Participation in EMAS 2: Financial Benefits and Incentives



One of the innovations introduced by the EC Regulation n.761 / 2001 (EMAS 2) compared to the previous EU regulation was the extension of the EMAS field of application.
In fact, with EMAS 2 we wanted to proceed in a dual direction, expanding the sphere of those who can participate in EMAS and at the same time preparing an action to promote participation, especially for small and medium enterprises.


The regulation on voluntary participation by organizations in a Community eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS) has thus extended registration to all sectors, including non-industrial sectors and, in particular, services.
Article 2 of Regulation No. 761/2001 states that by organization we mean "company, company, company, authority or institution, or part or combination of them, with or without public or private legal personality, which has administration and its own functions "; Article 3 states that "participation in EMAS is open to any organization that intends to improve its overall environmental performance".


The extension of the possibility of EMAS registration to "all" organizations (ex art.2) was accompanied by the choice of a strong promotion of participation in EMAS.
The European Union Council, in adopting regulation 761/2001, recognized on the one hand the need to encourage organizations to participate in EMAS on a voluntary basis, "from which they can obtain an advantage in terms of regulatory control, cost savings and public image ", and on the other the importance that small and medium enterprises participate in EMAS and that" their participation is promoted by facilitating access to information, to existing support funds and to public institutions, as well as through the establishment or promotion of technical assistance measures "(see article 11).


In the various countries of the Community, instruments have been prepared to encourage companies and institutions to participate in EMAS.
As for Italy, among the main measures that are linked to incentives and benefits for EMAS the following can be recalled:



Law 488/92
(Conversion into law, with modifications, of the law decree 22/10/1992 n.415, concerning the refinancing of the law of 1/3/1986 n.64, laying down the organic discipline of the intervention extraordinary in the South)

for the allocation of incentives, an indicator is provided that favors companies that undertake to adhere to EMAS or ISO14001


Law 341/95
(Conversion into law, with amendments, of the law decree 23/6/1995 n.244, containing measures aimed at accessing the completion of public interventions and the implementation of new interventions in depressed areas)

automatic facilitations, tax breaks



Law 449/97
(Measures for the stabilization of public finance)
discounts for companies that have adopted EMAS
Law 152/99
(Provisions on the protection of water from pollution and transposition of Directive 91/271 / EEC concerning the treatment of urban waste water and of Directive 91/676 / EEC concerning the protection of water from pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources)

companies registered with EMAS and ISO14001 certified are considered with preference in the granting of concessions for the derivation of water for industrial uses (amendment of R.d. 1775/33 art.9)


Law 93/2001
(Environmental provisions)



simplification of administrative procedures for the renewal of environmental authorizations (air, water, waste, IPPC) to the operation of a plant by self-certification for EMAS registered companies