The Environment, Energy and Telecommunications Ministry (MINAET) has announced this year s recipients of the Ecological Blue Flag awards for businesses.
The certifications were awarded to 28 private businesses and public institutions.
The Ecological Blue Flag program initially awarded blue flags to beaches where environmental requirements were met, such as water quality standards. That program has since expanded to include businesses, communities, schools and protected areas, such as private nature reserves.
This business Blue Flag awards are split into various categories: Blue Flag A, Blue Flag AA, Sello Verde (Green Seal) and Amigos del Ambiente (Friends of the Environment).
Blue Flag A requirements include simply meeting environmental and labor regulations. Ten businesses received this award, including several National Power and Light Company (CNFL) utilities, two National Oil Refinery (RECOPE) locations, a PIPASA chicken plant, two CEMEX cement plants and the Rainforest Aerial Tram, among others.
Blue Flag AA criteria, according to MINAET, include meeting regulations and having initiated the process of establishing an Environmental Management System, which lays out environmental policies and goals. Eight companies received this distinction, including six more electric utilities, the fruit company Hortifruti and the agro-chemical company Inquisa.
The Sello Verde, which demands even more environmental performance, was awarded to 10 companies, including Coca-Cola, egg producer DEACO, a Granja Avícola Ricura chicken farm, an Industrias Cárnicas Integradas meat plant, the Platanera Rio Sixaola banana farm, and others.
The Amigos del Ambiente category is reserved for businesses that have kept their Sello Verde for at least four consecutive years and have improved their environmental standards. No businesses earned this award this year.