.
EMAS calls for maintenance of an effective environmental management system (EMS) which ensures that an environmental policy is available, that objectives, targets and programmes are set to improve environmental performance and the promulgation of such to ensure continuous improvement as a whole.
Helps you with
- Environmental Policy
- Impact Reduction
- Pollution Prevention
- Legal Compliance
- Culture Change
- Corporate Responsibility
- Resource Management
Benefits of EMAS Certification
EMAS registrants can use the EMAS logo to promote their achievement and commitment to environmental performance.
Improved stakeholder relationships
If you are attempting to expand your business into new territories, certification is the best way to demonstrate to potential customers that you’re taking proactive steps to be responsible.
The EMAS Register lists the details of all organizations that have met the requirements and are currently registered.
Enhanced credibility and recognition
The statement is a publication of environmental information, whose accuracy and reliability has been independently checked, providing enhanced credibility and recognition.
Improved environmental management
Reduce your resource use, improve the overall efficiency of your business and keep the larger impact of your operations to an absolute minimum.
Reduced operating costs
Achieving efficiencies in energy and water usage and through waste minimization means money saved.
Deliver products that consistently meet customer requirements and a service that is dependable and can be relied on.
Differences between EMAS and ISO 14001
The Regulation requires EU Member States to form administrative structures for the scheme. In the UK, the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) carry out this function as the 'Competent Body'. EMAS is fully compatible with the requirements of ISO 14001 but does have additional requirements:
an environmental review of all environmental aspects of the organization
reporting against a set of core indicators – energy efficiency, material efficiency, waste, biodiversity and emissions
the production of publicly available environmental statement documenting the organization’s environmental performance - this statement must be verified by a third party such as NQA
- an EMS which incorporates all the requirements of ISO 14001 and additional requirements relating to the environmental review, legal compliance, environmental performance, employee involvement and communication with the public.
How to gain EMAS certification?
ISO 14001 - Firstly you have an effective and functional EMS that meets the requirements of ISO 14001.
Environmental Statement - You must prepare an environmental statement that is written clearly, using language that the general public will understand.
Verification - Once your statement has been prepared, we will ensure that it gives an accurate representation of your organization and its activities and it fulfils the requirements of EMAS.
Validation - Once we have verified that your statement and EMS meet the requirements, we will validate the statement and supply you with a declaration on verification and validation activities.
Application - Once validated, you can forward the environmental statement, the declaration on verification and validation activities and details of your site to the Competent Body responsible for the Regulation of EMAS in the EU Member State (in the UK this is IEMA).
Registration - IEMA will then register acceptance of the validated statement and provide your organization with a registration number. You can then use the EMAS logo on the environmental statement and corporate literature.
Who can benefit from EMAS certification?
Registration with EMAS can have a number of distinct advantages for organizations of any size. In particular, establishing a registered EMAS eco-management and audit scheme can be a smart choice for businesses that:
Want a public, verifiable and well-recognised record of their commitment to energy-efficiency, waste management and other important environmental metrics
Want to expand on the processes and policies established by ISO 14001, to run a leaner, more sustainable operation through proactive environmental management
Want to improve transparency around environment issues and develop better relationships with suppliers, customers, regulators and other stakeholders
Want to streamline compliance with current and future environmental regulations, and reduce the risk of fines and reputational damage due to noncompliance
Want to simplify the audit and investigation process around environmental regulations, and spend less time and money on reporting
Want to take advantage of deregulation incentives, or improve their access to public contracts and other opportunities
Want to establish clearer and more ambitious performance benchmarks around energy-efficiency, material efficiency and other factors
Want to make better use of material resources, cut down on waste and product loss, and run a leaner and more cost-effective operation overall
Want to secure commitment from both management and employees, and build a culture of enhanced environmental management across the board
An EMAS eco-management and audit scheme can be especially beneficial to any organization that wants to reduce its overall impact on the environment and improve external relations in the process.
Steps to Certification
Complete a Quote Request Form so that we can understand your company and requirements. You can do this by completing either the online quick quote or the online formal quote request form. We will use this information to accurately define your scope of assessment and provide you with a proposal for certification.
Once you’ve agreed your proposal, we will contact you to book your assessment with an NQA Assessor. This assessment consists of two mandatory visits that form the Initial Certification Audit. Please note that you must be able to demonstrate that your management system has been fully operational for a minimum of three months and has been subject to a management review and full cycle of internal audits.
Following a successful two stage audit, a certification decision is made and if positive, then certification to the required standard is issued by NQA. You will receive both a hard and soft copy of the certificate. Certification is valid for three years and is maintained through a programme of annual surveillance audits and a three yearly recertification audit.