Compliance within the Company

Countering liability risks - legally certain business organization and legal compliance

The issue of legal certainty is also becoming increasingly important to companies in relation to environmental protection. There are a number of reasons for this, including: liability risks, increasing public interest in environment and neighbourhood issues, EU-initiated greater public participation in licensing procedures, interested parties' possible access to information (Umwelt-Informationsgesetz - Environmental Information Act), the economic necessity of maintaining certificates (DIN EN ISO 14001, 50001 etc.) and, in the worst case, the risk of regulatory authorities imposing an operating ban.

A legally certain business organization through transfer of obligations and through company officers, the lasting implementation of existing and new legal requirements (including reporting requirements) and the implementation of conditions and collateral provisions arising from operating licences (building permits, licences under the Federal Immission Control Act, permits under water legislation etc.) can significantly reduce the operating risks.

Our services:

Our expert services include assistance with a legally certain business organization, appointment of external company officers, assistance with official environmental inspections, setting up a licence and conditions management system, checking that legal requirements are being adhered to through compliance audits, examining new projects in terms of their compliance with the law and licensability and assistance with company reporting duties.

In-House Environmental Protection / Licence Management

In-house environmental protection tasks and licensing obligations

In-house environmental protection confronts a company with the challenge of deriving the respective requirements from a large number of different legal areas (e.g. immission control legislation, chemicals and hazardous substances legislation, waste legislation) and implementing them in operating practice. As the aim is to have an environmentally and legally compliant operation, this applies to existing production or storage plants in the same way as to planned projects. Even large-scale companies often do not have all the technical and time resources for this.

An environmentally and legally compliant implementation of in-house environmental protection and a legally certain operation of these installations can only be ensured if all legal requirements are known and the in-house implementation is organised and regularly reviewed.

Unlike building legislation (buildings, structural facilities), German environmental legislation generally refers to installations. Installations include, in particular, entire operating sites, technical facilities or even land on which substances are stored. The terms BImSchG installation (installation subject to licensing under the Bundes-Immissionsschutzgesetz) or potentially hazardous installation (pursuant to the 12th Federal Immission Control Ordinance) are also well known.

But environmentally relevant installations also include storage installations (e.g. for hazardous substances, pyrotechnics) or VAwS installations (installations for storing or handling substances hazardous to water). It is therefore crucial for the responsible operator to be familiar with his installations and the corresponding legal requirements.

In the case of installations subject to licensing, the correct demarcation of such installations (installation demarcation) plays an even more important role, especially as only certain production plants are subject to this licensing requirement and hence particular immission control requirements, and any alteration to these installations following initial relicensing (section 4 of the BImSchG) again entail a licensing or notification requirement (section 15, section 16 of the BImSchG) (alterations subject to licensing requirement).

Our services:

We support companies in respect of their legal requirements, audit new projects, provide information about legal requirements, assist them with the in-house organisation of environmental obligations and provide assistance with communications with authorities and with licensing procedures under environmental legislation including scoping procedures/hearing and involvement of the public (public hearing).

Most industrial enterprises are currently prioritising the optimum use of energy and the associated possibilities of financial savings. Energy prices will also rise in the medium and long term against the backdrop of finite resources. The optimisation of energy use is therefore a long-term business goal. Energy issues have also been receiving the increasing attention of legislators for a number of years now. This, too, has both a financial and an organisational impact on industrial and commercial enterprises.

Our consultancy services have adjusted to these requirements. This enables us to develop individual strategies and possibilities for our customers so as to achieve cost savings and to make a valuable contribution to climate and environmental protection.

In European countries with high wage levels and an increasing shortage of skilled labour, sustainable occupational safety and health protection are indispensable to commercial and industrial enterprises. We offer our customers concept design support, which includes legally sound and transparent occupational safety and health protection.

Our support is characterized by consistency and expertise. Our safety engineers are assisted by our legal practitioners. The result is a combination of high safety expertise and well-grounded legal knowledge. Our intention is to significantly reduce the burden on our client companies using this approach.

Operational sustainability is becoming increasingly important for corporate success. Not only legal requirements but especially customer requirements increase the pressure. We provide support in all areas: Whether sustainability management, sustainability reports, supply chain due diligence law, C02 balances or Whistleblower Protection Act (HinSchG) - our experts are there for you.

In April 2021, the European Commission prepared a draft directive on corporate sustainability reporting (CSRD - Corporate-Sustainability-Reporting-Directive), which also includes the amendment of the NFRD (Non-Financial-Reporting-Directive) adopted in 2014. The new CSRD directive massively expands the circle of companies with an obligation to prepare a so-called sustainability report.

BfU AG with its interdisciplinary teams supports companies in the legally compliant preparation of the sustainability report within the framework of the CSRD. BfU AG examines whether a company is affected by the CSRD, offers a classification of the most established and current standards for the preparation of the sustainability report, accompanies the data collection/ and data evaluation process and prepares the sustainability report in an individually tailored scope for you.

Currently, the passing of the Whistleblower Protection Act (HinSchG) puts pressure on all companies with 50 or more employees to take action. From a simple reporting channel to full-service outsourcing, we offer solutions according to your needs.

With customer-oriented problem solutions, BfU AG creates the necessary freedom for companies so that they can concentrate on their core business. We reconcile high legal and technical requirements with targeted, economically justifiable consulting services.

The success of any company is contingent upon its having safe and good products. To support this process, most companies maintain quality management systems, which guarantee uniformly good and safe products in production. For many products, in addition, there are further concrete legal requirements relating to safety in use or the safety of the chemicals used in the product.

This task area has grown over the last few years, as, particularly at European level, ordinances formulating special product requirements have been enacted.

