The compliance program can be applied in different areas, including the environmental sphere. In this regard, it is related to the set of practices that will be adopted in the daily lives of employees and in the execution of internal or external projects to ensure compliance with environmental legislation.
At a time when the world is discussing the consequences of climate change and focusing on promoting society’s awareness of the responsible use of natural resources and the need to rethink attitudes that impact the environment, companies also need to adapt, regardless of size or industry.
Environmental compliance is directly related to the ESG conceptfrom English Environmental, Social and Governance, which can be translated into Portuguese as Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). In practice, these are actions that prioritize the sustainable development of businesses within these three pillars.
Think compliance solutions in the environmental aspect it is more than just avoiding the responsibility of the company for damages caused to the environment. The action should be seen as a way of establishing an organizational culture committed to building a better future for society and for the business itself.
What this article covers:
How to implement environmental compliance
To institute environmental compliance in the company, it is necessary to have an established corporate governance program. According to the Brazilian Institute of Corporate Governance (IBGC), the plan will be responsible for converting basic principles into objective recommendations and aligning the company’s interests and objectives.
Based on this structuring, risks must be mapped and practices and rules created for preventing and combating irregularities. In this process, a detailed study of the legislation is necessary, the elaboration of a Code of Ethics that addresses the subject, the commitment of the leaders to the cause, the disclosure of the rules established for all employees and the monitoring of these practices.
The adoption of a compliance program in the environmental area brings a series of advantages to companies. In addition to compliance with the law, which guarantees legal certainty and avoids financial losses and penalties, it is a way to prevent accidents, reduce costs, improve internal processes and have a competitive advantage in the market.
Environmental laws in Brazil
Brazilian environmental legislation is comprehensive. The subject is addressed in article 255 of the 1988 Constitution, which talks about the importance of keeping the ecosystem stable through preservation and environmental recovery.
Prior to that, in 1981, the National Environmental Policy was established, Law No. 6,938/1981, with the proposal to ensure socioeconomic development combined with preservation, recovery and improvement of environmental quality.
Concern for the Brazilian fauna led to the creation of measures to protect animals, including the criminalization of the export of hides and hides from reptiles and amphibians. The measures were set out in Law No. 5,197/1967, known as the Fauna Law.
The application of penalties for harmful practices to the environment was established by the Environmental Crimes Law, Law n.º 9.605/1998. According to the text, the company can be extinguished in case of facilitating or concealing environmental crimes.
The new Brazilian Forest Code, Law n.º 12.651/2012, in turn, establishes responsibilities for the owner of properties located between Permanent Preservation Areas (APP) and Legal Reserve (RL).