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Why Companies Do Not Renew Their EMAS Registration? An Exploratory Research
Open AccessArticle

Promoting Sustainability through EMS Application: A Survey Examining the Critical Factors about EMAS Registration in Italian Organizations

Department of Business Studies, Roma Tre University, Via Silvio D’Amico 77, 00145 Rome, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Manfred Max Bergman
Sustainability 2016, 8(3), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8030197
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 29 January 2016 / Accepted: 15 February 2016 / Published: 23 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
One of the tools set by the European Community (EC) to reduce the environmental impact of firms is EMAS Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1221/2009), setting up an Environmental Management System (EMS), which aims for a continuous improvement of environmental performances. Italy has the highest number of certified organization among all European Member States, accounting for over one thousand registrations. The paper presents the result of a survey conducted through a questionnaire about EMAS implementation and targeted to all Italian registered organizations. Of nearly 1000 organizations, over 500 answers were collected. The main goal is to understand how organizations experience the scheme, focusing on main drivers for its adoption, main difficulties encountered, and perceived benefits. In particular, survey results contribute to define a reflection on the difficulties regarding EMAS diffusion among European companies. Aspects identified as critical can lead to a contraction of registration requests, especially those formulated by SMEs, which constitute the majority of Italian companies. Moreover, perceived difficulties might affect the firms’ willingness to renew EMAS registration. Data provided by the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) recently highlighted the increasing rate of firms who decide to withdraw from registration. This study offers interesting inputs related to main critical issues in EMAS implementation, which can be the baseline for future research on companies that abandon the certification scheme, in order to provide suggestions for the improvement of its effectiveness both for national and communitarian institutions. View Full-Text
Keywords: eco-management and audit scheme; EMAS drivers; EMAS barriers; EMAS benefits; environmental management systems; ISO 14001; Italy eco-management and audit scheme; EMAS drivers; EMAS barriers; EMAS benefits; environmental management systems; ISO 14001; Italy
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Merli, R.; Preziosi, M.; Ippolito, C. Promoting Sustainability through EMS Application: A Survey Examining the Critical Factors about EMAS Registration in Italian Organizations. Sustainability 2016, 8, 197.

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