The aim of EMAS is to promote the constant improvement of environmental performance of organizations, also with the help of: the introduction and the implementation, on the part of the organization, of an environmental management system the communication of information about environmental performance and an open dialogue with the general public and other concerned parties, also through the publication of an environmental declaration .
The environmental management system requested by the EMAS standard is based on the ISO 14001:2004 regulation (see ISO 14000), the requirements of which are all cited, while an open dialog with the public is pursued by prescribing that organizations publish (and keep up-to-date) an Environmental Declaration containing the information and main data about its environmental impact.
The organizations that are registered with EMAS, such as small and medium-sized enterprises, international agencies and organizations, including the European Parliament and the European Commission, can use a specific logo, according to the procedure and usage requirements established but the European Community's regulation.
In order to obtain (and maintain) the EMAS certification (registration), organizations must submit their environmental management system to a Licensed Verifier for an evaluation of conformity, and have the Environmental Declaration validated by the same Verifier (including the updates, which are usually yearly). The registration procedure calls for the Declaration to be examined by the relevant national authority as well (the National Committee for Ecolabel and Ecoaudit, know as "EMAS Committee"). Also, the National Committee requires that the local environmental authority (ARPA) carries out an inspection and gives the green light from a legal standpoint (regarding the compliance to laws and regulations, legal authorizations, etc.).
Organizations which are registered with EMAS receive public acknowledgement certifying the environmental quality, and guaranteeing the reliability of the information regarding its environmental performance. The registered organizations are included in a specific national list.