Creation of a formal/informal association of EMAS registered organisations in order to develop synergies and optimize resources.
EMAS is considered as a strategic tool to implement circular economy and therefore all EU Member States and Regions are invited to disseminate it among the organizations. But the lack of knowledge on EMAS and the still low visibility are a barrier to the development of this EU environmental tool.
The creation of an EMAS Club (an association of EMAS registered organisations in a Region) had the support of the Catalan Ministry of Territory and Sustainability. It generates the opportunity to enhance the private-public cooperation for the dissemination of the EU Eco-management and Audit Scheme and generally speaking, good environmental practices in public and private organizations.
It is also a way to develop a community of stakeholders that are involved in the improvement of their environmental performance and potentially active in the implementation of all related environmental policies and regulations promoted by the administrations, for example, Circular Economy. Both, public administrations and private organisations can benefit from this collaboration. It allows public administrations to interact with frontrunners in their region, obtain feedback form initiatives, learn about solutions that could be extended to other sectors or organisations, understand how to improve policies and programmes.
Private organisations can benefit from a relationship based on a participative approach, exchange of information, visibility of their achieved environmental results, etc.
Resources can vary taking into account the structure of the associationand its activities. It can be implemented with a small staff (1 person) and, if needed be increased lately according to the projects or initiatives to develop. It’s also viable the collaboration with an external support.
Evidence of success
It has more than 10 years of uninterrupted activity and a constant collaboration with the EMAS Competent Body. It has provided support for the dissemination of different environmental policies in the region and to involve the private sector. It has generated an EMAS community able to promote synergies among the organizations and to generate projects of common interest, both, for the organisations and the public administrations.
Public and private organisations work at different rhythm.
Economic constraints can influence the capacity to carry out common and ambitious projects, but they can be adapted to the circumstances.
Potential for learning or transfer
Other regions face a similar situation with regards to EMAS and to the possibility of involving private organisations in the implementation of environmental policies and initiatives beyond legal compliance.
It can also provide the framework to develop other sort of collaborations in environmental management such as those linking enterprises and NGOs or collaboration within organisations of different sectors in the Region.
Key success factors are:
- Mutual support and collaboration between the EMAS Club and the public administration
- Definition of common objectives and projects that support achieving the expected objectives
- Mutual recognition
- Constant communication
- Proactive approach.
Other EU regions have already created similar initiatives: Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Puglia, Murcia, Germany and Wallonia.
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