Is your compliance strategy sustainable?

Observing legislation is essential. Keeping up-to-date with new regulations is a continual challenge. We can look forward to significant and crucial policies being created over the coming years. It is expected that new and stricter regulations will be introduced. What will the impact be on your company, its processes, infrastructure and the products manufactured?     

The impact of this will be evident in industry, government departments and private individuals and contained in five key documents: electricity, transport, infrastructure, buildings and water management. It will mainly concern the creation and sharpening of regulations with respect to so-called greenhouse gas emissions. 

Why are the next five years so crucial?

  1. There is global recognition that the internationally recognised emission targets are not going to be achieved with the current policies. For example this has emerged from the European Climate Change Programme 2020 and also from US president Obama during an interview with David Attenborough: "We're not moving fast enough on climate change." 

  2. Policy makers find themselves under pressure from public opinion. The following came from a press release issued by a court in The Hague: "Based on current government policy, the Netherlands will achieve a reduction of 17% by 2020. It falls short of the 25 to 40% level required for industrialised nations according to climatologists and international climate policy. (…) The government must do more to reverse the potential dangers caused by climate change, given that it has a duty of care for protecting and improving the environment." In Belgium legal proceedings have been started under the so-called ‘Klimaatzaak’ [climate action]. In the US a lawsuit has already pronounced in favour of the complainants (children). A group of 36 Nobel Prize winners have signed a declaration calling on urgent action to be taken to halt climate change. Even the current pope has added his moral authority to the debate. 

  3. A growing number of countries have a ‘carbon tax. This phenomenon has supporters as well as opponents, although the tax has already proved its effectiveness, for example in Australia, where the 'carbon tax' was introduced on 1 July 2012 and then abolished again on 17 July 2014, after which it displayed a significant increase in CO2 emissions.   

One thing is for sure: over the coming years the reduction of greenhouses will remain firmly on the agenda. 

What measures does you company intend to take?  

  • Integration of HSE management (Health Safety & Environment) into its acquisition policy.
  • Re-engineering products and/or production processes.
  • Finding alternatives for key raw materials that have a significant environmental impact, replacing them with bio-based or recycled raw materials for example.
  • Deploying renewable energy and raw materials.
  • Recycling as a result of collaborative ventures and industrial symbiosis.
  • Embracing the circular economy (servicing, reusing, repairing, reprocessing and recycling).  
  • New business models including product-services systems and offering function performance in place of the product itself, e.g. selling light instead of lighting, etc.
  • etc.