Pilot study - EMAS

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Introduction of EMAS at Department 11

The University of Kassel is testing the environmental management system "Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS)" at the Department of Ecological Agricultural Sciences.

The pilot project is accompanied by the Institute for Higher Education Development (HIS-HE). This is made possible by a grant from the Hessian Ministry of Science and the Arts (HMWK). The project will be funded for three years as part of the innovation and structural development budget.

What is EMAS?

"Eco-Management and Audit Scheme" (EMAS) is a tool developed by the European Union that provides management methods to comply with environmental legislation applicable to the organization and to continuously improve environmental performance, verifying its success with an environmental audit.

  • This is a continuous process in a 3-year cycle.
  • Participation in this system is voluntary.

EMAS cycle

The entire EMAS cycle from preparation, introduction, implementation to an external audit, if necessary, can be described in the cycle shown.

What is the department's goal in participating?

With its participation, FB 11 is pursuing the goal of identifying its own potential for improvement and establishing the most transparent and long-term structures possible for the sustainable development of the site.

  • For the department, this provides the opportunity to develop further in the direction of a "green" location and to improve itself.
  • The discourse with interest groups is to be conducted actively, with the involvement of students and employees.
  • The focus should initially be on environmental aspects, although a later expansion to include social aspects, e.g. from the common good economy, is conceivable.

What is the methodology to EMAS and the planned project process?

EMAS offers a methodology in the environmental field to systematically record and control the environmental impact
of one's own company.

  • Against this background, an environmental policy is developed to define future actions and targeted environmental objectives.
  • Based on the environmental aspects and the environmental policy, the organization develops concrete measures to improve its environmental performance.
  • These are summarized in an environmental program, which must be implemented within a specified period of time.

Participation formats

Students and employees of Department 11 were invited to submit their wishes and ideas for a more sustainable department under the motto "Christmas time is wish time"from 06.12.20 to 22.01.2021. The ideas could be submitted for one or more areas (energy, waste, mobility, etc.) and concretized. The ideas submitted were evaluated and included in the EMAS list of measures. The EMAS list of measures became part of the environmental program.

Teaching for a sustainable university

"Eco-Audit and Economy of the Common Good on the Witzenhausen University Campus".

Another important aspect of the project is the participation of employees and students.
In the project seminar, students can...

  • Determine and make clear which ecological aspects are particularly important at the Witzenhausen site
  • Organize and conduct workshops and surveys
  • Prepare and present the results to the EMAS steering group

Learning contents are...
  • A comprehensive introduction to the most important aspects of setting up an environmental management system according to EMAS (EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme)
  • A methodical introduction to the systematic implementation and management of a workshop for the definition and visualization of group results

In WS 2019/20, a student project group has already accompanied the EMAS pilot project and conducted a sustainability survey to improve environmental performance at Department 11. The results were presented in an EMAS rapporteur workshop on December 3, 2020.

a student project group has developed the EMAS: SUSTAINABILITY SURVEY