Study on the costs and benefits of EMAS
Client: European Commission / DG Environment
EMAS is a voluntary environmental management system set up by the European Union, under which organisations evaluate, manage and continuously improve their environmental performance. Participating organisations are required to develop and implement an environmental management system (EMS) and publicise an environmental statement, and are then permitted to display the EMAS logo on marketing materials.
In 2008 to 2009, Milieu undertook a review of the costs and benefits to organisations of their affiliation to the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). The study involved contacting all EMAS registered organisations through an online questionnaire to obtain information on their experience with the implementation of EMAS, as well as conducting detailed interviews with competent authorities in the 27 Member States regarding the systems and structures set up to support EMAS registration and the associated incentives.
The aim was to draw conclusions regarding the costs and benefits to organisations of EMAS registration, as well as the incentives and barriers confronted by potential new registrants. Variations observed in the costs and benefits of EMAS registration were related to internal organisational factors, such as best practice for international environmental management, and external factors, such as the support systems for EMAS registration set up by Member States.
Based on these conclusions, Milieu generated recommendations for strategies designed to attract new organisations into the scheme, to minimise the barriers to registration and to provide targeted assistance to new organisations. In addition, Milieu identified initiatives that help organisations to realise maximum benefits from the application of EMAS, both internal to the organisation and run by Member State competent authorities and/or accreditation bodies.
A final output of the study is a set of indicators that can be used to make assumptions about the possible costs and benefits that may arise for an organisation.
The final report built on this information to develop possible strategies to promote EMAS registration (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/emas/pdf/news/costs_and_benefits_of_emas.pdf).
The study fed into the second review of the EMAS regulation, which was concluded in 2009.