EMAS in a nut – the european networks

You said EMAS ?

EMAS = Eco-Management & Audit Scheme

EMAS, four letters behind which is hidden a European certification for a better environmental quality: access to the EMAS certification, it is formalised a responsibility at a European level, specified to restrain the impact of our activities on the environment.

A European regulation is open to all

Regulation (EC) No. 761/2001 was adopted by the European Council to allow the
Voluntary participation of all organisations and all sectors to engage in a voluntary process of continuous improvement of their environmental performance.

To be simple, EMAS is a European equivalent of the ISO 14000 international standards, but going much further: each organisation, enterprise or town in Europe may try to meet quality criteria higher by applying the approach to its own .

A first experience in France for a natural site

Particularly innovative in France, EMAS is a first example on a French landscape: the Marshlands of Vigueirat.

EMAS, an original European certification

The main points of EMAS and its originality are :

- Mandatory compliance of environmental regulations,
- Set goals for improvement and verifiable
- Verification by a third party related to a public authority
- Drafting an environmental statement
- Eco-Audit Regulation, a new approach within the European Union, was set up to encourage companies from all industries and of all sizes to engage in a voluntary process to continuously improvement their environmental performance.

The approach

Lack of model in the national level

None natural site in France has yet obtained the EMAS registration. The difficulty of the approach is the lack of example or methodological guide for the establishment of EMAS in french natural sites at the moment.

The methodology used enables to evaluate the impact on the environment on the site and its surroundings, to define objectives and develop practical ways to reduce the negative aspects of this impact…

… With the obligatory compliance with existing regulations (safety, environment, public reception), and the complete transparency in the implementation of the means to reduce the impact on the environment (organisation, management, results ) towards the public and the staff.

This method includes 8 steps :
  1. - The definition of an environmental policy,
  2. - Conducting an environmental review. Companies must establish a full environmental impact assessment and publish the results obtained in the domains of water, air, noise, waste, energy consumption and so on.,
  3. - The development of an environmental program,
  4. - The establishment of an environmental management system,
  5. - The execution of an environmental audit,
  6. - Drafting the environmental statement,
  7. - Environmental Audit. The approved auditor examines the approach and the environmental statement to ensure compliance with the regulations and valid registration site.
  8. - The declaration is addressed to the agency responsible for registering sites, which refuses or agrees.