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Colección: INTERAMER
Número: 69
Año: 2000
Autor: Ramón López and Juan Carlos Jordán, Editors
Título: Sustainable Development in Latin America: Financing and Policies Working in Synergy

Box 2

Production of “Green” Doors

Portico, S.A. is an innovative Costa Rican manufacturer of hardwood doors that has grown into a $20-million-per-year export powerhouse with 700 employees.

Portico hired Scientific Certification System (SCS), an independent environmental inspection firm based in Oakland, California, to conduct a thorough audit of harvesting operations on its 6,000 ha of forest.  The company spent around $60,000 to fly in and host SCS inspectors in 1993, and each year since then it has paid for follow-up inspection visits necessary to maintain its certification.  Though Portico has received accolades for its environmental policies, certification has not yet given the company a meaningful marketing advantage over noncertified competitors.

With the goal of decreasing its reliance on wood from outside suppliers, Portico has also continued to buy land.  In 1995, the company expanded its holdings with a $200,000 loan from what today is known as the Corporación Financiera Ambiental (CFA), a venture-capital fund based in San José that invests exclusively in small environmental companies in Central America. CFA is administered by the Environmental Enterprises Assistance Fund, a Washington-based non-governmental organization, and has received $4.85 million in equity financing from the IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund.

Source: Hamilton, 1998