Corporate social responsibility (CSR) Related topics and environmental management systems

EMAS, being a comprehensive environmental management system has some points of contact with a wider range of Topics.

In this respect in particular the most recent development in the field of energy management is worth mentioning, but also the field of topics corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate sustainability.

The Federal Ministry considers CSR to be the implementation of sustainability at enterprises, if the following aspects are implemented and/or aimed at.

  • There exists an intra-corporate sustainability process with the following core elements:
    • Integrative view of all 3 dimensions of sustainability and/or their interactions
    • Commitment of the company management to the process
    • A stakeholder dialogue, consisting of intra-corporate participation, and a dialogue with the surrounding, is held
    • A separate sustainability report, or a sustainability report linked to other reports, is published
  • Sustainable development constitutes an integral part of the corporate strategy, which
    • has clear and verifiable goals
    • goes beyond individual measures in one dimension of sustainability
    • comprises also subsidiaries and shares in companies in Austria and abroad
    • the compliance with one’s own standards is also aimed at for suppliers and pre-products
  • The enterprise acts according to the fundamental principles of “fair management” and takes over, within the framework of its responsibility within the society, its social and ecological responsibility
  • The enterprise deals also with the effects of its products/services on the society and the environment
  • The social and ecological commitment goes beyond purely financial sponsoring, and is related to the products and services of the enterprise
  • As far as the relations to its community/region are concerned, the enterprise plays an active role
  • The enterprise actively promotes the change of non-sustainable framework conditions.

Another point, which will be of increasing relevance for EMAS certified enterprises and organisations in future, refers to the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. Energy efficiency constitutes a core issue in the working programme of the EU Commission. Energy saving objectives in the primary energy consumption on the way towards more energy efficiency are formulated. The measures provided for this purpose, among other things also energy audits, can be part of an energy or environmental management system.

EMAS organisations are also well positioned as far as energy efficiency is concerned. Thus, at least for enterprises for which ISO 50001 is relevant energy use will constitute an important environmental aspect as a part of the environmental management system and, beyond that, only a few adaptations and substantiations will be required.