Environmental Due Diligence and Compliance Assessments
Dr. Despina Tzoulaki
During the last decade we have experienced a notable increase in EU-driven environmental legislation and the activity of environmental inspectorates at national or regional level, with implications affecting both the financial bottom-line as well as the reputation of companies. The issue is of particular importance in areas characterized as pollution hot-spots or in areas where public concerns are considerable.
Industrial plants or facilities of the services sector need to make sure that they comply with the ever increasing net of environmental (or health and safety) legislation and to demonstrate compliance as part of their corporate responsibility strategy. EXERGIA undertakes EHS inspections focusing on compliance assessment, that supports companies identifying potential breaches of legislation or areas of improvement and thus facilitate forward planning and eliminate potential issues during authorities’ inspections. According to article 20 of Law 4014/2011 (A’ 209), all projects and activities that may have significant environmental impacts, i.e. those classified in category A ́ under the environmental licensing procedure, are included in the National Environmental Inspections Action Plan (2017- 2021) and are inspected at specific intervals for compliance with environmental legislation according to the Annual Regular Inspection Plans.
Increasingly often, EXERGIA is also called upon to offer environmental or health & safety (EHS) auditing services to multinational firms operating in Greece, as part of due diligence exercises involved in property acquisitions, changes of ownership and public utilities privatization. EXERGIA is leader in this market segment in Greece, and its staff has participated in the environmental auditing of the Greek Electricity Utility, Greek oil refineries, cable and telecommunication material manufacturers, food and beverage plants, lubricants processing plants, car-servicing facilities, etc.
In most of these cases, EXERGIA works in partnership or supports the activities in Greece of international consultancies, such as URS, ERM, WS Atkins, Environ, Enviros, Golder Associates, WSP Environmental, COWI, etc.