The importance of the company Code of Ethics to protect the environment

Mariapaola Rovetta
Lawyer

The company Code of Ethics governs many aspects of company life. The rules included in it have the purpose of guaranteeing values ??such as equality, fairness, confidentiality, protection of the person, honesty, impartiality, transparency, values ??which employees can recognise themselves.

HR is responsible and also has the task of verifying that rules are respected. To date, environmental protection must also be included as an important aspect. On 8 February 2022 the parliament, on the basis of the rules that provide for the possibility of a constitutional reform without the need to resort to the referendum, included among the constitutionally guaranteed rights the protection of the environment and animals, in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Articles 9 and 41 of the Constitutional Charter have been modified. Art. 9 provides that the Republic promotes the development of cultural, scientific and technical research and now added to this, the sentence: protection of the environment, biodiversity and ecosystems in the interest of future generations. In Article 41 on the other hand, which provides that economic initiative is free with the limit that it cannot be carried out in contrast with social utility or in a way that could damage security, freedom, human dignity, has added the phrase: and which cannot harm health and the environment. Protection of the environment and animals are therefore constitutionally guaranteed rights. And that is why companies will have a fundamental role, because the commitment must be on everyone’s part, starting from the workplace. This is in order to contribute to the well-being of the community.

Even in summer 2021 the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy and Climate had already closed with the communiqué signed for the first time jointly, stating that to avoid catastrophe we must act immediately. However, the will must be on everyone’s part as there is no more time. The Ministry of Ecological Transition introduced the guidelines for the Plastic Free campaign, which affirmed the importance of reducing the environmental impact of the workplace, which is why it is necessary to educate respect for the environment through constant awareness-raising.

Scientific studies are continuing to demonstrate how the consequences of climate change impact our daily lives with catastrophic repercussions for our economy and, therefore, also for our social order. Fighting against climate change means fighting against a climatic situation that has shattered the balance that had formed between the various components of the planet, including the human one.

It is necessary to keep this balance under control. Among the various policies developed by the UN, the most important being the 2030 Agenda, there is another that concerns us all. Africa is the continent least responsible for CO2 emissions, but the one that is the first to be affected. A natural catastrophic event in Africa, in a community without economic support from the state, generates illegality, a chain of events that ends up affecting the human rights not only of that community but of all those around the world. The people of that community are forced into a poverty trap, a situation in which there is no incentive either in economic terms or in terms of social benefits. People find themselves unable to send their children to school and no longer able to guarantee them a bowl of rice a day. These people are those who have no choice but to abandon their lands, lacking the constructive and healthy motivation that accompanies migrants, those who move with the aim of improving the quality of their life, a structural phenomenon that produces the result of also improving the life of the countries of destination, bringing workforce and knowledge. People forced to flee their lands are vulnerable and defenceless and run the frequent risk of being recruited by terrorist cells and becoming part of petty crime once they arrive in host countries. The dramatic impact caused by said consequentiality of events is therefore not in Africa, it is in the countries where these people go. That is why the problem concerns us.

In March, the Water Forum was held in Dakar, Senegal, where it addressed the challenges that the continent is facing, challenges which its fate and those of the rest of the planet depend on to have peace and stability. Each community must protect its environment to safeguard future generations. We can stay below the 2 degrees threshold which is the minimum for the protection of the planet only if everyone participates.

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