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EMAS Advantages over ISO 14001

EMAS spares industry from the new German energy audit

Aluminium smelter
EMAS is for both workplace and external environments

As of April 2015, large enterprises in Germany have been subject to a compulsory energy audit every four years (German Energy Ordinance (EDL-G, 15.04.2015)). However, if a company already follows an EMAS Environmental Management System, then this requirement is no longer application, whereas companies with only the ISO 14001 Certificate will still need to undergo the new Energy Audit.

The European Union's Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is the most comprehensive environmental management and audit system in the world. It is a voluntary instrument for the continuous improvement of an enterprise or other organisation's environmental performance, with an environmental management system (EMS) and external verification in the form of an official periodic audit, for all sectors and organisation sizes. It covers and in part extends all of the requirements of the DIN EN ISO 14001.

ISO 14001 is focussed primarily on improvements to the management system. EMAS obliges enterprises to a system of verifiable continuous improvement of its environmental performance, above and beyond the requirements of law. Measurable goals and regular internal and external audits verify whether the planned improvements to the operational environmental protection have been achieved or not.

Since EMAS covers all the requirements of ISO 14001, the final declaration of the environmental auditor and EMAS registration brings with them a verification of conforming to the ISO 14001.

    EMAS provides:
  • • an environmental review to determine the current status
  • • continuous improvement of environmental performance
  • • employee information
  • • governmental level supervised verification, conducted by specially accredited EMAS auditors
  • • an ES (Environmental Statement), which is a comprehensive public document
  • • validated legal compliance

An important part of the EMAS public information and engagement process is the Environmental Statement (ES). The ES is a written summary of the most important information, data and facts, as well as a description of the self-imposed programme for improvement of environmental impacts and performance of the enterprise.

The participation in the EMAS results in a certificate in accordance with ISO 14001, since the EMAS satisfies all of the latter's requirements. the concluding declaration of the auditor and the registration of the EMAS is a verification of conformity to the ISO 14001. The auditor is empowered to award an ISO 14001 Certificate.

Electronic waste
EMAS is for every stage of a product's life

Whereas not the case with ISO 14001, participation in the EMAS programme is also verification of meeting all non-dispensable legal requirements. EMAS therefore provides protection to responsible parties and facilitates liability insurance.

Article by Andrew Bone, Friday, 9th October 2015