The Center for Retail Compliance (CRC) at www.retailCRC.org is a free resource specifically designed to help retailers understand, manage, and comply with environmental regulations. Retail facilities of all sizes and types are subject to some level of environmental regulation. Take waste for example. Many common consumer products such as cleaning products, perfumes, batteries, paints, and cosmetics may be considered hazardous waste when unsalable. Stores that don’t follow specific requirements run the risk of expensive enforcement actions by federal or state regulators. Other types of waste may also be regulated, especially at the state or local level. In some areas, organic waste such as food or lawn waste must be recycled and there are an increasing number of take back and recycling requirements for products such as electronics.
Environmental regulatory areas that can apply in retail does not stop at waste but also includes air, water and product specific requirements. There are regulations for refrigeration to control ozone depleting substances, for emergency generators to reduce air pollution and on labeling for pesticides, including repellents, as well as products that contain certain chemicals. The array of requirements that can vary by jurisdiction makes compliance challenging. However, with increased scrutiny by regulators, retailers cannot ignore these requirements.
The CRC provides regulatory information and resources to help retailers identify what regulations may apply to their operations and to understand the requirements. Users can search by Store Department, Regulatory Area (such as air, water or waste) or State The CRC Tools page has more in-depth information including matrices of regulatory differences by state for key regulations, such as hazardous waste, and even a consumer bag matrix that has regulations from over 200 jurisdictions.
To help retailers stay up to date, the CRC has a Newsroom with retail-related environmental compliance and enforcement stories and a Hot Topics section with information on pressing topics including proposed rules or regulatory changes such as California’s recent requirements on BPA warning signs or new rules on reverse logistics from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
Just as important as the regulatory information, is the CRC material on Environmental Management Systems (EMS). Retailers can use this information to design and implement better compliance programs. Even stores not implementing a full EMS, can use the tools for gap analysis and planning to optimize their compliance program. A good compliance program can not only reduce the likelihood of non-compliance but regulators often look at a facilities’ compliance program when considering violations and penalties.
The CRC, an initiative of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), is free and open for all retailers. Contact Tiffin Shewmake at tiffin.shewmake@rila.org or visit www.retailCRC.org to see how they can help you.