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The road to complying with environmental regulations

Something that has become increasingly important in companies over time is the incorporation of environmental commitments into the strategic goals of the company. In addition to these internal commitments, every organization must comply with several regulations at the national level. Here is how to identify and address environmental regulations applicable to your business.

What are environmental regulations?

It refers to the applicable environmental regulations, which correspond to all those rules (laws, decrees, resolutions, etc.) which have the purpose of ensuring the protection of the environment, preserving nature and conserving the environmental heritage. They are characterized by the fact that they assign mandatory compliance to both natural and legal persons, which must be accredited to the different authorities with environmental competence, for a project and/or activity.

In addition, ISO 14.001:2015 establishes that companies that take part in this standard must identify the environmental regulations that apply to their activities and must keep these requirements permanently updated.

How to identify environmental regulations applicable to my business?

It is a complex task and a lot of responsibility, but the key is that the personnel who carry out this activity must have the skills and complete knowledge of the regulations, activities, and facilities of the business.

In the recognition of environmental regulations, there are two stages: The first of them consists in the identification of legislation that is already published, while the second stage corresponds to maintenance, that is, the periodic updating of the environmental regulations that are published in the country.

In this area it is essential to work with the consolidated legal bodies, promoting that the professional in charge of the activity carries out a continuous review of the different sources of information.

What should I comply with and how is it demonstrated?

In theory, establishing whether a body of law is applicable to the organization is simple, the greatest difficulty is when determining from which articles the environmental obligations for the organization arise and in turn, specify how that obligation will be complied with and the frequency with which the associated documentation must be updated.

It is common to see organizations with electronic spreadsheets making significant efforts to comply with the regulations that apply to them. However, the biggest drawback is that they lack a clear procedure for identifying, evaluating and updating each of the elements identified. It is at this point where the technological tools, starting from a good diagnosis, make a relevant contribution to management.

How to address compliance with environmental regulations?

1. Initial Diagnosis

The initial diagnosis of the applicable legal bodies is undoubtedly the most important aspect of the process and has scope on the processes and activities of the organization, with the characterization of variables such as raw materials, services, products generated, priority products, emissions and transfers of pollutants, the machining and tools that are part of its processes, among other multiple variables.

2. Compliance Verifiers
The correct definition of compliance verifiers is essential, as they constitute our proof of compliance to the legal bodies that affect us, so that they will be the evidence in an eventual audit. It is at this point where the knowledge and experience of the professional are determining factors to achieve results that show the legal reality of the organization. In the same way, having the support of a technological tool that allows us to facilitate management is of the greatest importance.

Why comply with environmental regulations?
There are multiple reasons why comply with environmental regulations, among which the following stand out:

  • Control the impact that the activities of the organization generate in the environment.
  • Improving the company's reputation by adhering to environmental regulations.
  • Avoid the economic cost associated with penalties, fines and/or closure of facilities.
  • It minimizes the risks of possible claims for the civil liability of the organization, which could even be criminal.
  • Strategically differentiate the products offered by the company, improving its competitive position compared to other organizations that market similar products.
  • It increases the confidence of interested parties, such as shareholders, investors, workers, suppliers and customers, among others.
  • It increases access to financial aid from states for the protection of the environment.

The M-Risk software allows companies to graphically visualize compliances or non-compliances in environmental matters and, consequently, allows timely decision-making.

 

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