ECO-MANAGEMENT AND AUDIT SCHEME (EMAS) IMPLEMENTATION IN THE EUROPEAN UNION: SURVEY OF ESTONIAN CERTIFIED ORGANISATIONS
Keywords:added value, certification, European Union, Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), implementation
Nowadays the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is considered as one of the most credible and effective environmnetal management tools, which adds valuable elements to an effective environmental management system. However, the number of EMAS registered companies in Estonia remains low, therefore the authors considered it useful to reveal the main reasons of this phenomenon and determine the main obstacles and benefits of EMAS implementation.
The main aim of the research was to find out positive and negative aspects associated with the EMAS certification and implementation; the role of EMAS for the stakeholders and the added value derived from the EMAS implementation.
The authors conducted interviews and distributed a questionnaire among the EMAS certified organisations in April-May 2015. The main findings of the research suggest that the most substantial value added by the EMAS system is the imporved reputation, credibility and transparency derived from the preparation and publication of environmental reports, which is a compulsory component of EMAS. Organisations also recognized an added value of EMAS by the imporved environmental performance. However, EMAS seemed to have less or no effect on other aspects such as risk management and employee motivation. Based on the results of the research it may be concluded that the value added to organisations by the implementation of EMAS was not significant.Even though implementation of EMAS brings along numerous positive impacts, it is also rconsidered as time, moneyand effort consuming. Authors believethat more initiatives from the state side are strongly required to promote EMAS implementation and to increase the public awareness of the EMAS system, its main benefits and added values.