Summary: Whether in the area of high sulphur dioxideconcentration, lead emissions or waste water1, environmental legislation in the European Community and the Member States has made decisive progress during the last 30 years. Much still needs to be done however, if we are to pass on a healthy environment, with its natural heritage safeguarded, to our descendants. Current trends in a number of areas – such as transport, energy, industry, tourism, land management and use – will exacerbate their detrimental effects even further if appropriate measures are not taken. To be completely effective, these measures must not only take the form of regulations or constraints to be observed. They must also be underpinned by a voluntary commitment. It was to encourage such commitment on the part of industries that the European Commission adopted the Community Eco-Management Audit Scheme, or EMAS2, in 1993. This scheme offers companies that are willing to commit themselves to a better management of their environment a flexible tool and a good cost-effective approach. Since it was reviewed in 2001, it has also been applicable to any public body which promotes “good governance” in the environmental sphere. EMAS’s progress within the European Union is encouraging. Nevertheless, some organisations, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, experience difficulties in carrying out its procedures. The LIFE programme, which has supported EMAS since it was launched, has a part to play in testing practical solutions. This can be considered complementary to the necessary legislative measures in favour of organisations that have committed themselves to this course. LIFE has the financial resources to set up a series of practical projects to promote EMAS more widely and to encourage its application through new approaches. This edition of LIFE FOCUS presents ten successful experiences selected from among the LIFE projects that have either prepared the way for EMAS or that have implemented it. There is no sign of this support abating, as 8 of
Physical Description: 1270784 bytes
32 p.
ISBN: 92-894-6023-7

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