Für die Nutzung eines Produktes oder Systems im wehrtechnischen Bereich wird in vielen Fällen eine Umweltverträglichkeitsanalyse (UVA) vorausgesetzt.

In der UVA wird dargestellt und bewertet, welche Umweltbelastungen bei der Entwicklung, Nutzung und Entsorgung eines Produktes zu erwarten sind. Diese Analyse soll dazu beitragen, dass Umweltbelastungen reduziert werden können.

There is an increasing focus, in compliance requirements for companies from all industries, on the protection of personal data.

Under data protection requirements, a company that "processes" personal data is required to take organizational and technical measures to ensure that there is no possibility of misusing such data.

We will be pleased to assist you in scoping, in legal and technical terms, the actions that your company is required to perform.

Fire Protection

Operational safety Protective

Objectives of fire protection:

  • Prevent the occurrence of fires and limit the spread of fire and smoke,
  • Identify and fight fires as soon as they occur, wherever possible, and
  • avert dangers to people, the environment and material assets

Every company has a management system, but a distinction must be drawn between a certifiable management system and individual specifications by management. If a company operates several certifiable management systems, integration is recommended in order to take advantage of corresponding synergies.

This integration has been simplified once again by the introduction of a so-called high-level structure in the established certifiable management systems. Quality and environmental management lead the way here. Occupational safety and health protection, but also IT security and all other management system standards will follow.

Integration leads to the achievement of synergies with regard to documented information and with regard to the expenditure of time on auditing. Individual requirements from special operating demands or stakeholders can also be efficiently deployed and implemented.

Management systems

We offer you advice with regard to the introduction and maintenance of the following systems:

  • Integrated management systems (quality – environment – energy – occupational safety)
  • Quality management to ISO 9001
  • Quality management to ISO/TS 16949
  • EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) Regulation
  • Environmental management to ISO 14001
  • Energy management to ISO 50001
  • Occupational safety management system in accordance with OHSAS 18001
  • Risk management or safety management systems

We will be pleased to be of assistance to you in matters of integration and synergy exploitation.

Expert audits and environmental verifier services have long been part of our core business. The plethora of audit engagements and verifier services for our customers has given rise to a separate business segment. The authorizations listed below are thus a mirror image of the services frequently requested by our customers in this field. In no small manner, these authorizations, which have usually followed a state-recognized audit, are testament to the high quality of our long-standing employees.

Environmental verifiers

Assessment of legal requirements by environmental verifiers

Various laws and ordinances provide that certain audit tasks may be performed only by approved environmental verifiers. The areas of activity in this respect have increased sharply over the past few years. Environmental verifiers and environmental verifier organisations require, pursuant to the Umweltauditgesetz (German Environmental Audit Act - UAG), special approval by Deutsche Akkreditierungs- und Zulassungsgesellschaft für Umweltgutachter mbH (DAU). According to DAU's approval register/ database (approval register), only about 250 environmental verifiers and environmental verifier organisations, each of which have other industry approvals in accordance with the NACE code, have been approved in Germany.

The operation of numerous items of machinery and equipment frequently requires company experts to be appointed. For example, operators of laser equipment for material processing or industrial enterprises with a high fire risk are affected by this requirement.

Often, shortcomings and conflicts arise with regard to technical requirements and training as well as the time resources available for carrying out duties. This may give rise to liability risks, particularly if the statutorily required experts are not appointed.

We support our customers in identifying required experts and assist them in deciding whether complete outsourcing of the adviser function or specific or time-limited support is more effective. Our occupational health and safety experts are trained on the basis of the applicable statutory regulations and undergo regular further training.

Noise is an occupational safety issue and also a neighbourhood issue. Business growth or the advance of housing construction or nature conservation may result in far-reaching problems or even put the entire site at risk. At the very least, statements regarding installation noise or noise reports are required as part of licensing procedures under building legislation or immission control legislation.

The Ordinance on Installations for Handling Substances Hazardous to Water (AwSV) created a uniform federal ordinance on installations for handling substances hazardous to water, which is based on the contents of the Federal Water Act (WHG). The AwSV was published on 18.04.2017 and came into force on 01.08.2017, whereby the previous state-law ordinances on installations for handling substances hazardous to water have since ceased to apply. With the introduction of the AwSV, the requirements from the state-specific ordinances were partly concretised, but also supplemented in terms of content, e.g. by regulating requirements for installations in the agricultural sector.

In addition to the regulated classification of substances and mixtures into the various water hazard classes, the AwSV also includes the technical requirements for installations and the obligations of the installation operators. Furthermore, the AwSV regulates the recognition of expert organisations and the certification of specialised companies. In principle, the AwSV is aimed in particular at companies that operate facilities for handling substances hazardous to water, such as facilities for storing, treating or filling substances hazardous to water. However, the AwSV does not only affect companies, but also private individuals, e.g. operators of a heating oil consumption system. In addition, the professional planning of a facility in accordance with AwSV is an essential basis for the subsequent legally compliant operation.

Our recognised experts for facilities for handling substances hazardous to water are available to answer any questions you may have on implementing the requirements of the AwSV and will be happy to support you at any time.

Eine effiziente und zielorientierte Auswertung von Rechtsquellen stellt Unternehmen vor eine große Herausforderung. Mit CertLex können Sie dieser Herausforderung ressourcenschonend begegnen. CertLex bietet einen wesentlichen Beitrag zur Rechtssicherheit und ermöglicht die Erfüllung von Managementsystemanforderungen, wie z. B. nach EMAS, BS OHSAS 18001, DIN EN ISO 9001, DIN EN ISO 14001 und DIN EN ISO 50001.

Leistungsverzeichnis Umweltschutz

Ein umfassendes Verzeichnis unserer Leistungen im Bereich Umweltschutz finden Sie hier

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Tel.: +49 (0)561 96996-0