ENHANCE project partners met again for the first workshop of the further extension of ENHANCE project activities.

The workshop was organized by the Environment Agency Austria with the support of the partners, Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda from Catalonia, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies-SSSA from Italy and Stockholm Environment Institute Tallinn Centre from Estonia. The workshop was held on 26 April in a hybrid format, face-to-face in Vienna at the Federal Ministry Republic of Austria for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology and online via the Teams platform.

The thematic of the workshop has been “How EMAS actors have reacted to face the COVID impact”. The workshop was structured in the following sections:

- Understanding the COVID impact on EMAS Scheme

- Help & Support to face the COVID impact

- Influence of COVID on EMAS-registered organizations

- Influence of COVID on audit activities

The workshop was welcomed by Mr. Andreas Tschulik from Federal Ministry Republic of Austria for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, and was attended by EMAS Competent Bodies, European EMAS Helpdesk, representatives of EMAS organizations, accredited environmental verifiers, and companies’ experts in communication and sustainability and sustainability data management and innovative IT solutions.

Each section of the workshop gave rise to an active debate. In particular, we can highlight the interest generated by the tools for digitalizing the Environmental Management System and digitalizing the Environmental Statements. The situation generated by the crisis has boosted the interest in the implementation of these tools in EMAS organizations.

Another very interesting discussion was generated in the framework of Covid's influence on the assessment and verification process according to EMAS requirements. Experiences and points of views were presented on how accredited verification bodies have dealt with the audit processes in these months of pandemic and what lessons have been learned.

The presentations of the workshop are available in the Library of the ENHANCE project's website, in which we can also find all the information on the project and the documentation it has generated,