The EMAS Regulation is the eco-management and audit scheme promoted by the European Commission (Reg. CE n.1221/2009) to which every organization that is willing to evaluate and improve its environmental performance can apply, in order to provide validated environmental informations to the public.
The EMAS Regulation aim is to promote the continuous improvement of the environmental performances through the introduction and application of a managing system that will give the opportunity to evaluate and face systematically, in a prevention logic, all the interactions between activities realized and environment.
In order to have a valid operational instrument for the management of its institutional activities (environment monitoring, surveillance, scientific activities and environmental education and promotion activities) and of those third parties operating in the area of its competence, and to assess and improve its environmental performances (with the scientific support of the Applied ecology Sector of the Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering (DIATI) of Politecnico di Torino), the Gran Paradiso National Park has developed at the same time both the path expected for EMAS and the one for UNI EN ISO 14001:2004 (environment management standard issued by the International Organization for Standardization).
The Gran Paradiso National Park was subject to audit by the accredited environmental Verifier Certiquality srl in April 2011 and its environmental management system was certified in accordance with UNI EN ISO 14001:2004 the 29th of April 2011.
The validated Environmental Statement has been transmitted to the Ecolabel-Ecoaudit Committee EMAS Italian section that, after verification carried out by the High Institution for protection and promotion environmental research (ISPRA) – EMAS Section, has placed the EMAS registration of the Body on the 4th of April 2012 (registration number IT-001441).
The EMAS registration (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme – European Eco-Management System) represents the highest environmental recognition, on a European level, to which enterprises and organizations, both private and public, willing to engage in assessing and continuously improving their environmental efficiency, can aspire. EMAS, moreover, has been created to guarantee the constant spread to the public of validated and updated informations, regarding the environmental performances and improvement objectives.
Through the Environmental management system, the Park Authority identifies and evaluates the significance of direct and indirect environmental aspects which result from activities on the territory of the protected area and, therefore, plan, implement and review the actions and interventions aimed at preventing any form of impact on the environment and at improving the environmental performances.
The ISO14001 and the EMAS Regulation provide for a series of steps that the Park have applied in order to obtain the certification:
- establish and adopt an Environmental Policy that defines the organization objectives and principles of actions regarding to the environment; this document constitutes the framework for setting and reviewing environmental objectives;
- carry out an Initial Environmental Analysis which looks at the issues, impacts and environmental performances related to the organization activities; at this stage it is essential to verify the full compliance with legal obligations on environment applicable to the organization;
- develop the Environmental Program that contains a description of the measures (responsibilities and means) taken to reach objectives and environmental targets and related deadlines;
- establish an Environmental Management System, which is part of the overall management system that includes organizational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing and maintaining the Environmental Policy;
- carry out an Environmental Audit, which means assessing the effectiveness of the management system and environmental performance taking into consideration the Policy, the improvements objectives, the environmental programs of the organization and of existing regulations;
- draw up the Environmental Statement (italian) (EMAS only), addressed to the public, which includes the environmental policy and a brief description of the Environmental Management System, a description of the Organization, of the significant environmental aspects, of the objectives and environmental targets and, in general, the environmental performances of the organization.
The main reasons why the Gran Paradiso National Park Authority has adopted the environmental management tools, such as EMAS and ISO 14001, arise from the awareness to be able to achieve:
- full compliance to the applicable environmental regulations: when drafting the initial environmental analysis a careful evaluation of the status of compliance with all environmental regulatory requirements applicable to the activities of the institution was conducted (for ex: presence of Certificates for Fire Prevention, heating systems, garbage collection, drains, etc.);
- increase the effectiveness and efficiency of environmental problems management: the Environmental Management System makes easier the management of environmental issues, as it provides, for each task of interest, the scheduling of actions to be performed, responsibilities, registration methods and related deadlines;
- cost savings: a monitoring of resource consumption (electricity, fuel, etc.) is set in order to assess possible interventions aimed at energy saving;
- privileged access to contributions: enables to get scores in specific rankings for public funding at a national and European level;
- image enhancement: additional transparency and credibility in relation to the action of the Gran Paradiso National Park, both in respect of users (inhabitants, tourists, etc.) and of the other Institutional Bodies (Region, Arpa, Asl, etc);
The Gran Paradiso National Park Authority undertakes to disclose the document of Environmental Statement and to use the EMAS logo, in order to publicize the commitment undertaken in the environmental field and underline reliability and credibility of the informations provided.
The Environment Statement (italian) represents the principal instrument of communication toward the outside, foreseen by the EMAS Regulation, to offer the public and other interested stakeholders validated environmental information related to the environmental performances and to the Body programmes of improvement. The Environment Statement and the related annual updates are available for reference and download on the Park website.
The Environmental Policy document (italian) constitute the leadership of the environmental management system of the Gran Paradiso National Park and the framework for setting and reviewing environmental objectives and programmes.