The European Eco-management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) Regulation has been updated to include new reporting requirements and additional sectoral reference documents (SRDs) on best environmental practices.

The European Commission’s Eco-management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) Regulation provides a framework to allow organisations to voluntarily evaluate, manage, improve and report their environmental performance.

Annex IV of EMAS, which regulates the environmental reporting requirements for registered organisations, has been revised to include new opportunities for businesses to report on their environmental performance.

This amendment updates EMAS’ core indicators and the language of the environmental statement to make it easier for organisations to use their EMAS environmental statement for other reporting obligations. Further details of changes to EMAS Annex IV amendment are available here.

The EMAS Regulation has also added three new SRDs on best environmental practice, sector environmental performance indicators and benchmarks of excellence.

The development of the SRDs is led by the European Commission's scientific Joint Research Centre, which provides guidance on best environmental management practice in specific sectors on how to improve environmental performance.

The latest industry sectors to have SRDs include the car manufacturing sector, electrical and electronic equipment manufacturing sector, and the public administration sector. The three new SRDs will join the retail sector, agriculture, food and beverage manufacturing, and tourism.

SRDs for other sectors, including construction, waste management and telecommunications are still work in progress, although preliminary documents on the scope of environmental performance improvement are being developed.

Annex IV of the EMAS Regulation has been developed and modified in co-operation with European Member States. The full-text EMAS Annex IV amendment is available here.

See our Environmental Management Systems and Reporting topic for more on EMAS.

Last reviewed 26 February 2019