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 organisations within the EU in the Scheme. This Regulation is now in its third version and extends to all types of organisations.
The aim of EMAS is to recognise and reward those organisations 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.
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'.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EMAS AND ISO 14001
EMAS is fully compatible with the requirements of ISO 14001 but does have additional requirements:
an environmental review of all environmental aspects of the organisation
reporting against a set of core indicators – energy efficiency, material efficiency, waste, biodiversity and emissions
the production of publicly available environmental statement documenting the organisation’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.
BENEFITS OF EMAS CERTIFICATION
The core benefits are similar to those of ISO 14001 with the addition of the benefit of the verified and publically available environmental statement.
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.
The EMAS Register lists the details of all organisations that have met the requirements of the EMAS Regulation and are currently registered. The register provides the contact information of registrants and where copies of the environmental statement can be obtained, date first registered, and a code for the activities undertaken by the organisation, and the scope of registration.
EMAS registrants can use the EMAS logo to promote their achievment and commitment to environmental performance.
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. To learn more about what’s involved in registering with EMAS, keep reading or contact NQA directly.
HOW TO GAIN EMAS REGISTRATION
ISO 14001 - Firstly you have an effective and functional EMS that meets the requirements of ISO 14001. You may then begin the next steps to EMAS registration.
Environmental Statement - You will need to 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 organisation and its activities and it fulfils the requirements of EMAS.
Validation - Once we have verified that your statement and EMS meet the requirements, bearing in mind that changes may have been required, we will validate the environmental 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 the 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. A seperate application fee for this may be applicable.
Registration - IEMA will then register acceptance of the validated statement and provides your organisation with a registration number. You can then use the EMAS logo on the environmental statement and corporate literature (as described in Annex V of the EMAS Regulation).
GET IN TOUCH
We can advise you on how to achieve EMAS Registration, related training, useful resources and finding a reputable consultant.
Contact our business advisors on 0800 052 2424 or submit the form below: