TO REWARD BUSINESSES WITH STRONG ENVIRONMENTAL TRACK RECORDS
A new initiative designed to reward businesses
that show environmental leadership will offer incentives
to companies that achieve environmental performance targets
has been announced by Ontario, Canada Environment Minister
"Right now there are too few reasons
for a company to take the initiative and do more than
just meet our regulations," said Witmer. "Co-operative agreements show that we are serious
about increasing private sector participation in environmental
The proposed "co-operative agreements"
would recognize businesses' environmental leadership by
offering streamlined paperwork, an accelerated approvals
process and public recognition. The aim would be to encourage
businesses to go above and beyond existing environmental
Co-operative agreements are one of the
best practices identified in the Managing the Environment
report, released by the Canadian government in 2001. Three
environmental groups have indicated their support for
the government's introduction of cooperative agreements:
Friends of the Earth, Environmental Defence
and Pollution Probe.
"The Ministry of the Environment
is making important strides to improve environmental initiatives
in Ontario," said Burkhard Mausberg, Executive Director,
Environmental Defence Canada;
Ken Ogilvie, Executive Director,
Pollution Probe; and, Beatrice Olivastri,
Chief Executive Officer, Friends of the Earth Canada,
in a letter to the ministry. "The resources that
will be made available by the MOE to help (environmental
groups) implement agreements also demonstrates your commitment
to work towards an improved environment."
The Canadian government has posted a
model cooperative agreement with the Automotive Parts
Manufacturers Association (APMA) on the Ministry of the
Environment's Environmental Registry (see http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/envision/env_reg/er/registry.htm).
The agreement is open for a 90-day public comment period.
Under such an agreement, individual facilities in the
association could apply to take part, agreeing to meet
pre-determined targets that go beyond regulatory requirements.
In exchange, the Ministry of the Environment would provide
them with additional technical assistance and other incentives.
Facilities that sign-on must produce
annual reports that track their progress, and communicate
openly about their participation and steps forward. Facilities
that fail to meet the terms of the agreement may be withdrawn
from the program and a number of additional consequences