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Your business and the environment

This information is provided by:Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVKNetherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVKNederlandse versie

Every company has to deal with environmental regulations. There are rules for the noise level of your company, for the processing of waste, and for the use and generation of energy. In addition, there are also rules to ensure that soil, air, and water are not polluted. That means that sometimes you will have to take measures to comply with the rules, such as laying a liquid-tight floor, applying sound-insulating measures, or separating different types of waste.

General environmental rules

Most entrepreneurs hardly burden the environment. They adhere to the general environmental rules from the Activities Decree. Your business activities determine to which category your company belongs and which rules you must adhere to. Use the Activities Decree Internet Module (in Dutch) to find out your category and regulations.

Provincial Rules

Each province has a Provincial Environmental Act (Provinciale Milieuverordening, PMV, in Dutch). In the PMV, provinces include extra rules for certain environmental problems.

What should you pay attention to?

The following matters are related to (environmental) legislation:

  • A company may not produce too much noise. As an entrepreneur, you must prevent noise pollution.
  • Special rules apply to company waste. These relate to the separation, collection, and registration of waste.
  • You are obliged to keep the environment around your business premises clean. This applies to waste that comes from your company, within a radius of 25 metres.
  • As a producer or importer, do you market packaged products and packaging in the Netherlands? Then you are responsible for the management of the packaging up to and including the waste phase.

Sustainable business operations

Connected with the environment are sustainable business operations. Do you operate sustainably or do you have plans to do so? There are various subsidies available for energy and the environment.

Nature regulations

Is your company located near a nature reserve? The regulations in the field of nature protection are important for your business location. The rules that apply can affect your activities and vice versa. If your business activities might affect the nature reserve, you need a nature conservation permit

Natura 2000

As a result of European regulations, a large number of areas in the Netherlands have been designated as Natura 2000 areas. There is a good chance that there might also be a Natura 2000 area near your business location. The birds, animals, plants, or habitats that are protected in the Natura 2000 area may restrict activities in the surroundings. This means that restrictions may apply to access, activities, and business locations in and immediately adjacent to those areas. In general, existing activities are allowed. There may be licensing and research obligations for expansion of these activities and/or new activities. If that is the case, you need to demonstrate that activities have ‘no significant effect’ on the natural values of the Natura 2000 area. The Natura 2000 regulations allow for compensation. This procedure is highly extensive, complicated, and expensive. In practice, this is often difficult for a (small) company. If you have to deal with Natura 2000 regulations, it is advisable to call in an expert.

Any questions?

or ask advice from other entrepreneurs on higherlevel.nl (partly available in English).

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