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Corporate Role in the Environmental Protection Enterprise (2017 Corporate Forum)


October 18, 2017


Washington, DC

ELI 2017 Corporate Forum

Since the 1970s, government and industry have evolved significantly, but has the environmental regulatory system kept pace? With real-time diagnostics, cutting edge compliance management systems, and an underlying focus on sustainability as good economic practice in many industry sectors, compliance is increasingly self-policed and self-corrected. Increasingly, companies are regulating their supply chains in ways that drive environmental performance.

There is much discussion about “cooperative federalism” and the need to ensure that environmental program administration reflects the significant expertise and experience state environmental agencies now have after decades of administrating environmental protection laws. This is the subject of The Macbeth Dialogues, a cooperative effort of ELI,  the Environmental Council of States (ECOS), and the American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL), undertaken in memory and honor of a pillar of the environmental law community, the late Angus Macbeth.

But what would changes to the cooperative federalism model mean for the business community?  How do corporations look at the tension between national consistency and local flexibility?  More fundamentally, with private governance systems increasingly finding and solving compliance problems without the intervening hand of government, how might the government role be re-envisioned in a way that aligns with, reflects, and harnesses this phenomenon?

Should environmental governance move away from a top-down, law enforcement model to an “environmental protection enterprise” in which the states and federal government, the private sector, and the public all play key roles?  These are among the questions that were considered at ELI’s 2017 Corporate Forum.

Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Executive Director and General Counsel, Environmental Council of the States (ECOS)— Moderator
Richard DeSanti, Chief Environmental & Safety Counsel, Chevron Corporation
John Lovenburg, Vice President, Environmental, BNSF Railway
Todd Parfitt, Director, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality
Janet Peace, Senior Vice President, Policy and Business Strategy, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
Martha Rudolph, Director of Environmental Programs, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Of Related Interest:
View a recording of the 2015 ELI Corporate Forum: Is Private Governance Changing the Practice of Corporate Environmental Law?
Exercising Responsibility for the Supply Chain and Human Rights, Ann Klee (The Environmental Forum, Jan/Feb 2016)
It All Starts With the Supply Chain, Ann Klee (The Environmental Forum, Sep/Oct 2014)