Eco management system (EMAS) for business

An eco management system (EMAS) for business promotes continual environmental development. A public statement which details eco performance can be beneficial for a business.

Businesses that produce a public statement of performance gain a competitive advantage in their niche. Consumers prefer businesses that are seen to take action on environmental concerns.

What is EMAS?

EMAS is a voluntary EU regulation.  It was developed as part of the EU’s environmental action programme to promote continual environmental development in businesses.

The eco management system is designed to achieve this by:

  • Designing and implementing environmental policies
  • Providing systematic, objective and periodic evaluation of performance
  • Promoting performance to the public and stakeholders



Who can use EMAS?

An eco management system is available for all organisations in all industries to use.  Local authorities, large companies and international businesses can all use EMAS.


Public statement

An essential part of an eco management system is to publicly report on environmental performance and progress.  For this to be available the statement has to be prepared and independently verified.  The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) then checks to make sure the site does not breach any law or regulation.  All businesses must make sure to apply to re-register every 1-3 years.


Registration process

Prepare environmental statement: The statement must be written in plain English.  The public must be able to read and understand the statement.

Verification: An independent verifier will ensure the statement is an accurate representation of the business.  It must meet EMAS requirements.

Validation: The independent verifier will validate the statement.

Application: After validation the statement is forwarded to the IEMA.

Registration: The IEMA will register the validated statement.  The business can now use the EMAS logo on their literature.

Remember, before an EMAS can be undertaken the business must have an effective EMS installed and maintained.



Benefits of eco management system registration

The main benefit of an EMAS registration is the public statement of environmental performance.  As society becomes more eco conscious, businesses have to operate in a more environmentally friendly way.  Those who are proactive in their approach to environmental issues will benefit.


External benefits

Businesses that produce a public statement of performance gain a competitive advantage in their niche.  Consumers prefer businesses that are seen to take action on environmental concerns.

Another benefit could be that you’ll see increased investment.  Investors like businesses that are seen as good corporate citizens that have the support of the public.


Internal benefits

A business can also benefit internally from an EMAS.  Perhaps the most important benefit is employee confidence.  Reporting on the environmental performance of the business can help motivate staff and stimulate further improvements.


Image: EnvironmentalManagementSystem

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