In Costa Rica, we have a set of efforts that seek to ensure that national companies contribute to a variety of sustainable practices through their businesses, one of them being: Bandera Azul Ecológica (which translates to Ecological Blue Flag).
The Meaning of Bandera Azul Ecológica
The official website of Bandera Azul Ecológica defines it as a prize given to those who through
“… effort and volunteer work have been pursuing the conservation and development of the environment in accordance with the protection of natural resources, the implementation of actions to address climate change, the search for better sanitary conditions and improvement of public health of the inhabitants of Costa Rica.”- Official definition of Bandera Azul Ecológica.
Who can opt for this award?
To define who deserves this award several categories are established. Among these categories we can mention the most common ones, educational centers and beaches.
Adobe participates in the sixth category: Bandera Azul Ecológica para el Cambio Climático (Blue Flag Ecological Climate Change). This category was created to encourage the participation of any organization, public or private, that seeks to improve in ecological matters and help to preserve the environment.
The Application Process
The report is presented once a year, it is voluntary and free. This report includes the targets to be met and implemented complying with: legal details, the fossil fuels part, water, waste treatment, electrical energy, waste management, air pollutants, sustainable purchases and others that may be related to preservation of the environment.
How does Adobe get the award?
Adobe focused on the adaptation side, defining what threats were in our geographic location and what the process would be for the issue of climate change. After a thorough analysis, it was decided to work on some important issues:
- Shortage of water: During the winter period a rainwater collection tank was installed. It has since been used to wash the cars of the vehicle fleet.
- Blades that pollute the environment: In the workshop all the sheets of silicon were removed and replaced with transparent sheets.
- Atmospheric pollutants: This was a sensitive issue as R134A refrigerant gas, which is used in air conditioning loads, is an atmospheric pollutant. This was solved by training our employees in the use of a machine that compresses the air and recycles it. Now, we’ve stopped polluting and reuse that air by loading the air conditioners of the vehicle fleet.
- Sustainable Purchasing: Specific regulations associated with the company’s sustainable purchasing policy are used. No purchase is made if you do not comply with these rules.
How does Adobe contribute to the environment through this program?
Opting for Bandera Azul requires a lot of effort and there are even more details involved. Adobe Rent a Car, for example, participates with the San Jose office and its workshop. We implement fuel saving campaigns, develop internal programs of improvements in the subject of consumption of water, electricity, fuel, and measurement of all these sources.
How long has Adobe been involved in obtaining the Bandera Azul award?
Adobe began participating in 2012. In that year they achieved 2 stars out of 5. Then the company reapplied in 2013, and reached 4 stars out of 5. Finally, in both 2014 and 2015 Adobe Rent a Car managed to reach 5 Stars.
Beyond the efforts at home…
By 2016 we reach 5 white stars. In addition, we have 5 sustainable homes where our collaborators actively participate. The Sustainable Homes Program evaluates the family and discusses how Adobe accompanies those families in the process.
Adobe has also participated with educational centers training them in the theme of ecological preservation and sustainable development.
Why is this award so important for Adobe?
For Adobe, the preservation of the environment is a priority matter and should not be overlooked. The achievements of applying and thriving for Bandera Azul are not only for the companies that obtain them, but are part of the sustainable growth of Costa Rica as a country.