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How to go GREEN with EMAS and Ecolabel EMAS


The EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is a management tool for companies and other organizations to evaluate report and improve their environmental performance. Your organization can obtain EMAS Certification by following the next steps:

I. Make a first energy-performance assessment
As a first step in applying for EMAS or Eco-Label Certification, the organisation needs to conduct a verified initial environmental review, considering all environmental aspects of the organisations activities, products and services, methods to assess them, the organisations legal and regulatory framework and existing environmental management practices and procedures. As a result, the organization will identify the opportunities for improving its environmental performance.
II Adopt an environmental policy
Registration to EMAS or Eco-Label certification requires an organisation to adopt an environmentalpolicy and to commit itself to compliance with all relevant environmentallegislation, preventing pollution, achieving continuous improvement in its environmentalperformance and involving its employees and clients in the process.
III Establish an Environmental Management System
1. Set objectives and targets
In order to set up an Environmental Management System, a set of environmental objectives and targets must be established. These should reflect the organizations business vision, its environmental policy, legal requirements and stakeholder views.

This set of objectives should be SMART:
Specific: Focus on important performance factors; avoid broad expressions like being more environmentally friendly'.

Measurable: Remember: What hasn't been measured cannot be managed. Consequently, objectives must be quantitative in order to be measured. Choose measurements carefully to gain feedback on progress. (More on this item is to be found in section 8, Monitoring and measurement.)

Achievable: If your objectives are set too high it is unlikely that they will be realised and this will de-motivate those involved.

Realistic: On the other hand, if objectives are set too low, the company may not achieve its full potential. You should also avoid setting too many goals.

Time-bound: Objectives should always include a time limit to enable you to decide if they have been met.

2. Set up an Environmental Management Programme
The environmental management programme is an adequately resourced action plan to bring the environmental objectives and targets to life. Steps in setting up this programme should include:
  • identification of possible steps and criteria
  • defining a time frame for each measure
  • allocation of responsibilities for the various measures
  • ensuring the security of resources 
  • getting feedback from employees who will be responsible for implementing the different measures.

