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[Environment] EIA European Union's Eco-Management and Audit Scheme

EMAS is a voluntary instrument for environmental management for companies and bodies in the EU. It provides private and public sector organizations with the means to assess, manage and operate a system with continuous improvement of their environmental performance.

The EMAS regulations meet the requirements of ISO 14001, the international environmental management standard, plus some additional requirements, including the publication of an Environmental Statement (ES).

EMAS and ISO 14001 in comparison

The EU only Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) uses the standards as laid out in ISO 14001 as integral part of its standard specifications. EMAS goes beyond ISO 14001 in areas such as performance improvement, legal compliance and obligation to report and inform.

With ISO 14001 there is no requirement for an environmental audit. There are procedures for identifying environmental factors. The focus of ISO 14001 is improvement of the management system, and for EMAS the focus is continuous improvement of environmental performance.

Both EMAS and ISO 14001 have obligations to meet and maintain relevant laws and regulations, but EMAS alone stipulates the process of verification through an independent external environmental auditor.

ISO 14001 requires its environmental policies to be accessible to the public, while EMAS promotes open dialogue between external stakeholders.

ISO promotes training for staff, and EMAS promotes active participation of all staff at every level, as well as representatives.

ISO 14001 provides for an internal audit of its management system, and EMAS lays down a fixed method for internal verification of its operations (management system, performance and compliance).

In EMAS, an accredited environmental auditor validates the environmental declaraton and verifies the implementation of the management system. With ISO 14001 the certification occurs according to the ISO standards.

In the EMAS procedure, each organisation is listed with a unique reistration number in a registry open to the public. The registration process is done with participation of the environmental authorities. With ISO, there is neither a public registry nor participation by environmental authorities.

EMAS has its own logo, but ISO does not.