28 September 2020
The Office today celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). The EPO is one of thousands of organisations worldwide registered for the scheme, highlighting the importance of corporate environmental and climate protection initiatives.
The scheme was adopted by the Office in 2009 and has helped the organisation steadily lessen its environmental impact over the course of a decade. In 2019, the introduction of the Strategic Plan (SP2023) further strengthened environmental activities at the EPO. Several sustainability related projects have launched under SP2023 and are aimed at spreading a culture of social and environmental responsibility and contributing to the goals of the Paris Agreement 2015.
The EPO has made steady progress towards its environmental targets. Between 2008 and 2019, the Office reduced its consumption of electricity (17%) and water (-15%), lowered its residual waste generation (-46%), and produced substantially fewer carbon emissions from energy consumption (-76%). Paper use has also dropped (-3%) and current projects within SP2023 aim to make additional improvements.
EMAS was developed by the European Commission as an instrument for companies and organisations of all sizes to evaluate and report their environmental performance. The scheme has been operational since 1995 and according to an April 2020 update, over 3 600 organisations across 12 500 sites are now registered. Member organisations are required to publish an annual environmental report, making EMAS an effective and transparent management tool.