Sustainable development in Germany - 17 Goals to Transform our World

Sustainable production – Steadily increasing the proportion of sustainable production

Indicator 12.2: EMAS eco-management

(Evaluation of the development of Germany in the reporting year 2019 as reporting year from indicator report 2021)


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This overview includes additional information on the indicators presented above, such as a brief definition of the indicator and a description of the politically determined target value, as well as the political intention for selecting the indicator.

Definition of indicators (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

The indicator shows the number of locations in Germany registered with EMAS, the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme, for German as well as foreign organisations.

Target and intention of the German Government (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

Climate change, the energy transition and scarcity of resources are presenting companies with new challenges that are forcing them to reconfigure their business processes, structures and products along environmentally responsible and resource-saving lines. EMAS offers a strategy for organisations to pursue systematic environmental protection, with the ultimate aim of steadily improving their locations’ environmental performance. The goal is therefore to identify a total of 5,000 organisation premises for registration with EMAS by 2030.

Data state

The data published in the indicator report 2021 is as of 31.12.2020. The data shown on the DNS-Online-Platform is updated regularly, so that more current data may be available online than published in the indicator report 2021.

Last modification of code (data) 2021-03-08: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window
Last modification of code (text) 2021-09-10: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window

Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy

EMAS is a voluntary instrument of the European Union that helps organisations of any size and in any sector to continuously improve their environmental performance. Having EMAS certification does not automatically mean that organisations or their products are more environmentally friendly than comparable organisations and products. EMAS involves a reporting obligation requiring organisations to submit environmental statements. These statements include reporting on the main environmental impacts of the organisation in question as well as data pertaining to energy and material efficiency, emissions, water, waste and use of land/biodiversity. Organisations have to update their environmental statements annually, with the exception introduced in 2010 that SMEs can apply to do so every two years instead. The environmental statement, which is public, and various additional internal documents are inspected by independent, licensed environmental verifiers. The verification must be repeated on a regular basis, no less than every three years. Organisations that pass the verification process and have no breaches of environmental regulations or complaints to answer for are added to the EMAS register. The German EMAS Advisory Board is responsible for quality assurance. EMAS organisations and locations are registered by the responsible chambers of industry and commerce and stored in a publicly accessible database at the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

In terms of methodology, it should be noted that the EMAS register shows the number of registrations. Participating organisations are free to include several locations under a single organisation registration (corporate registration) or to have their locations registered individually. Some organisations have had their sites abroad registered in Germany. These are present in the EMAS register, but they are not included in the number of EMAS locations recorded here.

In 2019, there were 2,176 EMAS locations registered in Germany. This equates to an increase of 11% compared with 2005. Considered over the last five years, the indicator has been gradually moving in the direction of the target. Nevertheless, if that trend continues unchanged, the goal for 2030 will not be achieved.

The registered organisations employed a total of 988,401 people in 2019. This equates to an decline of 2.8% compared with 2005.

The 2,176 EMAS locations on the register in 2019 belong to 1,150 German organisations and one organisation headquartered abroad. The number of German organisations had shrunk by 22.9% since 2005. Furthermore, those organisations were very well spread throughout the country. The majority were based in Baden-Württemberg (347) and Bavaria (288), followed by North Rhine-Westphalia (105). In contrast, there were just two registered organisations in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Divided by sector, the distribution in 2019 was as follows: 38.3% of the German organisations represented the manufacturing industry, 9.4% miscellaneous services, 8.0% the education sector and 7.6% the hospitality industry. It should be noted that some of the organisations belong to more than one sector.

This summary table illustrates the evaluations of the indicator by status of previous years. This shows whether the weather symbol for an indicator has been stable or rather volatile in the past years. (Evaluations from the indicator report 2021)


12.2 EMAS eco-management


5,000 locations of organisations by 2030






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 Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry


Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry

Data source EMAS statistics (only available in German) opens in a new window