The environment is becoming a more important factor for entrepreneurs operating internationally. You may be faced with risks such as higher costs, reputational damage and a poor relationship with local communities. Fortunately, there are not only risks but also opportunities.
We expect Dutch business to lead the way in sustainable business practices. To help you achieve this, follow the guidelines and standards below:
- The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on responsible business conduct. For more information about the OECD Guidelines on the Environment, see the National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines.
- Follow the IFC Performance Standards for projects associated with environmental risks:
- Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention (Performance standard 3);
- Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources (Performance standard 6).
The effects of following these guidelines for your business depend on, amongst others:
- the type of activity;
- the risk in the specified country or sector; and
- ype of support that you receive from us.
First, you assess the potential environmental risks and opportunities. You can manage the identified risks by setting up an environmental management system tailored to the risks and possibilities of the business.
Also, you may carry out an environmental impact analysis or a life cycle analysis (LCA). An LCA gives you an idea of the total environmental impact of a product at every stage. A good LCA score can also give you an important competitive advantage over other suppliers, materials or products.
For more information, contact our experts.
Sustainable Development Goals and the environment
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focus on climate and environmental changes. The SDGs and the OECD Guidelines are an important part of the Dutch policy on foreign trade and development cooperation (PDF). The environment is an essential part of our policy. So, we make funds available to achieve SDGs on climate and environmental changes.
For programmes and funds in the environmental sector, see our Subsidy Guide.
Tools and links
These tools will help you create good environment conditions:
- ITC's Standards Map on the applicable environmental standards in various countries and sectors.
- ISO140001 and EMAS are examples of environmental management systems that give insight into the impact of your activities on the environment.
- A Guide to Biodiversity for the Private Sector from the IFC helps to raise awareness among businesses in emerging markets of the impact of their business processes on biodiversity.
- Various sectors have drawn up IRBC agreements to solve problems in the supply chain. The environment is an important aspect for many sectors, including natural stone, clothing and textile, and forestry management.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs