How to promote environmental management at its best? EMAS compendium gives fresh insights

In 2015, the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is celebrating its 20th anniversary. On behalf of the European Commission, adelphi prepared a compendium that looks back on past achievements and provides inspiration for future opportunities to promote EMAS registration in Europe.

16/12/2015

The new "EMAS Compendium on Promotion and Policy Support in the Member States" allows policymakers, EMAS registered organisations and stakeholders a closer look at past efforts of Member States to recognize and communicate the achievements of EMAS registered organisations.

The compendium presents a range of Member States’ initiatives in four categories: legal, financial, informational and promotional instruments. Examples include Germany’s legal provision recognizing EMAS registration as a substitute for an energy audit requirement, Austria’s recognition of EMAS registration in green public procurement contracts, and Italy’s regional tax abatements for EMAS registered organisations. Therefore, it also provides inspiration for future activities to continue and extend EMAS registration and policy support in every country.

Since 2010, adelphi has been responsible for the operation of the EMAS Helpdesk. The Helpdesk works to provide information on environmental management and develop new marketing and communication strategies to increase awareness of EMAS. Within this context, adelphi prepared this compendium on behalf of the European Commission. The paper was first distributed at the High Level Conference on EMAS on 13 November 2015 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Integrated campaigns work best – even public authorities benefit from EMAS

One of the key messages is that policy support for EMAS can bring advantages not only for registered organisations, but also for governments and regulators. EMAS's environmental reporting requirement increases EMAS organisations’ transparency, allowing both government authorities and the general public access to the organisations’ independently verified data. Through its oversight by EMAS Competent Bodies, EMAS also offers governments and regulators the opportunity to streamline administration and save time and resources. For example, when policy makers provide regulatory relief to EMAS registered organisations in the form of less frequent inspections, national environmental protection agencies have more capacities to increase inspection frequencies in facilities with worse environmental records.

Furthermore, the compendium clearly shows: sectoral promotion campaigns, which may combine all typologies of instruments, have frequently been successful in rewarding EMAS registered organisations and increasing EMAS registration numbers in France (health care), Italy (public administration), Poland (waste), and Spain (tourism). The hybrid nature of such measures adds to the campaigns’ effectiveness. They provide organisations with clear incentives to implement an environmental management system according to EMAS while at the same time ensuring that potentially interested organisations are aware of these benefits and have the informational tools to implement the scheme. A combination of legal and/or financial instruments with effective promotion and information strategies thus appears essential for helping organisations and Member States to gain the maximum benefit from EMAS. 

Find the "EMAS Compendium on Promotion and Policy Support in the Member States" for download here.

More information on the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS)