Apart from economic and social considerations, environmental factors constitute another important dimension that companies must take into account in striving towards good corporate governance. There are currently a number of environmental laws relevant to entrepreneurs, especially factory owners who need to keep their pollution control in compliance with the law.
The first legislation is the Promotion and Conservation of National Environmental Quality Act, B.E. 2535, which stipulates that businesses must put in place pollution control measures or systems, such as air pollution control systems, wastewater treatment systems, and waste disposal systems, to deal with any water, air, and noise pollution and hazardous waste that they create. The Act also defines the roles and responsibilities of those related to pollution producers and prescribes that environmental impact assessment must be conducted for every large project.
Factory operators are also required to comply with the Factory Act. B.E. 2535, which classifies different types of factories and stipulates their requirements regarding, among others, their location, surrounding, building types, danger mitigation devices, and waste release control methods. Closely related to this Act is the Occupational Safety, Health, and Environment Act B.E. 2554, which ensures appropriate occupational safety, health, and working environment for workers. Plant owners in an industrial estate will also need to adhere to the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand Act B.E. 2522, which stipulates specific waste disposal requirements for these entrepreneurs.
Also pertinent to factory owners is the Public Health Act B.E. 2535, which aims to protect public health and thus applies to any activities that may affect public health, such as sewage and waste collection, transportation, and disposal and incidents that cause annoyance to dwellers in the vicinity or to person experiencing it. The Act is enforced by local officers and public health officers.
Any entrepreneurs utilizing dangerous chemicals in their business will also have to comply with the Hazardous Substances Act B.E. 2535, which classifies hazardous substances, such as explosive, flammable, toxic, infectious, radioactive, and corrosive substances, and stipulates suitable control measures for each category.
The aforementioned laws are, however, hardly a comprehensive list. This, coupled with the fact that environmental laws are dynamic by nature thanks to shifts in environmental issues across the world, means that business owners must always keep themselves abreast of new development not only to ensure that they are operating in compliance with the law but also to demonstrate their responsibilities towards communities and society.