Environmental and sustainability management systems, performance evaluation and indicators, standards and auditing


Project: EVANAB 1 – Development of a tool for the assessment of sustainability reports

Project: EVANAB 2 – Systematic Assessment of Sustainability Reports

Project: Biosphere Park Urdaibai

Project: Manual on environmental performance evaluation and indicators

Project: Environmental Management for the banking sector

Project: MEPI

Project: International standardisation of environmental management

Project: EMAS in Austria

EU-Researchproject PREMISE






Project: EVANAB 1 –Development of a tool for the assessment of sustainability report

Within the project an interactive tool for the assessment of sustainability reports was developed, which will assist national funding agencies in the evaluation of the quality of the funded reports as well as companies and their consultants in the development of their sustainability reports. Project management: Institut für Industrielle Ökologie, Univ.Doz.Dr. Andreas WindspergerProject partners:
Wallner & Schauer GmbH, Dr. Heinz Peter Schauer, DI Richard Tuschl
Institut für ökologische Wirtschaftsforschung, IÖW, Univ.Doz.Mag.Dr. Christine JaschProject duration: February - July 2008Project financing: Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Technologie und Innovation

Project:EVANAB 2 – Systematic Assessment of Sustainability Reports with the EVANAB Tool and Evaluaition of the Strategy and Quality of Austrian Sustainability Reports

The EVANAB Evaluation tool will be applied and improved. The funding agencies are included in the assessment. The strategy and quality evaluation will result in recommendations to improve the quality of Austrian sustainability reports.Project management: Institut für ökologische Wirtschaftsforschung, IÖW, Univ.-Doz. Mag. Dr. Christine JaschProject partners:
Wallner & Schauer GmbH, Dr. Heinz Peter Schauer, DI Richard Tuschl
Institut für Industrielle Ökologie, Univ.Doz.Dr. Andreas WindspergerProject duration: July 2008 - March 2009

Project finance:
Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Innovation und Technologie
Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Umwelt- und Wasserwirtschaft
Magistratsabteilung 22 der Stadt Wien
Amt der NÖ Landesregierung
Amt der OÖ Landesregierung
Amt der Steiermärkischen Landesregierung

Publication: forthcoming

Project:Biosphere Park Urdaibai

Titel of the project
Sustainability Performance Indicator and Management System for the Biosphere Park Urdaibai (BSP URD)
February 2004 to July 2004
The project is commissioned by IHOBE.
Project coordination:
Dr. Christine Jasch, IÖW-Institute for Environmental Management and Economics
Project partners:
Dr. Gabriele Hrauda, Johannes Puhrer, IÖW
Prospektiker www.prospektiker.es
Daniela Velte, Ibon Zugasti
Participating companies:
ACB Grupo Arcelor
Fuchosa S.A.
Fundiciones del Estanda S.A.
ITP, Industria de Turbo Propulsores S.A.
Nervacero S.A.
Content of the project:

The project had 2 goals:

The project is based on similar experiences in projects in three biosphere parks in Austria, the Große Walsertal, Wienerwald and Neusiedlersee.

A biosphere park has to fulfil certain criteria to achieve and maintain its status. These are partly addressed, but not clearly defined in the Seville document. For controlling and management purposes, the local authorities involved need to know, which are the core indicators and fields of action to maintain the status, improve performance and save the valuable structure.
For many of the biosphere parks, the target is actually to maintain a very valuable status quo, however it is hardly ever well defined and monitored.
The proposed indicator system has several benefits:

The project does not attempt to assess these negative external effects, but to define the basic indicators, that need to be regularly monitored, in order to be able to monetarize negative external effects.
The deliverable of this project was an indicator system for the biosphere park, that includes environmental, social and economic indicators, that describe the sustainability status of the biosphere park and allow future monitoring of developments as well as impacts of external effects. The indicators partly relate to status of environment, but also to the performance and activities of the communities and people involved.

The project reported to the management board of the administrative body of the BSP and IHOBE on the status, necessities, hindrances and possible benefits of installing a formal environmental management system based on ISO 14001 or an even larger management system integrating other sustainability dimensions. This was based on workshops, meetings and telephone conversations with local authorities, communities, the people involved in managing the BSP and other involved interest groups This report was partly based on an on-site audit of the status of the BSP and its current management system.