The environmental management programme should focus on 6 core areas:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Material efficiency
  • Water
  • Waste
  • Biodiversity
  •  Emissions 
The Environmental Management Programme should contain measures for choosing the best energy-efficient solutions for the business. These can refer to:
Adopting good housekeeping practices
  • Ensure that temperature for room thermostats are set at the correct level for guest comfort, to reduce the need to open doors and windows while air conditioning or heating is on.
  • Power and lighting switched off: ensure that all power and lighting is switched off in unoccupied room as soon as guests have checked out.
  • In summer or winter conditions, ensure that curtains, blinds and windows are closed when a room is unoccupied (unless opened for special reasons).
  • Do not switch on kitchen appliances until required, and switch them off when they are no longer in use.
  • Ensure dishwashers are only run when full running a partly loaded machine uses as much energy a fully loaded one.
  • Try and ensure refrigerators and freezers are located away from high temperature cooking areas; a cooler, well-ventilated place will reduce electricity consumption.
  • Defrost fridges, mini-bars and freezers when necessary.
  • Ensure cellar cooling equipment operates at minimum energy input: - check temperatures are not set too low, - keep cellar doors closed, - ensure no heat producing equipment such as ice maker, freezer, in-line beer cooler is located in the cooled cellar.
  •  Operate washing machines and dryers with full loads to minimise number of operations.
  • Ensure that water temperature and amount of water used are in accordance with the washing machine manufacturers instructions.
  •  Ensure that the main entrance door is closed, to avoid air infiltration.
  • Lighting switch off: switching lights off when ambient light levels are sufficient or rooms are unoccupied can reduce lighting energy consumption significantly.
  • Adjust thermostats to suitable temperatures, especially in unoccupied rooms (meeting rooms, offices, restaurant).
  • Air conditioning adjustment: - turn off air conditioning systems in rooms such as the banquet hall, function rooms, restaurants, etc., as soon as the areas are closed. - adjust thermostats to appropriate temperature and do not set them too low (in summer conditions, room temperature between 22 and 24C is acceptable to most people).
  • Free cooling: - In summer conditions, disconnect the air conditioning system when the outside temperature is lower than the inside temperature to benefit from a free space cooling system through ventilation.
  • Electrical system: Turn off electrical equipment when not in use, or not required for any prolonged period. Be aware in particular of the stand-by on hi-fis, televisions, computers, etc.
  • Ensure a cover for the swimming pool is used to reduce evaporation in summer and heat loss in winter.
Ensuring regular servicing and maintenance of your equipment
  • Have an easy-to-follow regularly updated manual detailing the operating methods, instructions and standard control settings for HVAC services equipment.
  • Ensure regular servicing and maintenance of heating equipment.
  • Ensure regular servicing and maintenance of ventilation and cooling equipment.
  • Ensure regular servicing of steam pipes.
  • Ensure the correct maintenance and adjustment of cooking appliances.
  • Regularly clean cooking appliances: burners, ignition, pilot light 
  • Ensure the correct maintenance and adjustment of laundry machines.
  • Check and regularly clean the dryers filters.
  • Ensure sand inside the backwash chamber is replaced annually to maintain water filtration efficiency.
Improving energy management by providing information to staff and guests
  • Inform and train staff on:
  • Importance of energy efficiency
  • Good housekeeping practices
  • Preventive maintenance of equipment.
  • Communicate to guests on good practices for space heating, opening windows, switching off lights, etc. 
Improving the thermal insulation of the building
  • Windows insulation
  • Double-glazed windows should be used, in order to reduce heat losses , condensation and noise, and improve thermal comfort.
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Filling wall cavities with insulation (i.e. blown mineral wool, polystyrene beads or foam) can help reducing heat costs by 2/3.
  • External walls insulation
  • Wall insulation is best place on the exterior of the walls
  • Roof thermal insulation
Reducing air infiltration
  • Install automatic front doors.
  • Prevent air infiltration at windows and doors
Improve microclimate / protect the building from the summer sun
  • Install shading devices or external movable sun-shading devices for windows exposed to summer sun.
  • Plant trees, shrubs or local plants, for solar shading and for wind protection.
  • Install open pools or fountains for evaporative cooling.
Ensuring better operational use of current equipment through proper control and regulation
  • Thermostatic controls
    Install individual thermostatic controls in guest rooms.
  • Automatic control of heating and air conditioning in guest rooms
  • Introduce low-flow showerheads in bathrooms to reduce hot water consumption.
  • Install key cards systems to switch off electricity when guest rooms are not occupied.
  • Install a zone regulation for heating and make regulations depending on the actual needs and occupancy of different zones.
  • Automatic lighting control systems
  • Lighting zone control system
  • Ventilation control: adjust outdoor air supply to avoid under-ventilation or over-ventilation
  • Water temperature regulation: limit water temperature to 60C.
  • Water temperature control: hot water should be time and temperature controlled.
  • Efficiency peak load-management system for electricity consumption to reduce peak demand.
  • Sauna timer control
Improving heating efficiency (space heating and hot water production)
  • Install high efficiency equipment for space heating and/or hot water production and/or space cooling
  • Install a low temperature heating system
  •  Ensure thermal insulation of boilers, water systems, domestic hot water tanks and water pipes.
  • Hot water closed loop: having hot water available close to the taps and returning it back to the water heater.
  • Local instant hot water heaters.
  •  Recovering heat from air conditioning, in order to preheat domestic water.
Improving space cooling efficiency
  • Install a high efficiency cooling equipment.
  •  Ensure thermal insulation of pipes and air ducts of the air conditioning system.
  •  Install mill-type ceiling ventilators.
Improving ventilation efficiency
  • Install an exhaust air heat recovery system in the air-handling unit.
  • Ensure thermal insulation of air ducts
  • Install new motors with variable frequency command to activate ventilators, pumps and cooling systems.
  • Plant trees on the Southwest or Southeast side of your hotel, in order to provide shade during summer and thus limit the air-conditioning needs of the hotel
  • Ensure that efficient systems for air ventilation are installed
Improving lighting efficiency
  • Use high efficiency fluorescent tubes and electronic ballasts in areas lit for long hours
  • Use LED exit signs.
  •  Lighting control - light only the areas that are occupied or truly need to be lit.
  • Use energy-saving light bulbs
Improving other electric equipment efficiency
  • Connect dishwashers and washing machines to warm water supply.
  • Choose electrical appliances with high energy efficiency ratings.
Water saving ideas
  • integrated water cycle systems
  • biological water treatment plants for recycled waste water for irrigation purposes
  • water-saving mechanisms in showers
  • using biological cleaning and washing liquids
  • installing a rainwater harvesting system
  • using rainwater and recycled water
  • using water-efficient toilets (smaller quantity of water when flushing)
  • educate employees about water saving solutions
Production of waste (including hazardous waste)
  • Set up a waste management system based on the 3 principles: Reduce, reuse, recycle.
  • Provide recycling bins and such facilities that both clients and staff can access
  • Separate hazardous waste from the other waste types
  • Avoid using single-use and disposable products.
  • Avoid single-use packaging for breakfast.
Consumption of hazardous substances and paper
  • Avoid consumption of hazardous substances and paper
  • Use recycled paper for different purposes
  • Ensure that all windows are double-glazed, for avoiding noise pollution.
Use renewable energy technologies
  • Solar thermal solar hot water heating systems
  •  PV electricity power system
  • Biomass boiler
  • Geothermal heat pump (ground source heat pump)
    $1         Micro-hydropower energy systems
    $1         Wind energy small-scale wind turbines
IV Internal environmental audit
After the EMS is established an environmental audit should be carried out. Theaudit assesses in particular if the management system is in place and in conformitywith the organisations policy and programme. The audit also checksif the organisation is in compliance with relevant environmental regulatoryrequirements.

