EC eco-audit scheme: An opportunity for voluntary industry action

The European Commission's proposal for an eco-audit scheme has emerged considerably watered down from earlier drafts.1 Participation will now be on a voluntary basis. The legislation will still impose tough demands on companies which sign up - but they may need to do so in numbers if mandatory rules on environmental auditing are to be averted later in the 1990s.

Few items of EC environmental legislation have begun so ambitiously as the European Commission's first draft on environmental auditing - and few have been whittled back so comprehensively by the time they reached the stage of a formal legislative proposal.

Ambitious first draft
Circulated to Member States in December 1990, the Commission's first draft would have required mandatory and annual environmental audits of manufacturing

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