Who needs environmental insurance?
The types of occupations that can have environmental liabilities include:
- Service stations
- Tyre stockists and manufacturers
- Dry cleaners
- Cement manufacturers
- Waste tips
- Coal mines
- Coal seam gas exploration… any mining
- Paint manufacturers
- Nail parlours
- Fireworks and explosives manufacturers
A company’s environmental performance is regulated through a myriad of Federal, State and local government acts, regulations, policies and statutes. Pollution Law in Australia (Zada Lipman, Gerry Bates, 2002, Lexis Nexis Butterworths) documents thousands of pollution law issues giving rise to specialist environmental law courts.
Environmental law also encompasses:
- Carbon management and reporting requirements
- Contaminated land management and remediation
- Energy production, use and abatement
- Waste, hazardous waste, waste management and minimisation
- Water security
- Air quality and purification
- Noise management and avoidance, and the list goes on …
Ignorance is no defence
Failure to understand and comply with environmental obligations may result in significant penalties to any entity that avoids (or is ignorant of…) its responsibilities. Ignorance is no defence.
Section 26 of the Corporations Act takes away the “no knowledge” rule as defence and the International Accounting Standards Board appeals to entities to transparently account for their environmental liabilities. So now is the time to find out how insurance can work to protect our environment and create business sustainability.