New analysis shows: businesses and organisations with EMAS are on the right track

How are the latest changes to the environmental management standard ISO14001 impacting the EMAS instrument? A current analysis by the German EMAS Advisory Board (UGA) shows: for businesses and organisations registered with EMAS, the need for adaptation remains low.


Given that the revised Environmental Management Standard ISO14001 of September 2015 is a part of the EMAS instrument, and should remain such, the EU Commission is currently examining whether the revised ISO standard can be integrated into the EMAS instrument. The German EMAS Advisory Board (UGA) has already assessed the implications of the changes in the new ISO 14001:2015 for the EMAS instrument, compiling the results in the new informational flyer "EMAS and the new ISO 14001".

Businesses and organisations registered with EMAS maintain a low need for adaptation

The new ISO standard requires businesses and organisations to, among other things, identify "risks and opportunities" in connection with environmental aspects or to deal more intensively with the impacts of external environmental impacts.

The new informational flyer shows: the new features of ISO 14001:2015 are already included in EMAS in the same or similar forms. Businesses and organisations already registered with EMAS will therefore have to implement only minimal adaptations.

Additionally, the EMAS requirements for compliance with all environmental regulations, for constant improvements in environmental performance, and for required standardised public communication and inclusion of employees in the improvement processes remain largely unchanged. Thus, all of EMAS’ distinguishing features are preserved in the new standards. The informational flyer “EMAS and the new ISO 14001” is available for download here (in German only).

The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is the system with the highest standards worldwide for environmental management and environmental impact auditing. The UGA is an independent advisory body of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Security (BMUB). As a multi-stakeholder forum, the UGA brings together various interest groups from the field of environmental management and campaigns for the implementation and dissemination of the European environmental management system EMAS.

adelphi is hosting the UGA secretariat.