EMAS III Developments

Date: 24 February 2010 

EMAS III developments.

The EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) Regulation has been revised, and was published as a new regulation (EC) No 1221/2009.  It was signed on 25th November 2009, published in the Official Journal on 22nd December 2009, and entered into force 20 days later on 11th January 2010.

Transitional arrangements

The transitional arrangements are set out in Article 51 of the new regulation:

INAB will remain as the Competent Body, handling registrations in Ireland, and as the Accreditation Body for accredited EMAS verifiers.  Any modified procedures must be implemented by 11th January 2011.

Organisations registered in accordance with EMAS II will remain on the register. At the time of the next verification of the organisation, the environmental verifier must check the organisation’s compliance with the requirements of the new regulation. If the next verification is scheduled to be carried out before 11th July 2010, the date of the next verification may be extended by six months, subject to agreement with the environmental verifier and with INAB.

All new applicants to the Scheme and those renewing their registration are required to comply with the new Regulation.

Registered organisations should discuss the most appropriate course of action with their verifier, and ensure that INAB is notified if an extension is required, to ensure that registration is maintained during the transitional period.

Organisations that fail to request an extension from INAB, and have not had their verification in accordance with EMAS III, risk being suspended from the register.

New elements in EMAS III

EMAS III contains a number of new features:

·         Environmental Statements must now document an organisation’s environmental performance.  Annex IV of the regulation gives details, but in short, the following ‘core indicators’ must be used by all organisations:

(i)    Energy efficiency;

(ii)   Material efficiency;

(iii)  Water;

(iv)  Waste;

(v)   Biodiversity; and

(vi)  Emissions.

·         EMAS has always required organisations to meet legal requirements, but EMAS III has strengthened the requirement somewhat. Organisations are now required, at initial registration, to provide material evidence of compliance with applicable legislation, where before, they had to implement a management system covering the requirements (Article 13 2(c)).  

·         EMAS III now allows for countries outside Europe to be registered, and allows for organisations with multiple sites to apply for one single corporate registration.  Organisations outside Europe should apply for registration to the Competent Body in the member state where their verifier is accredited.  See Article 3 for further details.

·          EMAS III, Article 7, allows some flexibility in the frequency for which small organisations are required to publish their environmental statement and its updates.  Article 2 of the regulation defines a ‘small organisation’.

·         There is now only one version of the EMAS logo for organisations to use under the new Regulation.  Article 10 and Annex V give further information.  The new regulation also allows for the use (in Ireland) of ‘Bainistíocht comhshaoil fíoraithe’ along with the logo, instead of “Verified Environmental Management”, if the organisation chooses.

Further Information

For further general information on the regulation or registration requirements, or for verifiers with enquiries about the accreditation or supervision requirements of the regulation, please contact INAB.

Organisations with specific enquiries about verification should contact their environmental verifier.

See the EMAS website at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/emas/index_en.htm for more information.  It also contains a link to the official text of the regulation.