Vasilis Papamichalis

Vasilis Papamichalis

Eco-Management Audit Scheme

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EMAS is voluntary Environmental Management System through which a company or any other organisations can evaluate, manage and continuously improve their environmental performance. The core elements of EMAS are performance, credibility and transparency. By carrying out annual updates of environmental policy targets and actions to implement and evaluate them, registered organisations continually improve their environmental performance and provide evidence that they comply with all environmental legislation that is applicable to them.

The main stages of EMAS
An organisation must follow the next steps in order to be added to the EU EMAS register:

  • Adopt an Environmental Policy containing commitment both to comply with all relevant environmental legislation and to achieve continuous improvements in environmental performance
  • Conduct an Environmental Review considering all environmental aspects of the organisation’s activities, products and services, methods to assess these, its legal and regulatory framework and existing environmental management practices and procedures
  • In the light of the results of the Review, establish an effective Environmental Management System aimed at achieving the organisation’s Environmental Policy defined by the top management. The management system needs to set responsibilities, objectives, means, operational procedures, training needs, monitoring and communication systems
  • Carry out an Environmental Audit assessing in particular the management system in place and conformity with the organisation’s policy and programme as well as compliance with relevant environmental regulatory requirements
  • Provide a statement of its environmental performance which lays down the results achieved against the environmental objectives and the future steps to be undertaken in order to continuously improve the organisation’s environmental performance.

The Environmental Review, EMS, Audit Procedure and the Environmental Statement must be approved by an accredited EMAS verifier, and the validated statement needs to be sent to the EMAS Competent Body, The Environmental Department, for registration and made publicly available before an organisation can use the EMAS logo.

Benefits of EMAS
Environmental concerns, growing public pressure and regulatory measures are changing the way people do business around the world. Consumers and shareholders are increasingly demanding environmentally-friendly products and services that are delivered by socially responsible companies. It is becoming increasingly important for organisations to demonstrate that not only their philosophies but also their investment strategies and day-to-day operations are sustainable. Addressing these issues adopting EMAS will have the following benefits:

  • Reduction of operating costs of the company through the better control of operations, the reduction of expenses on materials, energy and water consumption and waste minimisation
  • Public image improvement of the company and the relationships with clients, the local community and the local authorities
  • Increased motivation for employee involvement in the management of Environmental, Health and Safety issues
  • Recognition and market advantages within the EU
  • New business opportunities in markets where green production processes are important
  • Compliance with environmental legislation and minimisation of risk from subsequent fines
  • It is simple and practical
  • It can be implemented easily and a period of only 3 months is usually required before it can be audited and verified
  • It has fully integrated the ISO 14001 and is compatible with the ISO standards

Keep it simple
By keeping the whole process simple, from the initial assessment of the client to the final certification, a company can benefit from:

  • Reduced time to gain certification
  • Reduced time consumption in maintaining the System
  • Reduced time consumption in maintaining the Certification
  • Reduced paper consumption for printing bulky, full of jargon, unwieldy manuals and procedures
  • Reduced cost for consultation

The cost of EMAS
Currently EMAS is subsidised up to 70% of the total cost by the Cypriot Environmental Department. The subsidy can be up to 5500 EUR for the implementation and the verification of the Environmental Management System or up to 2900 EUR if the company is already certified with the ISO 14001.

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