Historically, environmental staffs have been whipsawed between centralized and decentralized structures. There is no universally applicable, ideal organizational structure.
Most of these companies have tried a variety of structures over the years, usually in response to a company-wide reorganization, a focused effort to improve performance and/or a reaction to some major EH&S/S disaster.
The best organizations, regardless of the structure, have EH&S/S as an integral part of the corporate culture. Most companies will claim this attribute, but how do you tell if such commitment exists? There are seven traits to look for.