EMAS environmental statements as a measuring tool in the transition of industry towards a circular economy

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One of the European Commission's main objectives within its Green Deal strategy is to encourage organisations to adopt a circular economy (CE). Although the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) regulation is highlighted as a tool to help firms evaluate, report and improve their advances in this direction, no studies have been found that empirically validate the usefulness of EMAS as a circularity measuring tool. To address this gap, this paper analyses the information reported in the EMAS statements and determines whether it really is useful to be able to measure the level of adoption of the circular model in companies. Content analysis and statistical methods (Kendall rank correlation coefficient and Pearson's Chi-Square Test) are employed to provide empirical evidence from 122 companies. Results show that the information reported in the statements analysed is neither extensive enough nor provided as scalable and comparable quantitative data to be able to consider EMAS as a valid tool to measure and report the progress of companies in the transition towards a more circular model. Outcomes of the study have useful implications for policy makers and companies. Recommendations to regulators centre on establishing specific circular key performance indicators within the EMAS regulation, which would help companies transition towards a CE. Recommendations to managers include using EMAS reporting in a more comprehensive and indicator-focused way, which could help them visualise their current situation more clearly and be able to compare themselves to others more effectively, thus moving towards circularity in a more targeted way ​
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