Implementing an intelligent environmental policy for a growing number of businesses helps to comply with the law and promotes competitiveness. The days passed when companies with the only environmental law were heavy manufacturers. Recently, both the US government and the private sector have introduced a new era of corporate sustainability in which compliance with environmental standards moves from the Recommendation to a wide range of businesses. Just as organizations need to develop and enforce management, employment and security policies, many companies and public bodies must now follow and report on sustainability measures to ensure legal compliance. In addition, many predictable companies have already implemented environmental policy to maintain competitiveness, even though they are not yet a legal requirement. Corporate Advisors need to be aware of the new corporate sustainability requirements and suggestions that help organizations develop policies, avoid responsibility and succeed in the new green economy.
While in 2010 the US Federal Climate Law or the legally binding international agreement has not begun, regulatory action and negotiations are in progress. Despite the fact that the United Nations Conference on Climate Change did not issue mandatory greenhouse gas emissions legislation in Denmark last December, nations are still pursuing a global climate change agreement. A bilateral bill sponsored by Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) In the United States can succeed in unifying the parties and ultimately by acquiring a new climate law.
In the meantime, businesses can not afford and wait for the final act in this area as a new Federal Enforcement Order, EPA Regulations, SEC Guidelines, and Private Sector Programs have come into force covering a wide range of companies and public agencies . Any organization to which these new requirements apply should be incorporated into planning and ensuring compliance.
I. Executive Order 13514
2009. On October 5, President Obama signed the 13514 Implementing Decree entitled "Federal leadership in environmental, energy and economic performance. This Enforcement Order requires all federal agencies to detect greenhouse gas emissions, reduce emissions targets by 2020 and develop a plan to meet a number of objectives to improve sustainability, such as energy and water efficiency Increasing waste, reducing oil consumption, promoting sustainable communities, developing and maintaining high-performance buildings and utilizing federal purchasing power to promote environmentally friendly products and technologies
Other environmental goals included in the order include 30% of the use of flottamine, and 26% water efficiency by 2020, and waste recycling and diversion by 2015. The construction requirement requiring 2030 net energy is also to be executed on the basis of the order. Each agency must appoint a senior Sustainability Officer responsible for the execution of the assignment. The Chairman of the Environment Council will present the Agency's objectives and results directly to the President.
"As the largest consumer in the US economy, the federal government has to lead and lead by example when it comes to innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, and environmentally responsible products and technologies "said President Obama in a statement.
The purpose of the Enforcement Order is to legislate on climate change through the congress, thus saving taxpayers' money in the process. The order will have a significant impact on the mere size of the federal government: it occupies nearly 500,000 buildings and operates more than 600,000 vehicles.
One key element of the implementing regulation is a green procurement policy that requires 95% of new federal contracts to meet sustainability requirements to promote environmentally responsible products and technologies. This also carries great weight due to the enormous purchasing power of the government, which spent over $ 500 billion a year on goods and services. The Executive Order applies the General Services Administration (GSA) to the feasibility of tracking GHG emissions. The recommendations may also include that suppliers should sign up for voluntary greenhouse gas emissions inventories and disclose their efforts to reduce emissions. Preferences or other incentives can be given "from products produced by processes to minimize greenhouse gas emissions".
For the purchase of electronic products and services, the Execution Order requires the GSA to provide 95% (excluding weapon systems) energy-saving (ENERGY STAR® or FEMP designated) water-efficient, bio-based, environmentally-friendly (electronic product environmental assessment tool (EPEAT)), non-ozone-free, ie non-toxic or less toxic alternatives, provided that such products and services meet the agency's performance requirements.
In January 2010, the GSA announced that it has been negotiating energy service agreements with 18 service providers to reduce energy consumption through the monitoring and use of renewable energies. The GSA also took steps to make the fleet more efficient by using the new vehicles' homes using the $ 210 million incentive fund last year. Approximately 6,500 vehicles – hybrid, flex fuel and 4-cylinder mix – are the US Postal Service, which operates the country's largest alternative fleet of vehicle fleets. In 2008, GSA 15,000 energy management software sites can save up to $ 750,000 a year.
Finally, all federal procurement incorporates greenhouse gas emissions measurement as a contractual requirement. The first step, which forms part of the 13514 Implementing Regulation, is the creation of a voluntary GHG emission reporting system for state contractors and manufacturers. Contracting Parties (and subcontractors) are able to measure and minimize their greenhouse gas emissions and provide energy-saving products and services as an important factor in winning state contracts
II. SEC's Guide to Climate Disclosures
On 2 February 2010, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued Interpretive Release No. 33-9106 to provide state-owned companies with the Agency's disclosure requirements for climate change related issues. The guidelines, which came into force immediately, apply to all public companies.
