The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is the official Environmental Management System (EMS) issued by the European Union (EU). Italy is the country where EMAS is most widespread, accounting for over 1000 registered organizations. Since entry into the force of the Regulation in 1997, the number of registrations has constantly grown until 2008, when the figures started to drop. The phenomena are due to both the decrease of the annual registration rate and the lack of renewals. According to the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), in recent years, an increasing number of organizations decided to withdraw from EMAS registration. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the reasons of this negative trend. The first step consisted of a literature review concerning the main barriers, difficulties, and costs incurred by EMAS-registered organizations. Subsequently, this information was integrated with data about the evolution of EMAS registrations and the results of a previous survey, which involved the entire population of registered firms. The present exploratory research highlighted economic and operational domains concerning the cancellation trends that deserve a deeper investigation, which will be conducted through a questionnaire addressed to Italian firms that did not renew the registration in the last lustrum. The intended output will allow us to identify stakeholders’ priority intervention areas in order to suggest an operative strategy to reduce EMAS cancellation rates, addressed to Member States (MS) Competent Bodies.
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