The IHK elects the GWS for exceptional environment management


“Environmental protection is very important in your company. This is emphasized by the entry in the registry of the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme.”, congratulates Eckhard Lammers, head of the department of environment in the IHK Osnabrück – Emsland – Grafschaft Bentheim. The GWS can now bear the exclusive EMAS-logo as an award for operational environmental protection with immediate effect.

During our analyses, we frequently dealt with diverse questions of energy, climate and environment economy and policies. The responsible use of energy and resources is becoming more and more important for our own work as well. We tend to this with our decision to introduce an operational environmental management system and by letting it be certified on a voluntary basis. Thus, in summer 2015 we added guidelines, reorganized procedures and redefined jurisdictions. Smaller measures – like modified printer settings to reduce paper consumption, optimization of energy settings on hardware level and the recording of business trips to estimate CO2-emission – were carried out immediately.

The successful entry is only the beginning. Among our 20 employees there will soon be a working group that will regularly deal with further concrete savings that could be realized. Various proposals for additional measures are already present. Certainly, we hope for a positive impact due to EMAS, both on the in- and outside. Besides the ecological effects the image of our company also plays an important part, for instance for the recruiting of professionals.


Background of EMAS

The European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is an instrument for companies and facilities that want to improve their ecological performance.

Participants of EMAS commit to creating an environmental statement that contains a precise account of the environmentally relevant activities and information concerning the environment, like use of resources and energy, emissions, waste etc. Subsequently this environmental statement is verified by an independent, government-approved expert. This audit has to be repeated regularly, at least once every three years. After the inspection (validation) the participant is entered in a public registry ( and receives a registration number that is unique across Europe. In Germany, this process is handled by the IHKs and the chamber of handicrafts. Currently (January 2017) the registry contains 1229 organizations at 2114 locations.

The GWS is committed to the principles of sustainability. This is underlined by the entry in the registry of European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme on November 16th 2016. Further information available at:


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