EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) is a voluntary environmental protection instrument, i.e., it positively motivates organizations to act responsibly and to improve environmental performance beyond legal requirements. It was established by the European Union to detect and monitor the impact of organizations’ activities on the environment and to publish information in the form of individual environmental statements (statements on the environment).
It can be said that EMAS extends the ISO 14001 system, especially in terms of transparency – organizations using the system in accordance with EMAS are required to publish environmental statements and openly communicate with the public and other stakeholders.
EMAS is a systematic approach to managing issues related to the environment in the organization, with an emphasis on the integration of environmental aspects into the overall strategy of the organization and its everyday activities. It requires the organization to define significant environmental aspects (and impacts), as well as specific objectives and measures to fulfil the requirement of continuous improvement.
Benefits of verification:
- registered organizations have a higher competitiveness in competitive tendering – EMAS is one of the qualifications specified by the Public Procurement Act;
- registered organizations are not obliged to create financial security pursuant to Act No. 167/2008 Coll., On Prevention and Removal of Environmental Damage;
- registered organizations can increase their business credibility for investors, insurance companies, government and banks, and strengthen their relations with the public;
- reducing operating costs (e.g., saving energy, raw materials and other resources) and improving emergency preparedness and operational documentation (file service);
- based on the involvement of the company in the EMAS process, every employee can contribute to the achievement of the above-mentioned benefits through innovative ideas, improvements, changes in personal behaviour and cooperation with other employees.