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Eco-Management & Audit Scheme (EMAS)

( Article Type: Explanation )

EMAS is a voluntary European Community programme to promote continuous environmental performance improvements of industries by committing company site management teams to evaluate and improve their environmental performance and provide relevant information to the public. The scheme does not replace existing European Community or national environmental legislative requirements. Companies who want to register their sites must set targets for improving their environmental performance (e.g. reducing pollution, saving energy or recycling wastes) and must make the management changes necessary to achieve the improvements.

The EMAS requirements are demanding and require serious commitment on the part of companies. In years to come, South African companies who carry out a great deal of trade with European companies will probably have to adhere to EMAS requirements in order to be able to compete with European businesses. For further information, see the EMAS Frequently Asked Questions page (FAQ) at