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Center for Business Environmental Strategy

ELI’s Center for Business Environmental Strategy provides information, ideas, and networking opportunities for corporate environmental lawyers and executives to advance new solutions, improve performance, and advance sustainable development. The Center has four objectives:

Educate: Provide essential information on developing trends, best practices, and resources on environmental law, governance and management to help businesses meet societal expectations, maintain compliance, and provide products and services in global markets. Particular attention will be given to relevant developments in Europe and Japan.

Convene: Bring together experts and interested parties for person-to-person workshops and seminars on key topics of interest to the legal and management executives of business organizations.

Advocate: Issue summary reports and recommendations based on multi-sectoral workshops with top experts and policymakers, and recommend adoption of promising new practices, model policies and strategies.

Connect: Provide ongoing peer-to-peer networking opportunities for business based EHS legal and executive management professionals seeking to advance their understanding and response to environmental and sustainability factors in the business context.

The Center’s primary audience is ELI's Corporate Program involving major business organizations and their environmental and sustainability managers. Corporate members often advise on program topics. Many Center programs are open to other stakeholders with particular interest in the topic or to the general public.

Recent Programs:

“Strategies for Sustainability at Three Major Companies”, November 30, 2007, Washington, DC.

Senior executives from IBM, Lockheed Martin, and Tyco International presented perspectives on operationalizing sustainability, including goal setting, deployment of policies and practices, and securing accountability for results.

“Keeping the Lights On: Financing New Power Generating Capacity Under Potential Carbon Emission Regulation”, November 28, 2007, Washington, DC.

Three experts in management of power generating companies discussed the challenge of meeting increasing demand for electricity while facing potential requirements to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel consumption.

“Nanotechnology Governance: Environmental Management from an International Perspective”, May 19, 2006, Nashville, TN

This symposium, presented in partnership with the Vanderbilt Center for Environmental Management Studies, examined approaches to governance of nanotechnology under consideration in the United States, the European Union and Japan. Forty experts and stakeholders from all sectors presented and discussed emerging options, including the prospects for a harmonized approach to governance of this emerging technology.

“Strategies to Improve Environmental Performance in Major Manufacturing Supply Chains”, September 29, 2005, Washington, DC.

This conference brought together experts from industry, academia, government, to consider supply chain strategies in the technology, aerospace, and automotive manufacturing sectors. Speakers from IBM, General Electric, and American Honda Motor Company described their approaches to supplier requirements. Points of view of a supplier as well as representatives of EPA, Business for Social Responsibility, and the World Environment Center were discussed.

“Dissclosure of Environmental Liabilities under Financial Disclosure Rules”, January 19, 2005, Washington, DC.

This program examined the scope of Securities and Exchange Commission requirements to disclose environmental risks that are material to the financial performance of a company. Speakers from law practice, corporations, and social investing firms outlined the requirements and highlighted the uncertain reach of U.S. regulations. A presentation from an expert on the European approach was also included to provide a comparative perspective.

Publications:

Breggin, Linda. (2006) ELI Summary of Participant Discussions at Symposium on Nanotechnology Governance: Environmental Management from an International Perspective. Symposium Discussion Summary

Breggin, Linda. (2006) Harmonization of Environmental, Health, and Safety Approaches for Nanotechnology: An Overview of Key Themes, 36 ELR News and Analysis 10909. Overview Article

Hermann, Caroline. (2005) Corporate Environmental Disclosure Requirements, 35 ELR News and Analysis 10308.

Blackburn, William R. (2007). The Sustainability Handbook: The Complete Management Guide to Achieving Social, Economic, and Environmental Responsibility (Washington, DC: ELI Press).

Friedman, Frank. (2006). Practical Guide to Environmental Management, 10th ed. (Washington, DC: ELI Press).

Leadership:

The Center is led by  Brett Korte.