Central America | Environmental compliance in Costa Rica: a duty and an opportunity
What are the benefits and risks associated with the degree of conformity in compliance with official environmental requirements
Environmental protection and sustainable practices are now an essential standard that every company must have, being responsible with the environment has become yet another business product for companies, which generates tangible benefits such as increased sales, revaluation of the mark and reduction of sanctions.
Companies that apply policies, processes and actions to ensure compliance with regulations related to the environment have recognized that they not only strengthen their compliance programs in the face of a large number of risks; rather, 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 give greater value to brands that have demonstrated their commitment to comply with environmental laws and that operate sustainably. In Costa Rica, as in many other countries, environmental standards have been incorporated into public purchases, such as the prohibition of purchasing single-use plastic products and the favoring of 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 event of environmental incidents. In contrast, the authorities usually sanction more severely those companies that over time have shown themselves to be indifferent to complying with environmental regulations.
Risks of not having an effective environmental compliance program
Internationally it has been understood that the responsibility for damage to the environment 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 it are also responsible. conglomerate (economic interest group), so the parent company of a company domiciled in Costa Rica can be held responsible for the environmental breaches of its subsidiary. Lastly, the growing international efforts to combat challenges such as climate change, water scarcity and marine pollution are increasingly increasing the interest of the authorities and society in general in ensuring that companies comply with the best environmental sustainability practices.