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Is ecology a profitable business? How to make good money by protecting the environment [Russia]

Author: Inter [Russia], Published on: 4 August 2011

[Title translation and summary translation of the original Russian language article provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre]
[scroll down this page for Ecology Control Centre response] Environmentalists accuse “Plastkard”, one of the biggest companies in Volgograd, of underrating of the classification of its hazardous waste. As the plant’s waste is allegedly cancer causing, the residents living in the immediate vicinity of the company’s plant constantly run the risk for their health. Moreover, it is believed that “Plastkard” underpaid taxes in amount of app. 360m Ruble [app. USD 12.5m], as to Dec 2010. The case has been investigated within a criminal procedure slowly, for several years. So, it was found out that a non-governmental organization “Ecology control centre” (ECC) is involved in this case. This organization operates a certified laboratory and offers environmental assessment to companies on a profit-making basis. Companies approach the ECC to assess their waste and to obtain an environmental certificate on their waste. However, as an investigation by environmental authorities shows, this assessment has been often carried out contrary to Russian laws. Waste samples have been collected and passed to the ECC by businessmen themselves. It is alleged that this could have resulted in underrating of the companies’ hazardous waste and its impact on people’s health and environment as well as in underpaying substantial sums of taxes by businesses. Documents in the ECC laboratory about waste assessment carried out for companies, 2009 upwards, have been destroyed, in spite of the law requirement to keep and archive such documents over five years. Moreover, it was established that one of the ECC members was a management representative of the biggest business enterprise in Volgograd which has been involved in environmental pollution and obtained an environmental certificate from the ECC. [The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Plastkard and Ecology Control Centre to respond. ECC's response is below. Plastkard declined to respond]

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Related companies: Ecology Control Centre (ECC)