The Environmental Management Systems (EMSs) are a voluntary tool through which companies can demonstrate their proactive approach towards environmental protection. A survey of the literature shows that EMSs are effective in order to contribute to a circular economy, setting high environmental performances. The most widespread EMSs are realized in compliance with the ISO 14001 standard and the EMAS (Eco Management and Audit Scheme) European Regulation. In the last five years, the number of European organizations with an EMAS registration significantly dropped. This negative trend occurred also in Italy, where in 2012 for the first time drops out from EMAS exceeded the new registrations, starting a negative trend. In order to investigate this recent phenomenon, we conducted a survey targeted to all Italian organizations that dropped out of EMAS between 2010 and 2015. This article deepens the analysis already presented in a previous work, applying a Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) approach. We conducted the investigation in collaboration with ISPRA (Italian Superior Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), the Italian Competent Body for EMAS. Examining the ISPRA dataset, 397 organizations that did not renew the certification during the period were identified. We realized data collection between October and December 2015, obtaining 99 responses with a 25% response rate, that we evaluate as a good result, considering that the interviewed organizations were not anymore certified, and often they do not have a responsible in charge of the EMS. The survey has been conducted through a questionnaire mainly composed of two sections. The main goal of the first part was to identify the reasons why organizations dropped out of EMAS; the second section aims at identify policies and support tools that would be most effective in order to encourage new registrations in the future. We performed an explorative data analysis (EDA) on the results of the survey in order to find trivial relations among the aspects that determine the non-renewal decision and expectations to renew the registration. Starting from the EDA results, we build a Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) dealing with latent variables to summarize the information. In section one, starting from 44 potential motivations to drop out of the registration, we set eight latent factors. In section two, we set two latent factors from the ten variables representing actions that could motivate organization to re-implement EMAS. The aim of this model-based approach is to find the relationships among not directly observed variables represented by the latent variables on the SEM. Thus, the primary goal of the research is to identify latent relationships between reasons to drop out of the scheme and most favorable measures to encourage organization to come back to EMAS. Results aim at figure out how European and Members States authorities may realize actions to give new impulse to disseminate EMAS among European companies.
Preziosi, M., Rocco, G., Merli, R. (2016). Registrations decreasing and new possible incentives: investigating EMAS Regulation applying a Structural Equation Modelling approach. In Proceedings of the 22nd International Sustainable Development Research Society Conference ISDRS 2016 Rethinking Sustainability Models and Practices: Challenges for the New and Old World Contexts (pp.274-274).