The commission has undertaken a pilot project to develop specific reference documents for the retail sector under the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). EMAS, which was revised in 2008, aims to provide a high-quality environmental management scheme that demonstrates an organisation's compliance with all relevant EU environmental legislation and its continued improvement in environmental performance.
Companies from all sectors can use the voluntary scheme to certify the environmental performance of their operations.
The commission has decided to elaborate specific reference documents for key sectors, chosen for their associated environmental impact and/or because of their potential for uptake of the scheme. One of the sectors identified is the retail sector.
The EU research arm, the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), has launched a pilot study to analyse how to develop such a reference document. Members of the retail sector can use this document as a support for their efforts in improving their environmental performance. The document, which refers to a Swiss initiative called the MINERGIE standard, will cover energy-efficient construction and operation of stores The document is now being revised based on comments received during a workshop in June in Seville.
Source: European Commission