CLAUDIA ALARCÓN

Ecuador 2020 | GREEN ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

The more demanding the customer, the higher the quality of the service.

Claudia Alarcón
BIOGRAPHY

Claudia Alarcón holds a technical degree from Junior College in Quito. She has 10 years of experience in the environmental area and 19 years of experience in the private sector. Alarcón has worked for prestigious companies in the energy sector, including MAXUS Ecuador Inc. She later moved to one of the biggest inspection companies in the world, Cotecna Inspection, where she served as operations manager. Currently, she is the general manager and owner of Plusambiente, where she leads environmental projects that develop high-impact relationships with private companies.

How would you define the trajectory of Plusambiente as a company specializing in environmental services, and where do you have the most experience?

Plusambiente has been in the market for more than 10 years, offering a wide range of environmental services in Ecuador. Our mission is to be a strategic ally in environmental matters for all our clients. We carry out a comprehensive management and revaluation of waste, both hazardous and non-hazardous and contaminated and uncontaminated. The company also promotes a rational use of renewable and non-renewable natural resources as well as the recycling, reuse, and revaluation of waste. Plusambiente started by providing services for the oil and gas industry. We work mainly with multinational and oil service companies in the value chain. It has been inspiring to work with world-class companies that operate with high-quality standards, which in turn has led to exponential growth. In recent years, we have expanded our services to the food, mining, automotive, and other sectors. We seek to always help clients manage their environmental issues, in addition to carbon footprint measurement and social responsibility projects.

What environmental services is the company currently offering to mining companies?

Plusambiente Integral Environmental Services currently maintains the integrated waste management plant in the province of Orellana, providing an adequate final disposal for waste with national coverage. We started our operations after acquiring an environmental license from the Ministry of Environment in order to meet the requirements as an environmental services provider. Additionally, we have a license to transport hazardous waste and substances. Plusambiente also offers consulting services for management systems, which is carried out by our highly trained, internationally recognized personnel. Finally, we offer PLUS Compliance 360, a product that helps companies address legal environmental affairs and safety regulations.

What is your assessment of the environmental regulatory framework in Ecuador, and how are the changes affecting various sectors?

The Ecuadorian regulatory framework serves as the basis for the environmental management of companies. With the promulgation of the Organic Environmental Code, companies have adopted a framework that is beneficial to the environment. We must recognize that mutual support with the control authority is beneficial for the environment. This regulation will encourage companies such as Plusambiente and help them minimize the potential costs of poor organizational management and potential fines for non-compliance.

What are your recommendations to mining companies to address environmental issues in Ecuador and overcome environmental legal issues?

Companies must view the environmental issue as an opportunity, primarily as an occasion to make a significant contribution to the area where they are executing their activities, as well to ensure the success and continuity of their operations. The basis of good environmental management is to know the application of environmental legislation in its operations and avoid violations. The help of a strategic ally with proven experience in environmental matters is of great value to avoid subsequent infractions.

How receptive are companies to better environmental practices, and what are the challenges in this respect?

A company's level of receptivity to best environmental practices is a function of its corporate culture. Based on our experience, companies in Ecuador basically take two types of approaches: a purely reactive approach, which is solving problems and dealing with penalties; and a proactive approach. We have the privilege of having a portfolio of clients who take the proactive approach and maintain high-quality standards. Our challenge is to lead the change in Ecuador regarding the approach of companies toward environmental management.

What are your priorities for 2020?

We constantly seek to position ourselves as a national reference in the waste management and consulting sector, for which we have international certifications. From the beginning, we have been consistent in fulfilling our promise of value, which is to provide adequate, timely, and conscious management of waste and winning our customers' loyalties. Our focus in 2020 is to apply new strategies in different national and international sectors. We will focus on strategic alliances and the application of methodologies such as sustainable memory management and minimizing carbon footprints. We will also align our corporate objectives to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and strengthen our digital and technological portfolio. ✖