Issue does not create new disclosure requirements or modifies existing disclosure requirements but has been clarified. Specifically, the Guideline refers to four areas that may be subject to disclosure obligations under the existing SEC requirements:
(1) whether the impact of proposed or existing climate change laws and regulations in the United States and other countries may have a significant impact on the company's financial position or operation;
(2) whether international conventions or treaties on climate change will affect their business;
(3) whether the company is likely to face indirect opportunities or risks arising from legal, technological, political and scientific developments in the area of climate change (such as the company's demand for goods / services, increased competition or reputation); and
(4) that the company is affected by the potential physical impacts of climate change on its business (such as weather or supply interruptions, increased insurance, water supply and quality)
these are climate change releases in SK (Business Description, 101), Legal Proceedings (103), Management Discussion and Analysis (303) and Risk Factors (503 (c) 19659002) The SEC noted its concern that some companies were already voluntarily admitted through climate change information to third parties and ensure that similar SECs are published under SEC regulations Independent organizations such as the Climate Registry and the Carbon Disclosure Project maintain corporate climate change data while the most significant mean and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). GRI has developed the criteria set out in 1997 for the "Quality, Strength and Usefulness of Sustainability Reports" for criteria that could serve as the basis for generally accepted sustainability reporting standards. From 2008, more than a thousand companies have participated in GRI in more than 60 countries and have released corporate sustainability reports using the reporting framework.
The SEC has explicitly indicated in the guidance notes that it will focus on climate change disclosures during the review of company records. As a practical point of view, it is advisable for public companies to consider this guideline as binding; if no climatic risks have been disclosed in the past, they will have to start publishing all future disclosure procedures using these measures as a schedule
III. EPA mandatory greenhouse gas reporting rule
2010. As of 1 January, a mandatory EPA rule has come into force that requires all major greenhouse gas emitters to track greenhouse gas emissions in a new system. The new rule applies to industries or facilities that issue more than 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually, currently about 10,000 in the United States of America. Most issuers need to install new observation equipment or at least new GHG measurement protocols . Recognizing that not all organizations are able to comply by January 1, 2010, the rule allows them to use their "best available tracking methods" by April 1, 2010.
The organizations concerned must also provide a written greenhouse effect that addresses the methods used for the collection of greenhouse gases, defines the quality assurance, maintenance and improvement of greenhouse gas monitoring equipment and the role assigned to staffing for the collection of data. In addition, the rule requires the implementation of training and documentation procedures for the monitoring of greenhouse gases in accordance with the registration requirements. While facilities do not have to send their control plan to EPA, they must keep the plan in their facility and make it available when the EPA reviews it.
This new EPA regulation is just one of the international, federal, state and regional programs that have already been adopted or are currently pending to address the issue of greenhouse gas emissions. While there is still a great deal of uncertainty in climate change and sustainability compliance, it is not about whether most companies are legally obliged to monitor, report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions – only when and how.
IV. Private Sector Sustainability Programs
Despite the lack of uniform laws and regulations in business, many climate change impacts have been felt over the last few years. In October 2009, large companies, including Apple, Pacific Gas & Electric and Exelon, left the US Chamber of Commerce for a strong position on greenhouse gas emissions from US regulation. Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates recently called for climate change to become the number one priority and proposes global efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 to avoid adverse impacts of climate change
voluntarily pushes new efforts to tackle climate change in order to reduce its effects. The steady growth in energy efficiency, renewable energy investments, carbon neutrality, and technological innovation in corporate booms is in sharp contrast to climate change policy measures.
Walmart, the world's largest retailer, is perhaps the most important corporate activity of climate change and sustainability. The company has recently introduced the "Walmart Sustainability Index", which is based on its life cycle analysis and environmental impact assessment worldwide. More than 100,000 suppliers are now strongly encouraged to increase their sustainability efforts in order to maintain a successful business relationship with Walmart and become competitive on the market.
Walmart, in close cooperation with environmental protection funds ("EDF"), will cut 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from its product life cycle and supply chain by the end of 2015. This is equivalent to 3.8 million vehicles annually with annual greenhouse gas – it has a significant impact.
Due to its sheer size, Walmart is a unique position to reduce carbon emissions worldwide. His new commitments are bold because:
* Walmart's supply chain is huge, and these initiatives are widespread. The new Walmart index encourages suppliers to reduce their emissions – which they would not otherwise – so that the world's ten thousand companies could have positive energy efficiency efforts.
* Walmart highlights products that produce the most carbon dioxide emissions during their life cycle and focus on the highest value products and focus on them.
* Results are immediate and do not depend on any particular governmental body to act or any specific law or regulation that can be appealed or modified.
