Environmental Accountability: Keeping Pace with the Evolving Role of Responsible

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Courtesy of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

Over the past ten years or so, stakeholders involved the areas of environment, health, and safety (EHS) have witnessed an explosion of voluntary environmental leadership programs of one form or another. The growth of voluntary programs (along with related new approaches intended to enhance environmental protection and workplace safety) reflects the complexity of EHS issues today, the high visibility of these concerns, and their relevance to the public. Clearly, diverse skill sets increasingly are required to manage these issues effectively.

Professor LeRoy Paddock of Pace University is a leading expert on the topic of environmental accountability. Professor Paddock notes that the growing number of EHS activities -- and the sheer number of people needed to manage them at the local, regional, national, and international levels -- have led government agencies and private stakeholders alike to employ a wide range of techniques aimed at holding organizations accountable for their behavior, and seeking to encourage the development of more robust and innovative engagement in EHS stewardship initiatives.

The concept of “environmental accountability” includes a broad range of mechanisms that are intended to make the environmental behaviors and practices of organizations more transparent and subject to greater public scrutiny. Transparency, in turn, is expected to “incentivize” organizations to adopt more responsible corporate practices and programs that go well beyond mere compliance-oriented governance strategies.

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