The University of Costa Rica (UCR) is collaborating with technical advice to the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Oceans (MINAEM) to grant recognition through the Environmental Recognition System (SIREA), to participating companies, starting next December.
SIREA is a formal system that attempts to integrate all existing awards of the country in this area into a single program.
The presentation of the program was made at a special event held on Monday, June 24 in the auditorium of the National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models (LANAMME) at UCR, with the participation of the Minister of Energy and Environmental Management, Maria Guzman Ortiz and rector of the UCR, Dr. Henning Jensen Pennington.
From June 24 to July 24, enrollment will be open for companies and organizations wishing to be assessed on their management practices or environmentally friendly production. Registration forms can be found at www.minae.go.cr or www.sirea.ucr.ac.cr
Among the awards that will be delivered are cleaner production practices for companies or organizations that have implemented a comprehensive preventive environmental strategy for processes, products and services in order to reduce risks to humans and the environment.
Also, there will be recognition in eco-efficiency in the industrial field and agricultural enterprises that apply a continuous process that maximizes the productivity of resources, minimizing waste and emissions and generating added value. Another recognition will be granted for social responsibility to organizations that holistically incorporate into their performance a set of social, environmental and economic principles, which are met in full and are an integral part of their management.
An award in environmental entrepreneurship will also be granted. This will focus on companies that designed their strategies to further improve the environment and quality of life of specific populations at a household, community, or municipality level through documented actions and another for companies that meet established standards of carbon neutrality.
In the words of the Minister, SIREA was created by Executive Order No. 37109 of MINAEM, in order to recognize those environmental initiatives that have caused a significant change and contribute to a national strategy for long term sustainability.
He said the idea is to stimulate the economic eco-competitiveness of the country, and stop seeing environmental protection as an expense and start seeing it as a long-term investment.
The Rector, meanwhile, said that UCR offers its experience and knowledge in this area, convinced that protecting the environment means protecting ourselves. “We are pleased to be part of this project, whose goal is to promote work practices to achieve sustainable management, conservation, restoration and protection of natural resources and the environment,” he said.
Jensen believes it is necessary to reflect on the unresolved challenges of the environmental crisis in the world and an ethical duty to identify generational opportunities and possibilities to influence the direction of our community. He said it is necessary to identify and encourage measures that enable green economy models that are alternatives to achieve a real economic and social growth that is also sustainable.
“That’s the type of development to which we aspire in Costa Rica, a development in which growth depends on investments that reduce carbon emissions and waste, environmental risk and ecological damage,” he added.