Over the years, FMC Corporation has learned many important lessons as the company has worked to manage its environmental responsibilities. The article provides case studies of four separate sites to demonstrate how cooperating with regulators, elected officials and local communities throughout cleanup and redevelopment efforts can benefit the process and the bottom line. While it is critical to maintain core corporate values and approaches, these case studies also highlight the need to adopt targeted approaches based on the specific circumstances of each site.
Founded in 1883, FMC Corporation is one of the world's foremost, diversified chemical companies with leading positions in agricultural, industrial and consumer markets. FMC uses an array of advanced technologies in research and development to improve the delivery of medications; enhance foods and beverages; power batteries; protect crop yields, structures and lawns, and advance the manufacture of glass, ceramics, plastics, pulp and paper, textiles and other products.
As with any major industrial company in business over a century, FMC has its share of environmental remediation sites. And, like its peers, it has had a broad range of experiences in managing these sites. While every environmental project requires corporate commitment and the dedication of time and resources, some proceed more smoothly than others. Through its experience, FMC has come to adopt a proactive and cooperative approach that involves working with regulators, officials and the local community to identify and achieve common goals.
A cooperative approach towards remediation and redevelopment projects yields many benefits. From a bottom-line business perspective, it creates goodwill with regulators, officials and the host community. This helps minimize controversy and adversarial situations that could otherwise lead to delays, cost overruns and negative publicity. A cooperative approach can also simplify liability issues and help accelerate the cleanup and reuse process. It helps the company control its own destiny, which can translate into substantial cost-savings. It is important to note, however, even under the best of circumstances, redeveloping environmental properties still requires patience, resources and corporate dedication.
While a company must make a top-level commitment to implementing a cooperative approach, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Rather, each distinct remediation and redevelopment project demands a customized approach designed to include local stakeholders in the decision-making process. In order to best demonstrate this approach, the article will detail FMC's efforts at four separate remediation and redevelopment projects.