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Community Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS)

WHAT IS EMAS?
The Community Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is a voluntary mechanism for companies and organizations who want to make a firm commitment to evaluating, managing and improving their environmental performance, providing evidence of the credibility of their environmental management system and environmental performance before third parties and in accordance with the respective benchmarks. Thus, when EMAS is established in an organization, the goal is to assess and improve the environmental performance and the provision of relevant information to the public and other stakeholders, in terms of environmental performance and the related communication.

The EMAS is the most credible and robust environmental management system in the market, that complements the requirements of the NP EN ISO 14001 standard. EMAS’ superior quality is based on the following:
- More stringent requirements in relation to measurement and assessment of environmental performance, in comparison with objectives and targets, and continuous improvement of environmental performance;
- Compliance with environmental legislation, guaranteed by government supervision;
- Strong involvement of employees;
- Key environmental indicators, which enable multi-year comparability within an organization and between organizations;
- Provision of information to the general public through the validated environmental statement;
- Registration by a public authority, after verification by an accredited environmental inspection body.

ADVANTAGES OF PARTICIPATING IN EMAS
- Improved environmental and financial performance
- Better management of risks and opportunities
- Increased credibility and transparency
- Increased motivation and engagement of employees

DISTINCTIVE FEATURES OF EMAS
PERFORMANCE - CREDIBILITY - TRANSPARENCY

STEPS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF EMAS
In order to obtain EMAS registration, the following is required:
- Carry out an environmental review, considering all environmental aspects of the organization’s activities, products and services, methods to evaluate these aspects, applicable legal requirements and the existing environmental management practices and procedures;
- Develop and implement an environmental management system that makes it possible to improve environmental performance on a continuous basis;
- Conduct an internal audit to assess, in particular, the environmental management system, as well as compliance with legal requirements;
- Prepare an Environmental Statement, which provides indications concerning the organisation’s environmental performance;
The environmental review, the environmental management system, the audit procedure and the environmental statement must be verified by an accredited environmental auditing body. The validated environmental statement is sent to the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) to carry out the registration process.



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