AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Environmental costs are increasing. According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates, the U.S. private sector will spend $88.7 billion annually by the year 2000 to comply with environmental laws that are on the books today.(1)
With such a high price tag and with stepped-up penalties, including jail sentences for executives, senior managers are becoming personally interested in their firms' environmental performance.
A recent Conference Board survey of 535 Canadian firms showed that 61 per cent have a formal system in place for identifying key environmental issues. Fifty per cent of the firms surveyed develop environmental policy at the corporate headquarters for foreign operations. When policy is developed at corporate headquarters, the president or CEO retains the decision-making authority in 47 per cent of the firms surveyed.(2)
The cost of falling behind
These executives are facing complex and sometimes conflicting environmental regulations, increasing costs for waste management, increasing community intolerance for polluters, and overall public pressure for "green" practices.
Those firms who effectively respond to these demands will have a strategic advantage over their competitors. Those who do not proactively manage environmental issues may find themselves:
* Unable to obtain required operating
permits; * Faced with the need to make costly
equipment purchases or process
changes; * Embroiled in lawsuits brought by
regulatory agencies, employees, the local
community and/or environmental
groups; * Responsible for millions in remedial
and restoration costs and/or * Faced with decreased market share as
competitors introduce "green" products
and trumpet their "green" practices.
Organizing to meet the environmental challenge