Environmental protection and sustainable practices are now an indispensable standard that every company must have. Being environmentally responsible has become yet another business product for companies, generating tangible benefits such as increased sales, brand enhancement and reduced penalties.
Companies that apply policies, processes and actions to ensure compliance with environmental regulations have recognized that not only do they strengthen their compliance programs in the face of a large number of risks, but this exercise has allowed them to discover opportunities to reduce operating costs while reducing their environmental impact.
Benefits of an effective environmental compliance program:
Reputational and sales: Consumers and business partners place greater value on brands that have demonstrated their commitment to environmental compliance and operate in a sustainable manner.
In Costa Rica, as in many other countries, environmental standards have been incorporated into public procurement, such as prohibiting the purchase of single-use plastic products and favoring recycled raw materials.
- Cost reduction: Compliance with environmental regulations is usually linked to proper management of resources such as water, electricity, physical space and waste reduction, all of which contribute to a reduction in regular costs for companies.
- Legal defense against incidents: The successful application of procedures focused on respecting environmental regulations has been accepted by the authorities as evidence to reduce the legal liability of companies in the face of environmental incidents.
In contrast, the authorities tend to penalize more severely those companies that over time have proven to be indifferent to environmental compliance.
Risks of not having an effective environmental compliance program:
Internationally it has been understood that liability for environmental damage falls on the companies that caused it including their owners, especially in Costa Rica, the “Wildlife Conservation Law” establishes that companies that are part of the same conglomerate (economic interest group) are also liable, so the parent company of a company domiciled in Costa Rica can be held liable for the environmental non-compliance of its subsidiary.
Finally, growing international efforts to combat challenges such as climate change, water scarcity and marine pollution are increasing the interest of authorities and society in general in ensuring that companies comply with best practices in environmental sustainability. As a result, environmental compliance programs will become an increasingly valuable resource.