Day 5: Free Trade Zone and Sustainability

The free trade zone fits into Costa Rica's sustainable development by doing a number of things.  The trade agreement gives a minimum employment level as well as a minimum required investment level to companies trying to apply for the Free Trade Zone status.  They also require the company to make a 1% Environmental Guarantee Deposit of their total investment in the company's Costa Rican location.  

As you can see, the Costa Rican government might not collect taxes from these companies, but they do see some sort of income that can be used towards their environmental practices.  The fact that they require companies to hire so many local Costa Riacans to work in these free zone companies also benefits in the sustainability fight by giving its people the chance to make a decent living and afford better sustainability practices all while keeping the cash flow generation within the company via sales taxes paid.  Since the people of these nice new jobs can afford more, they'll more likely buy more, ultimately providing more money to their country and community via sales taxes.  

After visiting the Free Zone companies of VMWare and Thomson Reuter today, I  did notice some great sustainability practices carried out throughout the different companies.  I noticed that both companies practiced normal recycling in their waste management.  Both companies were also located in relatively new buildings which leads me to believe that they are able to leave a greener footprint by using energy saving lighting and electrical units.  I also liked the idea that Thomson Reuter had available for its employees a transportation service so that their employees could leave a smaller carbon footprint when it comes to vehicle emissions.  Overall, these free zone companies are designed to come in and ultimately benefit the Costa Rican area which enables them to continue their sustainability developments.

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