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Programs & Activities / Past

The Seven Principles of Environmental Stewardship


In furtherance of the goals of the Border XXI Environmental Framework, these Principles have been developed through a public/private partnership to promote sustainable development in the U.S./Mexico border area;


In recognition of the objectives of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation to: foster environmental protection and improvement throughout North America for the well-being of present and future generations; promote sustainable development; enhance environmental compliance; promote economically efficient and effective environmental measures; and promote pollution prevention;


In recognition of existing obligations to comply with domestic environmental laws; The signatories: The Honorable Carol Browner, Administrator, The United States Environmental Protection Agency; The Honorable Julia Carabias, Secretary, Mexican Secretariat for Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries; Albert C. Zapanta, President, The United States – Mexico Chamber of Commerce; The Honorable Ygnacio Garza, Chairman, The Border Environment Cooperation Commission; will work together, and in conjunction with other federal and state government agencies and industry representatives, to promote voluntary implementation of the following Principles of Environmental Stewardship by corporate entities and their affiliates throughout the United States and Mexico, at all of their operational locations, consistent with the domestic laws of each country:

  1. Top Management Commitment: Make substantive top management commitments to sustainable development and improved environmental performance through policies that emphasize pollution prevention, energy efficiency, adherence to appropriate international standards, environmental leadership, and public communications.

  2. Compliance Assurance and Pollution Prevention: Implement innovative environmental auditing, assessment and improvement programs to identify and correct current and potential compliance problems and utilize pollution prevention and energy efficiency measures to improve overall environmental performance.

  3. Enabling Systems: Through open and inclusive processes, develop and foster implementation of environmental management systems which provide a framework for ensuring day-to-day compliance in process operations, pollution prevention, energy efficiency, and improved environmental performance. Encourage the use of environmental audits, pollution prevention assessments, and employee training and involvement as integral parts of the company’s culture at home and abroad.

  4. Measurement and Continuous Improvement: Develop measures of environmental performance to demonstrate adherence to these Principles. Periodically assess the progress toward meeting the organization’s environmental goals and tie results to actions in improving environmental performance.

  5. Public Communications: Consistent with the sovereign host country’s domestic laws and policies governing environmental protection and the protection of confidential business information: voluntarily make available to the public information on the organization’s environmental performances and releases, as well as on the performance of its environmental management system relative to these Principles, based on established objectives and targets; and voluntarily provide avenues for receiving suggestions from and establishing dialogue with the public about the company’s environmental performance.

  6. Industry Leadership: Work with other companies operating in the same region or industry sub-sector to improve industry-wide environmental compliance, pollution prevention practices, energy efficiency, and overall environmental performance. For example, explore cooperative strategies such as by-product synergy, joint industry sub-sector efforts, or technical assistance to smaller enterprises, including in the implementation of environmental audits.

  7. Community Environmental Stewardship: Promote and give support to environmental stewardship and sustainable development in the community in which the organization operates, for example through investments in local environmental infrastructure, health, education, and improving public environmental awareness.