V Prepare an environmental Statement
The organisation needs to provide a public statement of its environmentalperformance. The environmental statement lays down the results achievedagainst the environmental objectives and the future steps to be undertaken inorder to continuously improve the organisations environmental performance.

VI Independent verification by an EMAS verifier
An EMAS verifier accredited with an EMAS accreditation body of a MemberState must examine and verify the environmental review, the EMS, the auditprocedure and the environmental statement.

VII Register with the Competent Body of the Member State
The validated statement is sent to the appropriate EMAS Competent Body forregistration and made publicly available.

VIII Utilize the verified environmental statement

The environmental statement can be used to report performance data in marketing,assessment of the supply chain and procurement. The organisation canuse information from the validated statement to market its activities with theEMAS logo, assess suppliers against EMAS requirements and give preference tosuppliers registered under EMAS.


eurologoThe Ecolabel is a European certification that helps consumers make environment friendly choices when they choose products and services ranging from washing powder to campsites. The steps for implementing the European Ecolabel are as follows:

I. Check if your products or services are eligible.
An official list of the types of products and services that can be submitted to Ecolabel Certification can be found here:

II. Forward a request for the Eco label certification with the local authorities.
In Romania, the responsible authority is The Ministry of Environment and Waterworks. The Competent Body gives information on the application procedure, distributes the application pack and is responsible for the verification of compliance prior to the awarding of the Ecolabel.

III. Prepare a detailed dossier showing how the technical criteria have been met.

IV. Evaluation
The competent body will then evaluate your application.

V. Certification
If the application is in conformity with the requirements and the application fee is paid the applicant will be awarded the Ecolabel with the right to use the logo.

