For such a small country situated in such a historically turbulent area of the world, Costa Rica has certainly been effective at branding itself as a beacon of progressive policies and environmental friendliness. While many countries with similar natural resources and geographic locations to Costa Rica are still struggling to maintain stable government and infrastructure, Costa Rica itself has provided peace and security to its citizens. It is for these reasons that my perception of Costa Rica is that it is a symbol of the bright future of renewable energy, as well as a poster-child of the balance between industry and conservation efforts.
One specific example of Costa Rica’s efforts to promote environmental friendliness among businesses is the country’s Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) program. This initiative, funded by the Costa Rican government, rates businesses on their overall environmental friendliness on a scale of 1-5, 5 being the most environmentally friendly. This rating system allows Costa Rican consumers to make more informed decisions regarding sustainable business practices, as well as giving incentive to businesses to implement more environmentally conscious policies.
Another prominent case of the Costa Rican government’s efforts to promote sustainability is the Bandera Azul (Blue Flag) project. This program awards a symbolic Blue Flag to communities all around Costa Rica that meet certain environment-related goals, which vary based on the climate and geography of each specific community. This program provides an incentive for citizens to take pride in their region’s environmental health and cleanliness and promotes unity and progressive values among Costa Ricans.
I did not find any specific mentions of coffee as I researched the mission statements and policies of these programs. However, agriculture companies are eligible to be evaluated under the CST criteria, incentivising environmentally-friendly practices among them. In addition, local farmers can help their communities attain the Blue Flag status by contributing to specific sustainability goals. Agriculture, and by extension coffee production, is deeply tied to Costa Rica’s economy and their new environmental preservation initiatives.