What is EMAS?
What is EMAS?
The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme EMAS is a European system that enables organisations to voluntarily engage to evolve and improve their environmental performance.
Who can join EMAS?
EMAS is open to every organisation from the public or private sector that commits to improve its environmental performance. It is open to member states of the European Union and of the European Economic Area (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). An increasing number of countries also apply the system in scope of their admission to the EU.
What steps need to be taken to apply EMAS?
To achieve an EMAS registration, the organisation must:
Make an environmental analysis of its activities: the environmental analysis describes all environmental aspects of the organisation’s activities, products and services.
Set up an effective environmental management system (EMS): An effective EMS aims to improve the results with respect to the environment. It is established in view of the results of the environmental analysis and of the goals determined by the organisation, and complemented by a regular internal environmental audit. Among other things, the EMS determines the goals, the means to achieve those goals and the responsibilities, as well as the operational procedures.
Establish an environmental statement: this statement is a communication instrument for the public: it must give insight in the impact of the company and in the environmental results, as well as in the goals to improve the environmental performance and in the EMS installed. The document is the proof of a willingness to be open and to sustain a dialogue with the partners of the enterprise: governments, neighbourhood citizens, customers, financial partners, etc. It is a key element in the added value of the EMAS system when compared to other systems.
Have its environmental management system verified and its statement validated: The verifier must be recognised (the list of organisations for EMA verification recognised in Belgium is available at the BELAC bureau).
File an application for registration with the competent organisation. In the Brussels Capital region, this is Leefmilieu Brussel (Living Environment Brussels).
Subsequently, the registered organisation is entitled to use the EMAS logo, under mention of its official registration number on the European list.
A new environmental statement must be set up every three years, and adaptations, if any, are to be made annually; these documents will be validated by a recognised verifier.