EMAS validation: environmental management with EU seal of approval

What is EMAS?

EMAS ("Eco-Management and Audit Scheme") is considered one of the most demanding systems for sustainable environmental management worldwide. It provides a structure for companies to intelligently plan resources, manage energy consumption and emissions for the benefit of the environment, and to act in a transparent and legally secure manner. It is described in Regulation (EC) No 1221/2009 and amended by Regulation (EU) 2017/1505 (Annexes I, II, III).

Companies that undergo voluntary validation according to EMAS are actively protecting the environment and making their activities visible to the public. At a time when the issue of sustainability is becoming more and more prominent, this becomes a real competitive advantage.

EMAS is constantly evolving to meet the ever-changing framework conditions. With the adaptation of the EMAS Regulation in recent years, a general paradigm shift for environmental management systems (EMS) was initiated. According to this, the EMS should no longer be used for the mere fulfilment of legal requirements: By specifically analysing the corporate context and the stakeholders, environmental aspects that can be influenced are now more strongly focused. In this way, each user makes its specific contribution to environmental issues affecting society as a whole - the EMS becomes an important component in fulfilling corporate CSR obligations.

The introduction of EMAS for public data centres was even included in the coalition agreement 2021 - 2025, and federal authorities are also to implement EMAS in a large validation convoy. This shows how explosive the topic is and how important EMAS is for achieving the sustainability goals of the federal government.

GUTcert is happy to support you on the way to the successful validation of your environmental statement - and, as one of the first environmental verification organisations in Europe, builds on the many years of experience of our environmental verifiers. Contact us - we will be happy to provide you with a non-binding offer.

Für wen ist EMAS relevant?


In principle, EMAS is open to all types and sizes of companies in all sectors. Large companies in particular benefit from the fact that EMAS can be applied worldwide and covers all the requirements of DIN EN ISO 14001.

Regardless of whether you are active in the processing and manufacturing industry with plastics, metals, food and pharmaceuticals, in energy or waste management, in services or logistics, the environment concerns us all!

With an environmental management system according to EMAS and the published environmental statement, you give a clear sign of your commitment. This applies to the smallest company as well as to a public authority or a large corporation.

Once a management system has been structured according to EMAS, it can be expanded into a sustainability management system at any time by integrating further topics, such as social or climate aspects.

On our sector pages you will find a lot of information and certifications that may be important for you beyond EMAS.

What are the advantages of validation according to EMAS?

  • You improve your environmental performance
  • You reduce your resource consumption and thus costs
  • You can benefit from peak balancing and the special equalisation scheme
  • You obtain legal certainty through validated compliance
  • You promote the environmental awareness of your employees and strengthen the "we-feeling" in your company through joint action.

Welche Förderungen kann ich beim Implementieren von EMAS in Anspruch nehmen?

Möchten auch Sie EMAS in ihrem Unternehmen einführen, können Sie von verschiedenen Förderungen profitieren. Einen guten Überblick liefert hierfür die EMAS-Förderdatenbank.

In addition to the maintenance of a management system compliant with ISO 14001, the EMAS Regulation requires a dialogue with the public through the publication of an environmental statement in accordance with the standards laid down therein. In particular, this statement must include a commitment to continuously improve the environmental situation and demonstrate this by publishing appropriate targets. Furthermore, certain core indicators must be reported, which are to be assessed as relevant according to the systematics of ISO 14001. Of course, the obligation to comply with environmental regulations also applies to companies with ISO 14001 certification or those without an environmental management system, but with EMAS legal compliance has a special status: the environmental verifier guarantees its explicit verification with his signature.

The assessment and registration procedure of the DAU (Deutsche Akkreditierungs- und Zulassungsgesellschaft für Umweltgutachter, supervised by the Ministry of the Environment) for environmental verifiers differs somewhat from that of the DAkkS-(Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH, supervised by the Federal Ministry of Economics) for certification companies. This results in some differences in the procedure. We would be happy to explain these to you in a personal meeting.

As a basis for setting up your environmental management system, we recommend our free guide. In addition to the requirements of ISO 14001, it also contains further information on EMAS.

Furthermore, we have listed the audit requirements in a detailed checklist for ISO 14001 and EMAS. You will receive the checklist with a certification order via your exclusive access to our download area. In this way, you can optimally prepare for the audit.

