The EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is a voluntary management instrument developed by the European Commission for companies and other organisations to evaluate, report, and improve their environmental performance. EMAS promotes continuous evaluation and improvements in the environmental performance of participating organisations. The scheme has been operative since April 1995. The latest revision came into effect on 11 January 2010. The new elements of the scheme lead to the enhanced performance, credibility and transparency of registered organisations and opened the scheme for organisations in non-EU countries.
The key features of EMAS are performance, credibility and transparency. By carrying out annual updates of environmental policy targets and actions to implement and evaluate them, registered organisations continually improve their environmental performance and provide evidence that they comply with all environmental legislation that is applicable to them. Third-party verification from independent environmental verifiers significantly adds credibility to registered organisations by guaranteeing the value of both the actions taken and the disclosed environmental information. Transparency is generated by the environmental statement, which an organisation is required to provide as part of EMAS registration. The communication tool makes available to the public information on the environmental impact and performance of the organisation.
Benefits Of EMAS
Currently, more than 4,500 organisations and approximately 7,800 sites are EMAS registered who benefit from:
Increased efficiency savings;
Reduced negative incidents; and
Improved stakeholder relationships.
Studies on the cost and benefits of EMAS can be found here.
Regulation (EC) No 1221/2009 (“EMAS III”) was published on 22 December 2009. The third revision to the EMAS Regulation has improved the scheme’s applicability and credibility and strengthened its visibility and outreach. Regulation can be downloaded from here.
EMAS Information and Downloads
Further information on EMAS can be obtained from the European Commission EMAS website.
The Regulation provides for each Member state to have a Competent Body to organise the registration process of sites within its own territory. It is its responsibility to issue registration numbers to organisations which have submitted a validated environmental statement, collect any payable registration fee, refuse, suspend and delete organisations from the register and respond to enquiries concerning organisations on the national EMAS register. Changes to this register are communicated to the Commission on a regular basis.
In Malta, the MCCAA is the EMAS Competent Body. Interested parties can contact us for further information at:
Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA)
Mizzi House,National Road, Blata l-Bajda HMR9010, Malta