EU Regulation 2026/2018: Amendments to Annex IV of the EMAS Regulation
The Regulation UE 2026/2018 amends Annex IV of Regulation (EC) No 1221/2009 - EMAS regarding the content of the Environmental Statement.
The change was necessary in order to include the improvements identified by the European Commission in light of the experience gained in the operation of EMAS.
The new features include:
- the description of the organization's governance structure;
- the description of the actions implemented to ensure compliance with regulatory obligations, in addition to those to improve environmental performance;
- an explicit declaration concerning legal compliance;
- the adoption of the "total renewable energy production" indicator;
- the adoption of detailed indicators regarding land use in relation to biodiversity.
The possibility of reporting on environmental performance is made explicit by adopting qualitative information, where quantitative data relating to significant, direct or indirect environmental aspects are not available; a clarification is also made that the indicators must cover at least three years of activity (if the data are available), making the scope of application clear for each indicator.
It emphasizes the need for the Environmental Declaration to be accessible to the public, preferably on the organization's website.
Finally, the possibility of inserting the environmental statement into other documents of the organization (for example management, sustainability or social responsibility reports) is introduced, provided that the information validated by those not validated are clearly distinguished.
The minimum requirements that the Environmental Statement must contain at least are:
- a summary of the organization's activities, products and services;
- environmental policy and a brief illustration of the governance structure;
- a description of all significant, direct and indirect environmental aspects;
- a description of environmental objectives and targets
- a description of the actions implemented and planned to improve environmental performance;
- a summary of available data on the organization's environmental performance;
- a reference to the main legal provisions that the organization must take into account to ensure compliance with environmental regulatory obligations and a declaration regarding legal compliance;
- a confirmation of the obligations pursuant to Article 25, paragraph 8 and the name and accreditation or licensing number of the environmental verifier with the validation date. Li>
With reference to the environmental indicators it is specified that:
- provide an accurate assessment of the organization's environmental performance;
- are easily understood and unambiguous;
- allow year-to-year comparisons to assess whether the organization's environmental performance has improved;
- allow comparisons with benchmarks at the sectoral, national or regional level;
- may allow comparisons with regulatory obligations.
It is also specified that the key indicators mainly concern environmental issues related to: energy, materials, water, waste, land use in relation to biodiversity and emissions.
Reporting on key environmental performance indicators it is an obligation. However, an organization can assess the relevance of these indicators in the context of their significant environmental aspects and impacts.
The Regulation also specifies that each key indicator must consist of:
- a data A indicating total annual consumption / production in a defined sector;
- a data B that indicates an annual reference value that represents the activities of the organization;
- a data R representing the ratio A / B.