The EMA Standard is currently being developed in a thorough a multi-stakeholder process. It shall consist of threshold criteria and indicators suitable for the African continent. The standard will be designed in such a way that:
- existing standard systems may be benchmarked against it and
- accredited certifiers may use it to certify companies against it.
The EMA's credibilityis determined by its ability to verify the sustainability claims it makes and to ensure that its vision and objective are transparently and effectively reflected in the EMA Standard. Moreover, the EMA strives for coherence and consistency with existing standards systems.
The EMA Standard shall reflect the alignment of the three dimensions of sustainability (environmental soundness, economic viability and social equity) to specifically address the challenges which climate change poses to the African people.
To account for specific local challenges, the EMA will thoroughly assess the risks along the value chains of different products and sectors and configure the EMA Standard so as to tackle product- or sector-specific hotspots which have a high impact on the sustainability performance.
In this context, it appears common to products and services from the EMA key sectors, that the primary production phase is likely to constitute such a hotspot. Thus, the EMA Standard shall define sustainability criteria for primary production.
The EMA Standard shall consist of three basic elements:
- A set of principles and criteria for each sector, containing performance requirements as well as requirements to apply environmental management systems aligned with the ISO 14000 family;
- a normative document that prescribes the requirements regarding the verification process and
- a procedural document that lays down requirements of the governance of standard systems that may be benchmarked against the EMA and used as a basis for conformity assessment.