The EMAS Awards are an event created to promote continual improvement in EMAS registered organisations and also as a general tool for the promotion of EMAS
The EMAS Awards are a joint initiative between the EMAS Club and the EMAS Competent Body (Ministry of Territory and Sustainability of the Government of Catalonia). EMAS is the EU Eco-management and Audit Scheme.
The EMAS Awards are a recognition for EMAS registered organizations (those competing each year under the 3 categories), but also for the new comers and for EMAS veterans as within the same ceremony, new EMAS registered organisations received their certificate and also those organisations that have been in EMAS for at least 10 years receive a special award. The EMAS awards are a way to stimulate continual environmental improvement from three different points of view:
- Communication: through the environmental statement.
- Involvement of interested parties.
- Environmental performance.
It’s also an opportunity to develop and disseminate the sense of an “EMAS Community”, stimulate networking among the organisations and facilitate the interaction with the public administration.
The award recognises the results obtained by the organizations, and it has the positive dissemination impact that can bring to new actions in other organisations from the same or different sector.
Options to organize the event with a relatively small budget are: use the resources available at public administration (premises, speakers, etc.), collaboration with entrepreneurial associations (as sponsors, providing the venue, etc.), hold it within other related events.
Evidence of success
Figures over 7 editions: 150-180 participants per each edition, 147 candidacies (total), average of 21 candidacies per year.
An analysis across the 7 editions shows a relevant improvement in the environmental statements, actions involving interested parties presented by candidates to the EMAS Awards have inspired other organizations, results presented by the candidates vary from year to year (energy efficiency, waste prevention/reduction, reduction of emissions, etc.)
The communication strategy is very important, alliances with media and other communication stakeholders are recommended, but are not always easy to deploy.
Potential for learning or transfer
EMAS Awards can be easily replicated by other Regions/Countries, although it requires a minimum number of EMAS registered organisations in order to have certain representativeness and a minimum participation. An estimation is around 50 – 100 EMAS registered organisations (depending on the number of categories) and a ceremony every 2 years.
From the legal point of view, there’s no need to create a specific legal instrument if there’s a private partner (i.e. EMAS Club or similar association) that can manage to publish the awards regulation. Otherwise, the EMAS CB will need to check for its specific internal regulations.
It provides a sense of “EMAS community”, an added value that other environmental management systems do not have.
It also allows interaction among EMAS registered organizations and other stakeholders as all the “EMAS community” is invited (new comers, veterans, accredited verifiers, public administrations, trade unions, etc.).
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