Environmental and Social Certifications

Blue Flag Ecological Program

logo bandera azul

The Blue Flag Ecological Program is an accolade that is issued annually; it awards efforts and voluntary work towards that strives for conservation and development in conjunction with the protection of natural resources, the implementation of actions to confront climate change, the search for better sanitary hygienic conditions, and the improvement of the public health of the inhabitants of Costa Rica.

The BFEP awards a blue flag to the participating winners who demonstrate their commitment to community work. This program involves a process of improvement, and therefore an organization may lose the flag if it doesn't meet the requirements the following year.


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  (506) 2278 9012

  (506) 2279 5118

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Carbon Neutrality Certification

carbono neutral

In 2012 the country made the Carbon Neutral Country Program official through MINAE Agreement 36-2012; it is a governmental initiative lead by the Climate Change Department of the Ministry of the Environment and Energy to formalize the procedures related to the reporting of inventories of greenhouse gases, through the application of the voluntary national regulation INTE -12-01-06:2011, "The Regulation to Demonstrate Carbon Neutrality," and the defining of the rules within the carbon neutrality process.

Through the Carbon Neutral Country Program, Costa Rica wishes to develop the national abilities of its organizations to ensure the consistency and quality of the information of their inventories and provide the mechanisms to measure, report, and verify it, for both consumers and general users.

Depending on their reach, different companies have been subjected to a verification process by the Validation and Verification Body which is accredited with the Costa Rican Accreditation Entity. This allows for the standardization of the processes to measure, report, and verify (MRV) and, through it, for transparency in the inventories report not only for the companies, but for the country as a whole.

The verifying/validating bodies that are currently authorized are INTECO and the Carbon Neutral Unit of EARTH University.

This standard applies to every type of organization, regardless of its size, geographic location, or activity, that wishes to improve its competitiveness through its commitment to environmental performance by reducing its emissions of greenhouse gases.

MINAE is the body in charge of issuing the Carbon Neutral Country Brand.


Dirección de Cambio Climático (DCC)

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*This standard costs 10,500 colones and the body in charge of selling it is INTECO.

The Institute of Technical Standards of Costa Rica


The INTECO standards ensure that products and services are safe and of high quality. For organizations, they are strategic tools to reduce costs by decreasing errors and waste, while increasing productivity at the same time. The standards allow organizations to access new markets, level out the market in developing countries, and facilitate free and fair commerce.

Regarding the company and economic players: The standard allows them to innovate, anticipate, and improve products, while also being more competitive by having better tools to let them conquer markets, thereby better understanding both the markets and their trends.

For the Government: The standard is also a tool for public policies, since it constitutes a complement to the regulations and a reference for the openness and transparency of public markets.

Regarding the users: The standard helps them choose the most apt products according to their destined use, and contributes to their protection. The standard guarantees the conception and manufacturing of safe products.

For society: The standard promotes the creation of a common technical language among all the organizations and it is an important contribution to the free circulation of products and services. Additionally, both in the local and global markets, it promotes entrepreneurial competitiveness, mainly in the realm of new technologies.

Environmental Standards

The country has a good set of technical standards in this area, where the INTE/ISO 14001 standard regarding requirements for an Environmental Management System stands out.

These standards supply the framework for businesses to be able to demonstrate their commitment to environmental regulations and give the management of any organization the framework to manage the impacts of their activity on the environment.

Social Standards

The country also has technical standards in this area, with highlights being the INTE 35-01-01 standard about requirements for a Management System of Social Responsibility and the INTE/ISO 26000 standard, the Guide for social responsibility.

These standards attempt to help organizations in the orientation of their Social Responsibility policies in reference to the differences in cultural, environmental, and legal terms, as well as the economic development conditions.


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  (506) 2283 4522

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The Corporate Association for Development


(AED) is a non-profit organization that aims for sustainability and competitiveness in the country, through the promotion of responsible business models in companies.

INDICARSE Self-evaluation: AED offers the corporate sector of Costa Rica a System of Corporate Social Responsibility Indicators for the Region of Central America, also called INDICARSE, which is a self-evaluation tool with its respective technical companion, and it guides companies in a process of internal reflection and aims them toward the implementation of a proper management of their business in alignment with the principles of social responsibility.

NETWORK OF INCLUSIVE COMPANIES (NIC): The NIC helps to increase and strengthen the participation of people with disabilities in the development of the country, through their work abilities and the full use of their human rights, in alliance with the competent public institutions and organizations of civil society. As part of this worktable, the NIC offers access to spaces for training and education in topics related to human rights and disabilities, universal design, selection and hiring of personnel, pertinent legislation, and other topics, and also promotes participation in dialogs and coordination with public institutions and organizations from civil society.


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  (506) 2231 2081

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SA 8000


This is a voluntary certification that was created by an American organization called Social Accountability International (SAI) with the goal of promoting better working conditions. It is one of the first standards of auditable social certifications in the world for decent workplaces in all industrial sectors.

It is based on the Declaration of Human Rights and the conventions of the ILO, the UN, and national legislation. It pursues the creation of a common language to measure social performance, which is based on a focus on management systems through the establishment of structures and procedures that businesses should adopt with the aim of guaranteeing that compliance with the standard is continually reviewed.

The SA8000 standard includes practices related to child labor, forced labor, health and safety, free association and the right to collective negotiation, non-discrimination, work hours, pay, discipline, and management systems.

It is a standard that is certifiable in verification cycles of two years.


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ISO 26000


This is an International Standard that helps all kinds of organizations to operate socially responsibly by following the points that are indicated in the guide that makes up this standard.

This standard is not auditable and it helps organizations learn about and adequately adapt to Social Responsibility in a natural way, and is integrated in the structure of the organization, adapting to its needs and continually improving it.


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