* In the context of sustainability indicators and other measures, it clearly states a strong message that Walmart and its international supplier network have to reduce carbon dioxide pollution
Other major global companies that are aggressive in sustainability and climate change belongs to Hewlett Packard, IBM, Ikea, Johnson & Johnson, Nike, Intel, Dell and Weyerhaeuser. Given their hundreds of thousands of workers, suppliers and customers in the world, these companies are able to be very influential in developing green business practices.
The federal government has a budget of more than half a billion dollars in purchasing budgets, rules for publishing many climatic changes and / or EPA GHG monitoring requirements, and privately owned corporate programs such as Walmart's index that actually guarantee sustainable practices, businesses and organizations of all sizes in practically every industry and will soon be faced with the need to increase sustainability efforts.
Furthermore, these developments show that sustainability goals – once only one option – will soon become mandatory both in the private and the public sphere. In addition to the requirements of legal compliance, the development of sustainability policies from a company perspective now has a competitive advantage on the market and reduces costs. Developing a Sustainability Compliance Program
Businesses should therefore thoroughly measure the legal threats and growth opportunities presented by sustainability initiatives. This assessment requires consideration of qualitative and quantitative information as both strategic issues and corporate output levels are intended to help identify the risks and opportunities associated with climate change. For example, certain issues referred to in the SEC Guidelines – for example, legal, technological, political and scientific developments – may change the competitive market by creating new business areas or threatening existing ones, hence management meetings and analysis.
Depending on the specific business area and operation of the organization, companies need to consider some or all of the following steps with a view to sustainability being part of the general culture:
environmental performance. This is a critical step towards setting goals and developing a comprehensive sustainability program.
* If your company manufactures or delivers products, evaluate the effects of product life cycles. This can be done by filling out or outsourcing the life cycle assessment (LCA). LCA is a valuable tool to help make changes to your product or service and reduce environmental impact and overall costs.
* Lease or appoint a Corporate Sustainability Officer. Federal government agencies are now empowered to accomplish this job, and competent private companies do the same. One Warning: If you designate a Sustainability Officer with few expertise in this area, you will need to provide training or advice from an experienced and trusted agency (such as the Green Specialist Institute).
* Establishing cross-border groups for the development of the sustainability programs of the organization. Data from reference data should be used to help teams identify realistic and feasible goals.
* Set initial sustainability goals that achieve immediate success, such as waste reduction and recycling. This will give the program a boost and generate savings that can lead to more difficult and long-term tasks.
* Include sustainability training for those in need of their organization as they relate to their specific job responsibilities.
* Provision of information on the Sustainability Program for Shareholders, Employees, Customers and Supplier
There are a number of systems that assist companies in assessing climate change risks and opportunities, calculating their quantitative emission information and informing them about the likelihood of potential costs regulation, and highlights potential benefits, such as profits from carbon credits and energy efficiency savings. Participation in a voluntary reporting program, such as the Climate Change Register or the CO2 emission project, is one way to get companies to know their information on their carbon dioxide emissions and to gain more insight into their operation. Companies can also use the information they collect for such programs to help them generate other outputs, including 10K data input. The Carbon Disclosure Project questionnaire or the GRI reporting framework can be used as a framework to examine which business factors are developing among the risks or opportunities of climate change.
Companies expect carbon-dioxide management to become more important, International regulatory activity will continue in 2010. In parallel with this trend, the number of products and services that help organizations measure and manage environmental impacts increases from the initial supply to industry leaders, such as SAP, IBM and Microsoft, to more sophisticated enterprise solutions. Sales of corporate carbon accounting software and sustainability consultancy services will increase as companies provide detailed, real-time information on the effects of climate change
In addition, companies can assist in sustainability compliance with environmental technologies and solutions. Eco-Patent Commons In 2008, IBM, Nokia, Pitney-Bowes and Sony joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development to make environmental patents public. The mission of the organization is to promote cooperation between the environment and the promotion of new innovations. At present, 100 green patents have been promised to the public through this venture
GreenXchange was created to enable companies to share intellectual property for green product design, packaging, manufacturing and other purposes. Nike and other companies are a web marketplace where organizations can collaborate and share intellectual property rights with the aim of developing new sustainability business models and innovations.
Similarly last year, EDF innovation exchange encourages companies to share strategies on energy, water, climate and many other issues. Like Eco-Patent Commons and GreenXchange, it hopes to publish new technologies and best practices. The EFA includes the Innovation Exchange content that has been developed by Fortune 500, including 20 years of experience with Fortune 500, Walmart, FedEx, and McDonald's.
Business consultants need to get acquainted with new corporate sustainability compliance initiatives, the world's largest companies, and tools and resources that help businesses develop their own environmental policies and procedures. Soon, legal departments are regularly asked to advise management on how to handle current and future compulsory corporate sustainability requirements that serve not only to avoid corporate responsibility, but also to improve their business and reduce environmental impacts