Germany now has 1,067 companies registered with the EU eco-audit and management scheme EMAS, and is investigating ways to introduce more benefits for firms that sign up. The announcement came from environment minister Angela Merkel to coincide with the end of a trade exhibition in Bonn which ended last week. The increase confirms Germany's dominance in EMAS registrations in Europe, showing that the number of German firms participating in the scheme is up 30% since last September. No other country had more than 80 EMAS registered firms at that time (ENDS Daily 22 September 1997), though related to population Germany's lead is much smaller, particularly over Austria. A spokesperson for the German environment ministry told ENDS Daily that the country's lead was proof of "the strong environmental consciousness of our people," and that it was "rather regretful" that the scheme was not so quick to catch on in all member states. The German government is now discussing possible further incentives for companies who sign up to EMAS, such as enabling lighter regulatory checks on EMAS-registered firms, as is being tried out by several EU member states.
German environment ministry, tel: +49 228 3050.
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