EMAS, the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme verified by an independent Certification Body, it can begin using the EMAS logo. As well as showing commitment to protecting the environment, which can improve their public image, EMAS certified company them to save money by reducing their consumption of resources and materials, such as energy, water and paper, and their generation of waste.
The most common benefits of EMAS implementation are:
l Reduced costs, namely in the purchasing process through minimizing materials, energy consumption, water consumption and other business resources, in turn raising companies' profit margins.
l Reduced environmental risks, which can also turn into financial benefits resulting from trust by shareholders, investment companies, insurance companies and financial institutions
l Maintained and/or increased competitiveness by being able to satisfy the environmental management requirements of a growing number of customers
l Improved ability to comply with environmental legislation
l Greater credibility - the EMAS logo and the verified environmental statement are proof of sound environmental management and concern for the general welfare of the community
l Increased staff commitment - the involvement of employees in the implementation of the environmental management scheme is likely to reinforce the identification of staff with the company and increase their participation in the long-term development of the EMAS certified company
EMAS certified company is helped by Certification Body to make sure it sets environmental objectives.
To become EMAS certified company must take the following steps:
l Conduct an environmental review of all its activities and assess them against existing environmental laws;
l Establish an environmental management system ISO14001 setting out its environment objectives and the means to achieve these objectives;
l Carry out an internal environmental audit assessing the management system in place and compliance with relevant environmental regulatory requirements;
l Provide a statement outlining its environmental policy, programme and management system, and summarizing its environmental performance with the results achieved and the steps necessary for future improvements.
l The environmental review, management system, audit, and statement must be approved by an certification body and sent to the appropriate competent body for registration. The environmental statement must be made public before an EMAS certified company is allowed to use the EMAS logo.
EMAS will continue to be based on a standard environmental management system, as embodied in the ISO 14001 standard. In addition, there will be elements strengthening the obligation to comply with the system and reinforced environmental reporting, using core performance indicators to report on energy efficiency, material efficiency, water, waste emissions and biodiversity.
EMAS certified company, especially those in the private sector, have activities that often extend far beyond national or EU borders. Action is thus taken at EU level to provide EMAS certified company with one harmonized system applicable throughout the European Union. Non-EU EMAS certified company will also be able to participate in EMAS. It is expected that a revised EMAS regulation will be adopted in 2009 and will enter into force at the beginning of 2010.