October 23, 2018

The 2018 Award Dinner will take place on Tuesday, October 23, 2018
at
The Omni Shoreham Hotel
2500 Calvert Street, NW
Washington, DC

 

Please contact Melodie DeMulling at 202-939-3808 or demulling@eli.org
if you would like to become a Star Sponsor of the 2018 Award Dinner!

 

October 23, 2018

The 2018 ELI-Miriam Hamilton Keare Policy Forum

Join ELI and expert panelists as we embrace and explore this fascinating moment in time when divergent forces—private environmental governance, law, technologies, and communities—are coming together, and allowing us to harness their combined power in a new environmental paradigm.

On the first Earth Day in 1970, Sen. Edmund Muskie called for “A total strategy to protect the total environment.” At that time – and for several decades – the overarching approach was one of regulatory compliance, largely directed by government. Today, technology has enabled companies to improve their environmental performance and citizens to track it, while a connected global network has catalyzed knowledge-based economies. Companies are looking at environmental performance in more holistic ways than the regulatory structure demands. Citizens can access, collect, and broadcast data on environmental quality, whether or not this data is accepted for compliance purposes. What constituted a strategy fifteen, or even ten, years ago—analyze, plan, execute—no longer works in operating environments that are increasingly unpredictable, fragmented, and characterized by high rates of technological change, big data, crowd communication, young industries, and an incessant drive for competitive advantage. For example, science and technology are moving forward at such a fast pace that there is a gap between advances and society’s ability to process and manage the information, never mind establish meaningful controls.

Today, the parameters of a “total strategy” are at last coming into view. To create meaningful and effective environmental protection, the combined power of private environmental governance, law, technologies, and communities needs to be harnessed to hedge against uncertainties, build resilience and organizational flexibility, and reduce surprises. How should we institutionalize this new paradigm? How do we make better use of citizen-generated data? How can the voluntary commitments by companies be further internalized into algorithms that drive energy and environmental decisions in facilities and supply chains? How can law-based systems anticipate and prevent software tampering and manipulation? And, how do we embed environmental considerations into software design going forward? Instead of utilizing old business models, we need to step back, identify, and embrace new ones. This will require transformational leadership, an experimental mindset, an agile and adaptive development approach, partnerships spanning the public and private sectors, and above all, an openness to embracing a new environmental paradigm.

Join ELI for the Annual ELI-Miriam Hamilton Keare Policy Forum, featuring expert panelists exploring the intersection of private environmental governance, law, technologies, and communities.

Opening Remarks: Scott Fulton, President, Environmental Law Institute

Panelists:
Dave Rejeski, Director, Technology, Innovation and the Environment Project, Environmental Law Institute (Moderator)
Ann E. Condon, Visiting Scholar, Environmental Law Institute
Paul E. Hagen, Principal, Beveridge & Diamond PC
Dr. Adrienne L. Hollis, Director of Federal Policy, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
John Lovenburg, Vice President, Environmental, BNSF Railway
Michael G. Mahoney, Vice President, Assistant General Counsel, and Chief Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) Compliance Counsel, Pfizer Inc.
Michael P. Vandenbergh, Director, Climate Change Research Network, Co-director, Energy, Environment, and Land Use Program. Law Professor, Vanderbilt University

October 23, 2018

ELI 2018 Corporate Forum

Companies are facing increasing and unprecedented risks and uncertainty in the corporate governance of environmental, health and safety issues.  While companies are taking active steps to advance and demonstrate their initiatives to address environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, financial regulators, customers, investors, NGOs, the media, and—increasingly—prosecutors are scrutinizing corporate disclosures, marketing claims, activities, and governance procedures and bringing concerns to the forefront of public debate.  Corporate ESG disclosures and activities—or lack thereof—increasingly are creating complex legal responsibilities across multiple layers of corporate governance, including board and executive oversight, front line auditing, and external engagement that are threatening significant liability and brand issues in the United States and abroad when not executed with abundant care. These trends are creating a heightened need to be deliberate, proactive, and precise with ESG activities and disclosures, and to ensure proper governance procedures are in place from the factory to the Board to avoid the risk of increasing scrutiny and liability. The focus areas extend to reporting on greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, sustainability, environmental impact lifecycles, supply chains, human and worker rights, advertising, marketing, website and public representations, and corporate environmental governance procedures.

The Corporate Forum will concentrate on the rapidly increasing focus on corporate governance of EHS issues, including the emerging risks and liabilities, insight from investors, NGOs, regulators, and prosecutors on areas of focus, lessons learned from recent experiences, and best practices to mitigate risks going forward. What are the responsibilities of corporate officers? What are the risks – financial (such as for remediation), reputational and legal? What are ways that companies can address those risks? How have customer, shareholder and investor demands, as well as laws, regulations and case law changed company performance and risk?

Panelists:
Cassie Phillips, Environmental Law Institute (Moderator)
Avi S. Garbow, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, formerly General Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Melissa A. Hoffer, Assistant Attorney General and Chief, Energy and Environment Bureau, Massachusetts Attorney General's Office
Roger Martella, General Counsel, Environment, Health and Safety, General Electric
Brendan McCarthy, Investment Manager, The Earth Partners LP
Lori Michelin, President and CEO, World Environment Center (WEC)