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How to avoid heavy fines for such simple "crimes" as not knowing the rules relating to environmental law

This article indicates how important it is for your company to keep up to date with the rapid changes in environmental law, to enable you to avoid heavy fines and protect your reputation.

environment law, environmental law

Is your company aware of the heavy fines and penalties that can be imposed on your organization for infringing environmental laws and regulations? Many companies are not.

It's important to know that your organization can be fined for many different kinds of infringement, not just for incidents of pollution. Examples are:

- Failure to register, for example, with the appropriate regulatory agency or compliance scheme.

- Failure to report specific incidents, such as environmental infringements and impacts

- Failure to comply with the law, for example, regulations relating to pollution prevention and control, waste packaging requirements, emission levels, countryside and habitats protection, and planning and building regulations.

- Failure to keep proper records, such as those related to disposal of hazardous waste materials, waste management licenses, and local air pollution control.

- Lack of certification, including water discharge consents, IPPC Permits, and certificates of competence.

- Provision of false information

- All of these breaches of the environmental regulations can result in your organization being heavily fined. It's not just the fine, which can result in a substantial financial penalty, it's also the damaging publicity associated with the infringement that is so important for your corporate reputation.

In today's world, everything from refrigerator disposal to vehicle emissions, through river water quality, the construction of incinerators, the use of packaging, energy, waste and water infrastructure, pollution abatement, ownership and development of contaminated land, production of chemicals and policy on climate change, is subject to legislation.

International Treaties such as Kyoto, the Montreal Protocol on ozone depleting substances, WTO trade rounds and UN Conventions and Declarations such as the Johannesburg summit on sustainable development in 2002, all require Governments to take action at national level by agreed deadlines. Even companies that don't consider themselves directly affected by much of this, may find that their clients or suppliers are faced with new regulatory requirements.

Each year, thousands of companies are prosecuted and fined for environmental offences, and there is pressure every year for the level of penalties to increase, especially for repeat offenders.

The rules and regulations are changing all the time and you need to be certain that you are fully informed about new proposals long before they are introduced.

Just remember, it's not just incidents of pollution that can lead to heavy fines. Failure to register, failure to report, failure to comply, failure to keep proper records, lack of certification offences, provision of false information - these are all treated as serious breaches of environmental law.

It's no good pleading ignorance of the law - that's no defence.

You need an early warning system, which ensures that you are always well informed about your responsibilities.

 

How To Thrive in a Foreign Environment

Many people really love the thought of taking the chance and living in a foreign country. It sounds so dreamy and romantic. But the reality for many expats is that very shortly after arrival in their new home, they find that there are often harsh realities to face about living abroad.

expat, expatriate, life coaching

Many people really love the thought of taking the chance and living in a foreign country. It sounds so dreamy and romantic. But the reality for many expats is that very shortly after arrival in their new home, they find that there are often harsh realities to face about living abroad. Dreamy visions of spending the days picking tropical fruits, lazing on the beach, growing a lush garden and leisurely wandering through the market places can be replaced with realities such as no hot water, dirt roads, electricity shortages, no English or very little among many other factors. Ones' hopes of getting online as soon as you arrive could be quickly dashed. How frustrating it is when you pop down to the local store for some needed necessities and you are met with a sign that reads, "Open Mon, Wed and Fri". The fact is that daily life abroad can be quite tough initially. Stress can take its charge both physically and emotionally.

Yes, this may sound quite depressing, but don't let it get you down. If you have your "toolbox" packed, the living abroad experience can be the best time of your life. In fact it could change your life as a whole for the better. The key to this outcome is finding a way to manage your day-to-day life. As an expatriate you need to find ways to free yourself of the difficulties you will inevitably encounter and thrive no matter what the conditions or perceived obstacles are.

The "toolbox" carries the following concepts which when applied will help to make your living abroad experience an adventure and not a disaster.

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Adjust: Firstly we need to learn how to adjust. Adapt yourself to your new surroundings and the new way of life. Discover the culture for yourself. Accustom, reconcile and reorganize your life to fit in with your new surroundings.
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Flexible: Always be flexible. Different countries perform functions and activities in different ways and at a different pace. Flexibility and understanding will save you a lot of stress and you will get along so much better.
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Observe: Pay attention and observe! This is crucial to making it in a new land. Read up and become knowledgeable on your subject. Cultural books and tourist guides very often hold important information on a new culture, but I have to say that some of the best ways to learn are by observing firsthand. Watch how people greet one another. Make note of what is considered as appropriate behavior and what is not. This applies to language too. Keep your eyes open at all times.
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Attitude: Be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Find ways to do things. Have a positive and active attitude. I believe that attitude accounts for the success or failure of most things in life, including living abroad. Attitude will make the difference between a happy or disgruntled expat.
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Experience: Find ways to get involved. Do not be an observer of your experience. Be the experience! Take full advantage of all the new and wonderful activities and opportunities to learn new things. Try the new foods, go exploring, sign up for Spanish classes or join the taekwondo club.
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Support: Find people who are in a similar situation to you. Form a group and support each other. Once the honeymoon phase and excitement of moving to a new country passes and the realities of living abroad set in you will need people who you can count on to help you make this a truly memorable experience.

Quote of the week

"Success is simple. Do what's right, the right way, at the right time." Arnold H. Glasgow.
Powerful action plan for the week

How would your life be different if you applied the concepts of the toolbox to your to your life everyday? Try it for one week and make note of the outcome.

 

How To Do Your Bit To Protect The Environment

Climate change and the environment is top of the global agenda today as the need to cut down on carbon emissions becomes increasingly apparent. As world leaders negotiate to come up with a plan to halt climate change and cut down on emissions, we can also play our part.

solar energy, greenhouse gas

Climate change and the environment is top of the global agenda today as the need to cut down on carbon emissions becomes increasingly apparent. As world leaders negotiate to come up with a plan to halt climate change and cut down on emissions, we can also play our part.

Reducing the amount of energy we use in our home, in our workplace and in our cars can have a significant affect on emissions. Not only that, it can save you money too. If everyone makes an effort in their lives, it can make a huge difference on a global scale. Here is some advice on how you can cut down on your energy usage.

In the home

* Switch to energy-saving light bulbs. They cost slightly more, but save up to ten times their price over their lifetime.
* When you are boiling water, or heating anything, only boil the amount you need. You do not need a kettle full of boiling water for one cup of tea.
* Switch off appliances when you are not using them to save money and energy. TVs, videos, stereos and computers left on standby can use use a lot of energy.
* Recycle everything that you can. We throw away our own weight in rubbish every month, but bottles, cans, paper, card, plastic and aluminium can all be reused or recycled which saves energy. For example, it takes the same amount of energy to make 20 cans from recycled material as it takes to make one can from scratch. Recycling will also save you money on refuse charges.
* If you live in a sunny area you could potentially meet all your energy means using solar panels.
* Turning down your thermostat by just three degrees will save you 10 per cent in energy costs. Also, make sure that your home is well insulated so that it keeps the heat in.
* When washing clothes and dishes make sure the appliances are full. Also, try using lukewarm water.
* Keep the lid on pots and pans when you are cooking.

In the office

* Where at all possible, store all documents in digital format on your computer or another storage device. If you must print something, use both sides of the page.
* There is no need to fly half way around the world for a meeting. Online audio and video conferencing has effectively cut out the need for face to face meetings and conferences. The amount of energy that can potentially be saved here is huge.
* Turn your computer off completely or at least put it to sleep when you are not using it. Computers still use a lot of energy when they are on screensaver mode.

In the car

* For shorter journeys, leave the car at home and use a bike instead. Bikes are a healthy, quick and enjoyable way to get around, and a great way to avoid congestion if you live in a big city.
* Experiment with car pooling to get to and from work. It will save you money and could get you to work faster.
* Join the hybrid revolution. Do you really need that gas guzzling SUV? Buy a hybrid and use a fraction of the energy for your journeys.
* Public transport is far more energy efficient than driving. Also, remember that air travel is a major polluter so use ground transport wherever possible.

In the shops

* Do not accept plastic bags from shops. Always bring your own reusable bags.
* Try to buy organic food that is grown locally. Organic food is farmed less intensively and usually requires less energy to produce. In addition, the fact that it is grown locally means a reduction in transport costs.
* Try to eat less meat. Livestock are a major source of greenhouse gases.

Water

While water isn't strictly energy, it is a finite resource that we need to preserve and take care of. Here are some tips on how to cut down on your water usage:

* Always use the shower instead of the bath.
* Never leave the tap running while brushing your teeth.
* Only use the dishwasher or washing machine with a full load.
* Try to install a system to use your waste water run-off to keep your garden watered. This will also encourage you to use non-harmful soaps and washing powders.
* Water your garden early in the morning or just before sunset. This allows the water to be absorbed into the ground instead of evaporating in the hot sun if you water during the day.
* Water butts or large water containers are a good idea for the garden. Situate them under the edges of your roof so they receive run-off when it rains.

These are just a few of the simple, yet effective, ways that you can help cut down on energy usage and reduce your carbon footprint. Even if we all follow just a few of these steps it will make a big difference and save us money as well.




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