Green Business Made EasyWed, 02/19/2014 - 10:54
EnviroSense is an environmental consulting firm that works mainly in the energy, construction, tourism, and mining sectors. Its expertise in environmental matters made it also decide to venture into sustainability and green construction. For the past four years, the company has offered its clients a wide range of studies required by the current regulatory framework. These include the Environmental Impact Assessment, technical studies for changes to land use, environmental management plans as well as feasibility and site selection studies. “We strive to offer an integrated service to our clients with the aim of helping them develop their project in compliance with all legal requirements,” says Miriam Isabel Sámano Rosillo, Founding Partner of EnviroSense. “We accompany the client from the selection of a project’s site to the operation to the completion of the project, depending on each client’s specific needs.”
In 2008, Mexico City created the Sustainable Building Certification Program (PCES), in order to promote and encourage emission reductions and the efficient use of natural resources in the design and operations of buildings in the city. Ana Eugenia Alanís Quiroz, Founding Partner of EnviroSense, explains that PCES is similar to the LEED certification system, but has been adapted to reflect the needs and realities of the Mexican market. PCES uses a scoring system to grade different criteria such as energy and water consumption, waste management, quality of life and social responsibility, and environmental impact and innovation. Depending on these different scores, a building is awarded a certification on compliance, efficiency or excellence. “PCES strives to incentivize real estate developers and construction companies to transform and adapt buildings under sustainable and environmental efficiency schemes. In this way, these firms and their buildings contribute to the conservation and preservation of natural resources and the quality of life of the population of Mexico City,” explains Alanís Quiroz. Even though the program is voluntary, it offers fiscal incentives such as reductions on the property and payroll taxes, in addition to energy and water consumption savings. Convincing real estate developers, who are mostly preoccupied with recovering their investment as fast as possible, to implement green strategies has not been an easy quest for EnviroSense. “Green and sustainable buildings are very trendy right now and everyone is talking about these issues. This has convinced many firms to invest in sustainability, because it is fashionable. Nevertheless, when constructing a building, there are many hurdles that have to be overcome, such as getting the construction license and land use license as well as dealing with civil protection issues. This contributes to the vision that a green project is not a good choice for businesses,” Alanís Quiroz explains. “But even if constructors invest in sustainability for public relations purposes, they begin to truly value making that choice once they see the savings generated on their operating costs.
While EnviroSense was founded only four years ago, it has enjoyed rapid growth. “We started the company with just three founders, but we now have between 20 and 25 people working for the company, and we are the main consultancy firm for a number of important clients,” Sámano Rosillo states proudly. “We are working on many projects in the fossil fuels sector, related to activities such as oil pipelines and natural gas storage terminals, but we also work with the renewable energy sector on hydroelectric plants and wind farms,” she states. Navigating the permitting processes related to environmental legislation is just one of the challenges that await Mexican and international companies that start developing projects. “There are many environmental consultancy companies, but Envirosense is the only one that has a full understanding of all legal aspects to offer an integral and multidisciplinary solution,” comments Alanís Quiroz.