The criteria for tourist accommodation services in order to receive Ecolabel certification are:

  • Electricity from renewable energy
    When renewable energy sources are available, at least 50 % of the electricity used for all purposes shall come from these clean energy sources.
  • Coal and heavy oils

  • Being considered one of the heaviest pollutants, they should not be used as fuel for heating systems. In tourist accommodations with an independent heating system, no heavy oils having a sulphur content higher than 0,1 % and no coal shall be used as an energy source.

  • Electricity for heating

  • If possible, renewable energy should be used as source for heating systems. This can include energy from solar panels, small windmills or geothermal systems. 
  • Boiler efficiency

  • New water boilers, running on gaseous or liquid fuels, should have an efficiency of at least 90%
  • Air conditioning

    Any household air conditioner bought within the duration of the Eco-label award shall have at least Class A energy efficiency.

  • Window insulation

    All guest rooms should have double glazed windows, to avoid heat losses and reduce noise pollution.

  • Switching off heating of air conditioning

    Heating and air conditioning should be turned off automatically when guests open windows. In the contrary case, there shall be easily available information reminding the guest to close the window(s) if the heating or air conditioning is on.

  • Turning off lights

    Lighting of guest rooms should turn off automatically when guests leave the room. If no such automatic system is in place, guests must be requested to turn off the lights manually when leaving the room.

  • Energy-efficient light bulbs

    Energy efficient light bulbs should be installed. At least 60% of all light bulbs and 80% of all lamps operating for more than 5 hours should be energy-efficient.

  • Sauna time controller

    Sauna time controllers must be installed in order to increase and improve the operating efficiency of saunas.

  • Outside heating appliances

    Outside areas such as smoking corners or external dining areas should only  be heated using appliances with renewable energy sources.

  • Water Source
    The accommodation should meet local or regional water protection and preservation plans, standards and programs. In order to meet these, the accommodation should seek to make the public utility its main source of water.

  • Water flow from taps and showers

    The average water flow of the taps and shower heads excluding kitchen and bath tub tabs shall not exceed 9 litres/minute.

  • Water saving in bathrooms and toilets

    Guests should be informed about the importance of reducing water consumption in bathrooms and toilets. This information can be provided in various ways, including signs in the bathroom, in the guest compendium, or as a part of the welcome message on TV.

  •  Waste bins in toilets

    Each toilet shall have an appropriate waste bin and the guest shall be invited to use the waste bin instead of the toilet for appropriate waste.

  • Urinal flushing

    All urinals shall be fitted with either automatic (timed) or manual flushing systems so that there is no continuous flushing.

  • Leaks

    The accommodation is required to reduce water loss by identifying and eliminating leaks.

  • Changing towels and sheets

    Guests shall be informed of the environmental policy of the tourist accommodation on their arrival. This information shall explain that sheets and towels in rooms shall be changed on their request, or by default at the frequency established by the environmental policy of the tourist accommodation or requested by law and/or national regulations.

  • Correct waste water disposal

    The tourist accommodation shall inform guests and staff on the correct use of the waste water discharge, in order to avoid the disposal of substances that might prevent waste water treatment in accordance with the municipal waste water plan and European regulations.

  • Watering plants and gardens

    Gardens and plants should be watered during appropriate and necessary times, determined by the climatic conditions on each site.

  • Waste water treatment

  • Waste water needs be treated in order to reduce its overall environmental impact.

Detergents and disinfectants
  • Disinfectants
    Disinfectants shall be used only where they are necessary in order to comply with legal hygiene requirements.

  • Staff training on disinfectants and detergents

    An awareness raising and training program should be developed for all staff throughout the accommodation. This program should entail information regarding the use of disinfectants and detergents.


Waste separation by guests

Guest must be given the option of separating waste at source, i.e. in the room or at a designated recycling point in the accommodation.

Waste separation

Waste shall be separated into the categories that can be handled separately by the local or national waste management facilities.

Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste should be separated by the accommodation staff. All types of hazardous waste should be identified, separated, securely stored and disposed of by a designated hazardous waste disposal company.

Waste transportation

If there is no waste collection service provider, the accommodation should take responsibility and organize its own transportation and disposal of waste.

Disposable products

The purchase of single-use and disposable types of products must be avoided. This includes "one-portion" or "single-use" toiletries and single use cups, plates and cutlery.

Breakfast Packaging

Except where required by law, no single dose packages shall be used for breakfast or other food service, with the exception of dairy fat spreads (such as butter, margarine and soft cheese), chocolate and peanut butter spreads, and diet or diabetic jams and preserves.

Other services

No smoking in common areas

A no smoking section shall be available in all indoor common areas.

Public transportation

Guests and staff should receive information on the available means of public transportation to and from the accommodation.


General maintenance

The accommodation should develop an overall and integrated maintenance management program, including all areas of maintenance of the accommodation.

Maintenance and Servicing of boilers

Boilers in operation should be serviced at least once a year or as required by national law. Efficiency and emission levels must be documented.

Policy setting

The accommodation should develop its own environmental sustainability policy, an annual environmental sustainability program and have an ongoing guest feedback, evaluation and monitoring system.

Staff training

The tourist accommodation shall provide information and training to the staff, including written procedures or manuals, to ensure the application of environmental measures and to raise awareness of environmentally responsible behaviour.

Information to guests

The guests should be made aware of the entire environmental action program of the accommodation, including its environmental policy. They should be encouraged and motivated to participate in the environmental program of the accommodation.

Energy and water consumption data

The accommodation should measure and monitor all types of energy and water consumption. Data shall be collected where possible, monthly or at least yearly, for the period when the tourist accommodation is open, and shall also be expressed as consumption per overnight stay and per m2 of indoor area. The data should be reported yearly to the Competent Body that assessed the Ecolabel Certification.

Other data collection

The accommodation should measure and monitor all types of chemicals, detergents and residual wastes. This data should be gathered monthly or at least yearly.

Information appearing on the Eco-label

On certification, the accommodation should actively use the EU Ecolabel logo for awareness raising and promotion (staff and guests). Box 2 of the eco-label shall contain the following text:

This tourist accommodation is actively taking measures to use renewable energy sources, save energy and water, to reduce waste, to improve the local environment.

Each of these requirements can be assessed with a certain number of points. For a touristic accommodation to receive the Ecolabel Certification, it is necessary that it achieves a minimum of 20 points. Extra points can be earned by applying additional solutions to reducing energy consumption. These are optional and offer a wide range of possibilities, depending on every accommodation possibilities and environmental policies.

Optional Criteria are related to:


Photovoltaic and wind generation of electricity

Energy from renewable energy sources

Boiler energy efficiency

Boiler NOx emissions

District heating

Combined heat and power

Heat pump

Heat recovery


Insulation of existing buildings

Air conditioning

Automatic switching-off of air conditioning

Bio-climatic architecture

Energy efficient refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and office equipment Refrigerator positioning

Automatic turning off lights in guest rooms

Automatic switching off outside lights


Use of rainwater

Water flow from taps and shower heads

WC flushing

Dishwasher water consumption

Washing machine water consumption

Tap water temperature and flow

Shower timers

Dangerous Chemical Substances


Indoors paints and varnishes

Dosage of swimming pool disinfectant

Mechanical cleaning

Waste Management

Organic gardens


Disposable drink cans

Breakfast packaging

Fat/oil disposal

Used textiles and furniture

Other Services

Environmental communication and education

No smoking in rooms


Refillable bottles

Paper products

Durable goods

Organic food

Local food products


EMAS registration or EN ISO certification of the tourist accommodation

EMAS registration or EN ISO certification of suppliers

Environmental questionnaire

Energy and water meters

Additional environmental measures

More detailed information about optional solutions can be found here: