ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND COMPLIANCE:
Environmental management is a commitment assumed by CRESUD, which is declared through its Environmental Policy, and manifests itself in everyday management.
Environmental management is an assumed commitment that is declared through our Environmental Policy and that is demonstrated in daily management. The efficient use of resources, as well as the proper management of the waste generated in our activities, are extremely important in our day to day. Accordingly, we carry out various tasks to guarantee proper management1 and comply with all current legal provisions on environmental matters.
Every year, we follow the environmental calendar following the slogans designated by the United Nations for World Environment Day, Earth Day, Water Day and Recycling Day, promoting everybody’s participation. The Environment area works on training and environmental awareness of our personnel and suppliers, on the outstanding issues of the year due to their particular interest and the usual topics of environmental management, in search of continuous improvement.
COMPLIANCE WITH APPLICABLE ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS
The development of our agribusiness activities is regulated by a group of national, provincial and municipal laws and regulations, which promote environmental protection and which CRESUD strictly complies with in the different provinces in which it operates and at the national level.
CONSTITUTION OF THE ARGENTINE NATION: Section 41 of the Constitution of the Argentine Nation, as amended in 1994, establishes that all inhabitants of Argentina have the right to a healthy and balanced environment, suitable for human development, and the obligation to preserve it. Environmental damage imposes the main obligation to repair it in accordance with the applicable regulations. The authorities must protect this right, the rational use of natural resources, the preservation of natural and cultural heritage and biodiversity, and shall provide for environmental information and education. The National Government shall establish minimum standards for environmental protection, and the Provincial and Municipal Governments shall set specific standards and the corresponding regulations.
GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW: On November 6, 2002, the Argentine Congress enacted Law 25,675. This law regulates the minimum standards to achieve a sustainable environment and the preservation and protection of biodiversity and establishes the goals of environmental policy. It also establishes the activities that will be subject to environmental impact analysis procedures and the requirements that will be demanded from them, as well as the duties and obligations that will be triggered by any damage to the environment, and the obligation to restore it to its former condition or, if this is not possible, the payment of the corresponding compensation. The Law also promotes environmental education and establishes certain minimum obligations that must be complied with by human and legal persons.
FOREST LAW: On November 28, 2007, the National Congress approved the law known as the Forest Law, which establishes minimum conservation budgets for native forests and incorporates minimum provincial expenditures to promote the protection, restitution, conservation and sustainable use of native forests. The Forest Law prevents owners of land, including native forests, from deforesting or converting forested areas into non-forested land for other commercial uses, without the prior permission of each local government granting such permission and requires the preparation, assessment and approval of an environmental impact report. In addition, it establishes that each province must adopt its own legislation and regional management map within one year. During the time required for such provincial implementation, no new land clearing will be authorized. It also establishes a national policy for the sustainable use of native forests and incorporates the recognition of native communities, which is intended to provide preferential use rights to aboriginal and agricultural communities living near such forest. In this case, the relevant provincial authority may not grant permits without formal public hearings and the written consent of such communities. As a consequence of non-compliance with regulations, we may be subject to criminal and administrative sanctions, in addition to being obliged to remediate the environment and indemnify third parties for possible damages caused by non-compliance with such laws and regulations. According to the Criminal Code, anyone (including directors, officers and managers of companies) who commits an offense against public health, such as poisoning or adulterating in a dangerous manner water, food or medicines intended for public use and selling products that are dangerous to health, without the corresponding warning, may be subject to a fine, imprisonment or both. Some courts have applied these provisions of the Criminal Code to punish the discharge of substances hazardous to human health. At the administrative level, sanctions range from warnings and fines to total or partial suspension of activities, which may include the revocation or cancellation of tax benefits, as well as the cancellation or interruption of credit lines granted by state banks, in addition to the prohibition to enter into contracts with public authorities. Argentina’s forestry legislation prohibits the devastation of forests and forest land, as well as the irrational use of forest products. Landowners, tenants and owners of natural forests require authorization from the competent forestry authority for the cultivation of forest land. The legislation also promotes the creation and conservation of natural forests on properties used for agriculture and livestock production.
CNV REGULATIONS: In addition to the legislation in force, the rules of the National Securities Commission establish that publicly traded companies whose corporate purpose includes activities considered hazardous to the environment must keep shareholders, investors and the public in general informed about compliance with environmental regulations in force and the risks inherent to such activities, in order to reasonably weigh such risk.
ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AT CRESUD
At regulatory compliance requires significant management time; to this end, we use a tool called Scan Ambiental to identify the legislation applicable to the organization. This tool comprises several matrices, which group together national, provincial and municipal environmental legislation. It establishes the specific requirements of each farm according to its location. In addition, it has an alert system, identifying the next due dates, the obligations to be fulfilled and the monthly reports with the update of the regulations.
We seek to apply the best agricultural practices in our farms through the responsible use of natural resources and the most modern technologies, with the aim of achieving quality certifications (such as the case of Agroriego farm, in the province of San Luis, which has been consecutively certified for eleven years to the ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard). The Company also achieved certification, working together with its contractors, to the ISO 14,130 standard for implementing Good Agricultural Practices.