The adaptations of the EMAS Regulation at a glance:

Following the decision of the EU Commission on 19 December 2018, the Amendment Regulation (EU) 2018/2026 entered into force on 09 January 2019. This regulation specifies the requirements for environmental reporting (environmental statement). After a transition period of 12 months, the updated Annex IV of the EMAS Regulation is mandatory for all environmental statements as of 09.01.2020.

The changes mainly concern the minimum requirements (Annex IV, Section B) as well as the presentation of the core indicators (Annex IV, Section C).  In addition, the new Annex is intended to simplify the integration of the environmental statement into other reports (e.g. sustainability report).

The most important changes at a glance:

A. Minimum requirements:

Description of the procedure for determining the significance of environmental aspects (e.g. evaluation criteria).
Description of measures taken and planned to improve environmental performance, status of achieved goals and targets and to ensure compliance with legal obligations in the environmental field.
Explicit statement regarding compliance with relevant legislation.

B. Core indicators

Calculation of indicators is more flexible due to a freely selectable, meaningful reference value

Core indicators energy, material and biodiversity have been slightly modified
If no quantitative data is available for an indicator, it can also be described qualitatively

Yes, with validation according to EMAS, companies can apply for peak compensation (§ 10 StromStG or § 55 EnergieStG).

For this application from the 2015 application year, the company must provide evidence of a certified energy management system according to ISO 50001 or validation according to EMAS. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as defined in Recommendation 2003/361/EC can use energy audits according to DIN EN 16247-1 or another alternative system as proof in addition to ISO 50001 or EMAS. Certification according to ISO 14001 is not sufficient. More on this topic can be found here SpaEfV

For organisations interested in saving energy (and thus costs) efficiently, we recommend the introduction of an EnMS according to ISO 50001.

Yes, validation according to EMAS is considered valid proof for application to the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA).

The German Renewable Energy Sources Act (Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz, EEG 2017) came into force on 01.01.2017. Companies with an electricity consumption  of 5 GWh or more in the last completed business year must show a certificate according to ISO 50001  (energy management system) or a validation according to EMAS (environmental management system). A certificate according to ISO 14001 is not sufficient. More on this topic can be found here: BesAR

Although EMAS is a European regulation, it is applicable worldwide and also enjoys a high reputation beyond European borders.

With the environmental statement you show the public your commitment. Your goals, measures and the improvement of environmental performance are presented here. You don't have a precise idea of what this should look like? Many organisations present their environmental statement on the EMAS website.

As a registered EMAS organisation, you are allowed to use the EMAS logo for promotional purposes. Show your commitment on letterheads, mail templates or on your homepage. You can find more information about the logo on the EMAS website.

How does the combination of EMAS with other management systems work?

Combining EMAS with other management systems is not only possible, but also useful. Since ISO 14001 as the management core of EMAS is structured according to the High Level Structure (HLS), other management systems can also be combined well with HLS.

GUTcert as an environmental verifier organisation can certify your ISO management systems as well as carry out your validation according to EMAS. The management of an integrated management system is much easier than the management of several individual systems. If several systems are audited, this minimises the additional effort and considerably reduces the audit burden for management and employees. We would be happy to provide you with a non-binding offer.

The cost of an EMAS validation depends on the scope to be validated. This includes the size and activity of your company, i.e. the number of sites, their environmental impacts and employees.

Please feel free to contact us personally if you have any questions or simply request a non-binding offer from us online.

With EMAS procedures, a change of validator is unproblematic. We would be happy to provide you with a free and non-binding comparison offer.

When the European environmental management system EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) was launched in 1993, GUTcert was one of the first environmental verification organisations to carry out validations for EMAS in Europe. In 1995, GUTcert validated 18 of the first 70 environmental statements throughout Europe.

In the meantime, GUTcert has become one of the largest environmental verifier organisations and is active with 23 accredited environmental verifiers in over 2000 organisations in all sectors.

GUTcert is the environmental specialist - with the longest environmental experience within Germany and accredited in many other areas.
We are recognised by the DAkkS and accredited by the DAU
We have comprehensive know-how in almost all industries
We certify worldwide - through our network in the AFNOR-Groupe
The environmental verifiers and auditors of GUTcert all come from practical experience and are always up to date
We offer integrated and combined certification procedures and compliance audits

What seminars are there on environmental management?

We provide you with the basics and further information in the seminars and events of our academy.