Europcar’s Reason for Defining Policies
At Europcar we are fully aware that the commitment of a sustainable company entails the responsibility of undertaking a productive management (product development, definition of prices, client identification, advertisement strategy, and administrative and operational work) that lies within sustainable guidelines, in order to achieve its objectives without detriment to the ecosystem, while protecting the natural and cultural heritage. To this end, it is of paramount importance to establish policies that serve as guiding principles for our corporate activities. The firm’s policies are general guidelines or decision criteria for the selection of strategic options. They constitute principles set forth to steer our thinking and actions towards the achievement of objectives related to sustainability.
This document stipulates what can and must be done when faced with daily activities conducted in the company. The idea is to have clearly defined policies that will enable staff to create comprehensive projects and programs, in an orderly manner, that merge company operations with sustainability aspects.
Our policies express specific objectives and are consistent with internal regulations. With this in mind, not only have we managed to foster a series of habits within the company, but have also contributed to the development of an appropriate attitude towards sustainable programs.
Through its policies, Europcar is showcasing the importance that it awards the environment, its willingness to mitigate any potential negative environmental impact, while facilitating a document to guide its steps with regards to environmental policies.
Sustainable Policies Proposed for Europcar
The general policies consist of a series of provisions aimed at governing and guaranteeing a sustainable tourist development, projected to the future, and of mandatory observance by the entire organization.
The general objective of the Environmental Policies is to promote and further best practice guidelines for the internal processes, thus contributing actively to the development of sustainable tourism.
- Europcar’s general operations are conducted by contributing in an effective, constructive and comprehensive manner to the generation of economic benefits for the entire organization (partners and employees), while protecting the environment and respecting the Costa Rican culture and idiosyncrasy.
- Sustainability shall be the fundamental basis for the worldwide operation of Europcar, becoming an inherent feature of the services provided.
- The training of our staff shall always promote a clear awareness and sense of responsibility towards the environment that is reflected in their work performance.
- Saving water and electricity, along with recycling, shall be the fundamental pillars for the compliance of our commitment as a responsible organization. In this sense, Europcar makes a commitment to:
- Use electricity rationally by implementing savings practices.
- void waste and contamination of water resources in order to contribute to its conservation.
- Undertake an appropriate management of residues by means of reducing, reusing and recycling guidelines
- As a complementary part to environmental management, Europcar shall proceed to:
- Contribute to the conservation of the country’s forestry resources.
- Contribute to the decrease of air pollution:
- All vehicles used in its operations must comply with the country’s vehicle technical inspection (RTV, by its Spanish acronym).
- All vehicles must have the vehicle circulation permit up to date.
- Preferably collaborate with some program to mitigate any negative environmental impact.
- Gradually comply with the pertinent national environmental legislation (waste water discharge and reutilization, hazardous waste, agrochemical use, to name a few).
- Provide appropriate health and safety conditions for the benefit of our clients, employees, suppliers and communities in general.
- Europcar declares its commitment to being a “smoke-free tour operator,” and strictly forbids smoking in its transportation vehicles and promotes a healthy, clean and comfortable environment for its clients and visitors.
- Our drivers must fully comply with the provisions set forth in the Efficient and Defensive Driver’s Manual.
- We shall strongly oppose any type of tourist activity that threatens public order and the moral character that depicts Costa Ricans, or endangers the physical and moral integrity of its employees, clients, visitors and neighbors, as well as social impairment.
- We shall foster a tourism development based on ethics, quality and sustainability, for which purpose Europcar shall exert its influence on the tourism, political and entrepreneurial sectors, which shall translate in equal benefits for the company, employees, the environment and the community.
- All domestic and international advertising shall be conducted according to specific plans to be designed based on the area’s involvement, seeking mutual benefits in terms of image promotion and responding to the tourism vision and objectives of the region as a whole.
- We shall showcase, through our advertising actions, the cultures, traditions and customs of our different regions, while defending its integrity, respecting its environment, and transmitting the importance of enjoying the cultural wealth of our country, without generating a negative impact that may threaten its inhabitants and its culture.
Environmental Criteria for Europcar’s Purchases
- Reduction in emissions to the air and water.
- Eradication/reduction of hazardous chemical substances.
- Use of environmentally-friendly products.
- Use of recycled materials.
- Use of recyclable materials.
- Less electricity consumption.
- Generation of less waste materials in general.
- Adequate management of the waste materials generated.
- Less packaging.
- A more effective logistics at delivery.
- Maximization of items’ useful life.
- Guarantee the duration, repair and spare parts.
- Facility for repairs.
- More efficient machinery.
- Implementation of environmental management systems.
- We shall give preference to national products, thus supporting our country’s entrepreneurs.
Europcar’s Purchasing Policy
- Europcar’s Sustainable Management Program focuses on the responsible use of products and services involved in our daily work activities.
- We shall give priority to the use of recycled, recyclable, biodegradable and/or reusable products.
- We shall avoid materials that are detrimental to the ozone layer: aerosols and Styrofoam.
- We shall give priority to organic products, to the extent possible.
- In the selection of suppliers, Europcar shall give preference to top-quality national and local
- companies, as a part of a corporate social responsibility strategy that allows the inclusion of neighboring communities in benefit of regional economy.
Administrative and Operational Staff Policies
- We shall educate all our staff and associates on the scope of the Sustainability Policies, Code of Conduct, and Law 7600, all in force, to encourage them to put them in practice according to their job functions.
- Our company firmly opposes sexual exploitation of children, sexual harassment, child prostitution, and use of illegal substances, so we encourage reporting any action that promotes these.
- Europcar’s personnel and associates must be an ongoing example of respect for the different cultures, including local cultures.
- We shall strive to ensure that our personnel and associates observe and comply with the manuals and procedures set forth on environmental, social and operational matters of the company.
What Does the Certificate of Sustainable Tourism Involve?
The Certificate of Sustainable Tourism (CST) is a program launched by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT, by its Spanish acronym), designed to categorize and differentiate tourism companies according to the degree of proximity to a sustainability model with regard to the management of their natural, cultural and social resources.
The resulting prize is awarded by the National Accreditation Committee with headquarters in Costa Rica. Following are the categories subject to evaluation:
- 1. Physical-Biological Environment
It evaluates the interaction between the companies and their surrounding natural environment, and is interested in the implementation of sustainability policies and programs, environmental protection, among other topics.
- 2. Service Facilities
It evaluates aspects related to the company’s internal systems and processes, regarding the management of waste materials and the use of technology for saving electricity and water.
- 3. Clients
It evaluates the actions undertaken by management to invite the clients to participate in the implementation of their corporate sustainability policies.
- 4. Socio-Economic Environment
It evaluates the identification and interaction of the establishment with the neighboring communities, studying, for example, the degree with which tourism companies respond to the growth and development of the region, by means of job generation or the achievement of benefits that help the community.
The CST—deemed one of the most stringent and demanding programs worldwide—verifies sustainability levels among hotels and tourism operators, and rates the participating organizations from levels one to five.
Our clients visiting Costa Rica may be certain that their money is well spent in a manner that makes a positive contribution, both environmentally and socially.