Number of organisations with registered environmental management systems according to EMAS and ISO 14001 (SCP 033) - Assessment published Apr 2013
Green economy (Primary topic)
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
- SCP 033
Key policy question: Are private companies and public institutions increasingly engaging in environmental management and corporate social responsibility?
The number of organisations registered under the EMAS standard rose by 50% during the period 2003-2010, while organisations from EU countries certified according to the international ISO 14001 standard more than quadrupled in the period 2001-2009. This indicates that private companies and public institutions in the EU are increasingly engaging in environmental management.
Number of organisations with registered environmental management system according to EMAS within EU member countries
Note: Time series of organisations and sites in EU27 which are registered to EMAS
- Organisations and sites with EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) registration provided by Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat)
Number of organisations with registered environmental management system according to ISO 14001 within EU member countries
Note: Time series of companies in EU27 which are certified by ISO 14001
- Number of ISO 14001 certified companies in Europe provided by Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV)
The number of organisations registered under the EMAS standard rose by 50% in the period 2003-2010. During the same period the number of individual sites registered to EMAS has grown by almost 100%. However, it should be noted that there are major differences between countries in terms of engagement in EMAS. Of the approximately 4500 registered organisations approximately 3700 are spread between just three countries (Germany, Spain and Italy). In some countries such as Denmark, registrations have actually decreased since 2001. These large differences between countries may be a result of differences in national administrative rules for EMAS registration.
Meanwhile, the number of organisations within the EU that are certified according to the international ISO 14001 standard for environmental management systems have increased by more than a factor 4 in the period 2001-2009. The vast majority of organisations certified are from EU-15 countries, but the EU-12 countries have seen the most dramatic increases in number of certified organisations from approximately 1100 organisations in 2001 to roughly 17400 organisations in 2009. This has resulted in the share of EU-12 certified organisations in total EU registrations, increasing from 6.5% in 2001 to 21.5% in 2009.
The number of organisations having achieved certification under ISO 14001 is more than 10 times the number of organisations registered under EMAS. There are several reasons for this difference, it is more demanding to achieve an EMAS registration than an ISO 14001 certification and ISO 14001 may be more widely recognised than EMAS in non-European markets.
The significant increase in numbers of organisations with certified or registered environmental management systems indicates that private companies and public institutions in the EU are increasingly engaged in environmental management though engagement is heavily weighted on a handful of EU countries.
In addition, due to the administrative burden of EMAS and ISO14001 registrations and documentation it may be more an indication that large enterprises are engaging more in environmental management. Many SMEs in particular may be engaging in environmental management systems in order to ensure compliance with environmental regulations and/or to reduce costs of resource inputs and waste management, but may not be registering under EMAS or ISO14001. Developments in these smaller companies may therefore not be being picked up by this indicator. An added complication is that some EU countries also have their own domestic EMS certification systems which are also not captured by the indicator (Eurostat, 2010).
Organisations and sites with EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) registration
provided by Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat)
Number of ISO 14001 certified companies in Europe
provided by Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV)
More information about this indicator
See this indicator specification for more details.
Contacts and ownership
EEA Contact InfoAlmut Reichel
EEA Management Plan2012 2.5.2 (note: EEA internal system)
Frequency of updates
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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