“Sustainable development is the development which covers the needs of today’s generation without restricting the ability of the future generations to cover their own needs”. It is the effort to combine the goals for a better quality of life, health and prosperity, with social justice and preserving the ability of the earth to support life in all its diversity. We have sustainable development when all the economic, social and environmental goals are achieved simultaneously.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT – SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
All Organisations, be they businesses or other organisations, are inseparately linked with the social whole within which they operate. The Social Responsibility of each organisation extends to all its decisions, actions and omissions and the Organisation has the responsibility to take into account their impact on society and the environment with transparency and moral principles. So, Social Responsibility is the constant commitment of organisations to behave morally and to contribute to the economic development, while at the same time upgrading the quality of life of their personnel and their families, as well as of the local and wider community, in parallel to preserving the environment.
Social Responsibility is directly linked with the concept of Sustainable Development (which is often used as an alternative meaning for Social Responsibility), as organisations should behave with social responsibility, so that they may contribute to sustainable development.
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY - PRODUCER RESPONSIBILITY
The importance of the social role of enterprises is so great that it has as a consequence gradually affected legislation. So, the necessary legal framework has been formed creating legal responsibilities for enterprises for the impact of a great part of their activities. This legal framework has been promoted more strenuously in the European Union (EU) and Canada.
An inseparable part of these initiatives is the development of legislation for Producer Responsibility, for various categories of waste in the EU and for Product Stewardship in Canada.
The legislation for Producer Responsibility places responsibility on the producers of products for the impact of their products, throughout the life of their products and even after their use by consumers. Producer Responsibility in the EU concerns material such as packaging of products, batteries, electrical and electronic appliances and vehicles at the end of their lifetime, while on a national level, many member-states have extended this Responsibility to many other products also, such as tyres, non-packaging paper, pharmaceuticals, other hazardous waste, etc.
PRODUCER RESPONSIBILITY UNERTAKING IN THE EU
Within the framework of EU policies, undertaking Producer Responsibility for packaging (as well as for other categories of waste), is mainly done through the participation of enterprises in Collective Compliance Systems. Through these Collective Systems, under the law obligant enterprises, collaborate and jointly undertake their obligations under the law, making use of joint action since Collective Systems represent them collectively and operate on behalf of many enterprises at the same time.
PRODUCER RESPONSIBILITY – GREEN DOT CYPRUS
Green Dot Cyprus is the only Collective Compliance System for packaging in the Cyprus Market. The Organisation was founded in 2005 and currently represents almost 1000 enterprises of this country. At the same time, it manages two more Collective Compliance Systems. Electrocyclosis is the Collective System for the management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and AFIS is the Collective System for household type Battery Waste. These two Collective Systems are also the only Systems of their kind in the local market for the materials they handle. All systems in Cyprus are by Law, of a non-profit nature.
Within this role, Green Dot Cyprus constitutes one of the main tools for the development of business sustainability in Cyprus. The development of recycling in Cyprus during the last decade, is to a large degree due to the effect of the operation of the Collective Systems and this is a great contribution to sustainable development in Cyprus.
Beyond, however, the promotion of recycling, which is the main role of Green Dot Cyprus, the Organisation has developed versatile action for the growth of environmental awareness in the society. This action concerns initiatives and activities which cover a variety of social and environmental issues beyond recycling (reduction, reuse, energy conservation, etc), through local as well as European programmes.