The European "Community Eco-Management and Audit Scheme, EMAS)" is an early and nice example for fake sustainability. Pushed by consultants and certifiers ensuring a good source for income it was presented as "system of excellence" and suggested that certified organisations are environmental top performers.

In fact, there are no requirements concerning the environmental performance whatsoever (apart from complying with legislation which is not really breathtaking). With other words: the EMAS certification is not selective but can be obtained by all organisations (with whatever poor environmental performance). A good way to maximise turnover by production of green soap bubbles. EMAS can be regarded as a predecessor of Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, (see respective section).

Upon initiative of the Consumer Council a coalition of European consumer and environmental associations (ANEC, BEUC, ECOS, EEB) called for a complete overhaul of the EMAS scheme at its last revision. They asked for a true “system of excellence” with substantive performance requirements (as in case of ecolabels), compulsory indicators, benchmarks and clearly defined reporting obligations. Unfortunately the initiative failed. The best option would be to simply abandon EMAS.

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