Environmental Protection

Certification & Accreditation


The Path of Progress

During my confirmation hearing in the Senate in 1989, I became aware how deep were concerns in the Democratic-controlled Congress that a Republican appointee for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator would not vigorously enforce environmental laws against business.

This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

The New Deal

Accrual and disclosure practices of public companies related to their environmental liabilities have long been perceived to be inconsistent and generally inadequate. Recent developments, such as Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Interpretation number 47, known as FIN47 in most circles, have tightened up the disclosure rules, especially in relation to environmental liabilities.

This article originally appeared in the 09/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

What Kind of EHS Leader Are You?

The vast majority of environmental, health, and safety (EHS) professionals are competent, dedicated soldiers who fight the day-to-day battles to protect the health and safety of fellow employees, the community, and the environment.

This article originally appeared in the 06/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

A Sure Thing

Some successful insurers prosper not because of anything they do internally, but because the people, businesses, or other organizations they insure behave in a way that leaves claims personnel twiddling their thumbs more often than not.

This article originally appeared in the 06/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

It's Not My Job

Environmental, health, and safety (EHS) roles and responsibilities have been shaped over the past 30 years primarily by U.S.-based regulatory requirements. But what happens if other forces were to dominate how EHS professionals add value? That tipping point may be approaching, and once reached, EHS roles and responsibilities could dramatically shift, hopefully for the better -- but maybe for the worse. Will other functional areas grab the very best jobs? The answer lies in whether EHS professionals will lead, follow, or get pushed out of the way.

This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

Lead Out

When the McDonald's Corporation formed an alliance with the non-profit Environmental Defense Fund in 1990 it was an extraordinary and newsworthy event. Business and environmentalists had been pitted against each other in conflicting values, policies, and public debate.

This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

Weathering the Storm

Aug. 25, 2005: Hurricane Katrina, the 11th named tropical storm, fourth hurricane, and first Category 5 hurricane of the season, makes landfall north of Miami, Fla., killing dozens. Four days later, the slightly weakened system touches down on the Central Gulf Coast of Louisiana.

This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.



Auditing

The nature of environmental, health, and safety (EHS) auditing has changed dramatically over the past 30 years. It may be on the verge of making its next big transformation: joining ranks with mainstream business governance functions. How has EHS auditing changed, and what may be on the horizon?

This article originally appeared in the 04/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

The Folly of 100% Compliance

Environmental, health and safety (EHS) departments were created in response to regulations. For most, it continues to be their raison d'être in the minds of most business managers.

This article originally appeared in the 03/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

Product Stewarship - Part 2

The bottom line for companies is that now may be the right time to take a systematic look at their products and services.

This article originally appeared in the 01/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

Product Stewardship Part 1

The following is the first part in a two-part series that examines the subject of product stewardship. This issue is taking on a whole new significance in light of emerging global regulations based on the precautionary principle and management's push to develop new products in expanded markets.

This article originally appeared in the 11/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

Reaching Out

Water is the hot issue of the next 25 years. You know it, I know, but the American public doesn't. Why should they? American households spend less than any other industrialized nation for their water use. In fact, every year they spend nearly twice as much on carbonated and caffeinated beverages as they do on treating drinking and wastewater.

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

Engagement at the Top

The accounting scandals, perp walks to prison, and Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) have sent shock waves throughout the ranks of boards and executives. Has this significantly improved environmental, health, and safety (EHS) and social responsibility governance at the top? Unlikely. What will it take to get executives and the board fully engaged?

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

Finding the Better Way

I've been an environmental consultant for almost 20 years, and I've owned my own company for 10. Over the years, "Environmental Compliance Audits" have been one of the hardest products to sell to industrial customers.

This article originally appeared in the 09/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

Manager's Notebook: Act Locally; Benchmark Globally

Companies devote a lot of resources to benchmarking, and for good reason; the return on investment can be enormous. Why reinvent the wheel when battle-tested best practices are free for the asking? The United States has dominated environmental, health, and safety best practices for decades, but that is changing rapidly. Prescriptive regulations and fears of legal liability may be holding back U.S.-headquartered corporations from developing the next generation of corporate social responsibility best practices.

This article originally appeared in the 09/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

An E&O Eye Opener

In our litigious society, professionals of all kinds are keenly aware that their expertise and professionalism cannot always protect them against being sued. For environmental professionals, the uncertainty and variability associated with the natural environment compounds the risk of litigation -- and, therefore, elevates the importance of liability insurance.

This article originally appeared in the 07/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

Manager's Notebook:Map Your Value Proposition

EHS professionals know from experience that their efforts impact the company at many levels. For example, a switch to a non-toxic substitute may reduce raw material costs, decrease worker exposure, improve worker morale, reduce customers' disposal costs, improve the brand's image, and so on.

This article originally appeared in the 07/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

Manager's Notebook:Global Drivers

The U.S. environmental, health and safety (EHS) regulatory model has dominated the thoughts and agendas of America's EHS professionals for the past 30 years. State and federal regulations will not go away, of course, but they are rapidly being overshadowed by a fundamental shift in how EHS issues will be dealt with both here and abroad.

This article originally appeared in the 06/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

Manager's Notebook: Merger Mania Math

They're baaccckk! "The most vigorous merger market in five years" is what the Wall Street Journal calls the recent wave of corporate restructurings. For officers and directors, these are happy times because a wonderful exit package awaits even those who lose their lofty positions. But, for real people doing real work, the prospects are much grimmer.

This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

Free e-News Subscription

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy