Three years after the publication of Regulation (EC) no 1221/2009 (so called Emas III), the author makes an assessment of environmental certification, key policy instrument for sustainable development and consumer protection. The research analyzes the origin of environmental certification and their role in the economical markets and explores the new trend of environmental policies characterized by overcoming the logic of so called "command and control" to new voluntary tools based on the mechanism of incentives and administrative simplifications that allow companies to obtain advantages in using a logic of prevention and minimization of environmental impacts. The analysis focuses on the relationship between environmental certifications and consumer purchasing decisions, and more generally on the relationship between the organization and the stakeholders, highlighting the economic and organizational benefits arising from environmental certifications. The survey also traces the development of Emas certification from the first version in 1993, highlighting the most innovative elements of Emas III Regulation and the similarities and differences with Iso 14001:2004.
Keywords: Environmental certification, Emas Regulation, Emas III, Iso 14001, CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility