Reducing environmental impacts - the added value of EMAS for companies

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20 years after its inception, more than 4,000 organisations and more than 12,000 sites in Europe and beyond have committed to the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). EMAS is a premium management instrument developed by the European Commission for companies and other organisations to evaluate, report, and improve their environmental performance. EMAS is an integral part of the European Commission’s Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Action Plan, to improve resource use patterns and reduce GHG emissions in the European Union.

In light of the Paris Agreement and the European Commission's strong push in the direction of circular economy, the question arises how Member States can make better use of EMAS and other certified environmental management systems as a tool for achieving national and EU environmental goals.  

In this project, adelphi and its partners will investigate how EMAS is currently supported across the Member States, especially in terms of regulatory relief. Many Member States have already recognized the value of EMAS and certified EMS to ensure legal compliance and reduce environmental impacts. For instance, by requiring less frequent environmental inspections of EMAS registered organisations because of their transparent and independently verified environmental data, both organisations and regulators can save time and resources. The project will identify the most relevant EMAS and EMS incentive policies in the selected Member States and analyse their effectiveness, impact, and replicability.

The study will also examine the potential of EMAS to fulfil existing in the Member States reporting obligations and generate new business opportunities. The consortium consisting of adelphi, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (Italy), Club EMAS Catalunya (Spain), Trinomics (Netherlands), and the Environment Agency Austria will thus be able to propose the development and implementation of innovative measures to create further added value for authorities and organizations using EMAS.

As the project leader, adelphi will also be coordinating work with the partner institutions.

Publications of this project