Doing business in Hungary: Sustainability11 April 2012
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 11 April 2012
Hungarian legislation defines certain rules that businesses have to follow in order to ensure that their activities do not have adverse social and environmental impacts.
Corporate social responsibility
In the course of their investments and business transactions, companies are increasingly paying attention to social and environmental perspectives of sustainable development in addition to financial perspectives. In the period up to 2013, they will appreciate the importance of responsible social investment even more through EU aid.
One way to create a "welfare workplace" is via the creation of voluntary mutual insurance funds. These funds can be set up within a company by the employees, or on the employer’s initiative. The aim is to offer services for members that supplement or replace social security services, as well as services that promote healthy lives.
The Anticorruption Coordination Board: works with the participation of non-governmental state institutions, civil organisations and experts, in addition to government bodies.
The Climate Club works to develop a responsible business culture in Hungary, in which consideration for environmentally aware thinking, solving the problems caused by climate change and sustainable development become part and parcel of companies' business and their social role.
The Követ Association for Sustainable Management is a Hungarian member of the INEM, CSR Europe and the Global Footprint Network. It prepares, popularises and applies preventative methods that support environmental protection, and which also serve environmental and economic interests.
The Ministry for Rural Development is responsible for tasks relating to Community ecolabels, and these tasks are performed by the Hungarian Eco-Labelling Organisation, in collaboration with the Evaluation and Qualification Committee appointed by the competent minister. Tenders must be submitted to the Hungarian Eco-Labelling Organisation. In Hungary, the national environmentally friendly product classification system works in parallel with the EU ecolabel. The two systems supplement each other. The national system extends to products and services that are manufactured or distributed in Hungary. Classification of products as environmentally friendly may be awarded for the validity period of the classification conditions, or for no more than one year.
There are workplace health protection and safety management systems that operate on the basis of the OHSAS 18001 standard. Operating the system promotes compliance with increasingly stringent standards on health and safety at work and a reduction in workplace injuries and accidents.
Certification of standards
The ISO 9001:2008 standard provides guidance on increasing customer satisfaction and strengthening relations with importers.
Quality management standards
The Hungarian Standards Institution website provides information on standard documents recorded in the Hungarian standards database, using the Internet standard catalogue. It is possible to look at key data for individual standards using theInternational Classification for Standards (ICS) System, which lists specialist areas.
Environmental management standards
EMAS, the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme records, monitors and, where necessary, suspends and strikes off participating organisations. Accreditation tasks relating to the EMAS scheme are performed by the National Accreditation Board (NAT), which is responsible for accrediting, supervising and registering environmental auditors.
Companies that are certified under the ISO 14001 standard, which regulates environmental management systems, have been registered in Hungary by the Követ Association for Sustainable Management since 1998. Its database includes more than 1000 certified companies.
Occupational safety management standards
The following Decree lays down minimum requirements for health and safety at work:
Other permits and procedures
The Social Dialogue Centre works to develop national social dialogue in Hungary and the European Union.
The law requires businesses to comply with minimum social and environmental rules.
The Move Europe Programme launched by the National Health Development Institute provides guidelines for companies on creating a workplace where employees feel good and work well. The programme awards the title of Healthy European Company to companies and organisations applying the best models for promoting workplace health.
Source: Your Europe