ECOPROFIT recognized as part of EMAS

The EU has officially recognized ECOPROFIT as part of EMAS, the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS).

ECOPROFIT – key aspects evaluated

The environmental management system ECOPROFIT (ÖKOPROFIT) has gained EU recognition and achieved partial equivalence (just over 50%) with EMAS III. So far, only one other national environmental management system in Europe has earned the same accolade.

The Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2023/1533 includes an annex that compares the key aspects of ECOPROFIT to EMAS requirements. The table provides an overview of which requirements ECOPROFIT fulfills and what it brings to EMAS.

Image: City of Munich, European Commission

What are the benefits?

The partial recognition given to ECOPROFIT means that for ECOPROFIT-certified companies and organizations a majority of the steps needed for validation through EMAS have already been completed. These include commitment of top management, an environmental review process that incorporates almost all relevant aspects, establishing an environmental policy, and establishing a suitable organizational structure. These are milestones on the path to EMAS.

ECOPROFIT is also making impressive progress regarding the documentation and communications obligations required by EMAS. This makes ECOPROFIT even more appealing to companies and organizations.

The environmental program ECOPROFIT

ECOPROFIT is a voluntary cooperation-based project between regional administrative authorities and local businesses. The project was originally developed in Graz, Austria. The City of Munich introduced the project in 1998 and now manages Germany’s entire ECOPROFIT network.

In Munich the Department of Labor and Economic Development (RAW) and the Department of Climate and Environmental Protection (RKU) offer ECOPROFIT certification to companies. Cooperation partners are the CCI for Munich and Upper Bavaria, the waste management corporation AWM, the Hochschule München University of Applied Sciences, and the city utilities company SWM.

More than 100 municipal authorities have become involved in ECOPROFIT since it was launched in Germany in 1998. In Munich alone 422 organizations have participated so far, while a total of over 4,200 companies in Germany have been certified.

In addition to the now completed partial recognition from EMAS, ECOPROFIT is also a recognized format in the German Energy Efficiency Networks Initiative.