Manual on environmental performance evaluation and indicators

On behalf of the German Environmental Protection Agency in 1996 together with the Institute for Management and Environment, IMU Augsburg, a project for the development of a model for environmental performance indicators was performed. The model was applied on a branch-specific level and resulted in a manual for environmental performance evaluation. The results were continually fed into the work at ISO TC 207 SC4 Environmental Performance Evaluation. The Manual for environmental performance indicators was published by the German Environmental Protection Agency.



Environmental Management for the banking sector

On behalf of the Austrian Ministry for Environment, the IÖW prepared a manual for environmental management in the banking sector, which had a special focus on benchmarking indicators. In parallel, a workshop with environmental managers of this sector discussed implementation aspects. Austria was the first country to open the EMAS Regulation for this sector, and in April 1997 the Raiffeisen Landesbank Wien-NÖ and the Austrian Kommunalkredit AG were both verified by Dr. Jasch to EMAS and ISO 14001.
Further publications on this topic:

Project:MEPI Measuring environmental Performance in Industry

MEPI was funded under the Fourth Framework Programme (Environment and Climate) of DGXII of the European Commission. The project lasted from April 1998 until May 2000.

The project had six goals:

  • to bring together and normalise available physical data for firms in six industrial sectors in six EU member states; to harmonise physical, economic and sustainability indicators for quantifying the integrated environmental performance of firms; to apply these indicators in describing the environmental performance of firms; to investigate the pattern and dynamics of environmental performance of firms across Europe; to analyse in detail the causes of change and differences between firms; to evaluate national and EU initiatives on industrial 'pressure' and 'impacts' indicators; and
  • to identify policy measures, at an EU, national and regional level, which will accelerate improvements in integrated industrial environmental performance.
  • Participating institutes were SPRU, University of Sussex, Department of Economics and Production, Politecnico di Milano, the Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), Sevilla, Centre Entreprise-Environnement (CEE), Université Catholique de Louvain and the Centre for Environmental Strategy (CES), School of Chemical, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Surrey.The project results are available under www.environmental-performance.org

    ProjectInternational standardisation of environmental management

    The IÖW is actively involved in the standard setting procedure on national, CEN and ISO level. On ISO level within the Technical Committee 207 several subcommittees and working-groups have been formed to work on a new standard-series ISO 14000 for the whole range of environmental management:

    FotoThe IÖW`s founder and director is Austrian delegate to ISO TC 207 Environmental Management since 1993 and heads the corresponding Austrian working group at the national standardisation body (FNA 226). She is Austrian Delegate to CEN, the European standardisation body. Christine Jasch is also registered as principle environmental auditor and lead verifier for EMAS.

    You can find current developments of ISO TC 207 at www.iso14000.net.

    Checking Standards for their environmental impact

    On behalf of the Austrian consumer Association in 1994 a study on potential negative effects of product standardisation to environmental sound product design and other institutional conflicts between the needs of environmental protection and standardisation was performed. The goal of the study was to come up with a common ground for a standardised continual control of standards with regard to their environmental impact and also provided the Austrian position for ISO Guide 64, Guidance for the inclusion of environmental aspects in product standards.
    There was no publication Further publications on this topic:

    The current status of ISO 14001 certificates in Austria is under www.umweltmanagement.at


    EMAS in Austria

    In 1994, the IÖW founder and director, Dr. Christine Jasch, did a survey on the intended ways of implementing the EMAS regulation in the European countries. The existing Austrian relevant institutions and professions were assessed with regard to their professionality rules and environmental relevant knowledge and experience. The study results in the first Austrian law proposal on behalf of the Austrian Ministry of Environment, especially with regard to the accreditation procedure for verifiers.

    Project Research

    EU-Researchproject PREMISE

    The PREMISE-project, (Preventative Environmental Management in small enterprises by utilisation of existing information systems) developed a handbook for SME´s on the implementation of environmental management systems. The project was performed on behalf of the Commission of the European Communities Directorate General XII, Science, Research and Development under the Environment and Climate Programme 1993 and in cooperation with Institutes and Consultants in Portugal, Denmark, U.K. and Switzerland.

    The goals and objectives of the project were: