Implementing Proactive Environmental Management: Lessons Learned from Best Commercial Practice

By Frank Camm; Jeffrey A. Drezner et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter Three
CENTRAL POLICY CHALLENGE:
INTEGRATE ENVIRONMENTAL MISSIONS AND
FUNCTIONS WITH CORE MISSIONS AND FUNCTIONS
Rubenson et al. (1994) highlighted the degree of separation between combat and environmental cultures in the U.S. Army and the importance of finding ways to eliminate this separation. This problem has been as important in commercial firms as it is in DoD today. Large firms face complex environmental regulations that they must obey, to the satisfaction of their regulators, before they have an effective license to pursue the core interests of their trade. Large firms have developed large, specialized staffs to manage this environmental problem. These specialists have sought to keep regulators satisfied while the rest of the employees of the firm sought profits. Environmental and other employees faced very different decision environments and hence had a limited need to interact. Traditional regulation has reinforced this difference by specifying much of what firms must do to comply with the law in close detail.Leading commercial firms began to think about their environmental concerns differently in the 1980s.1 Three factors are mentioned repeatedly:
1. As regulations became more complex, large firms turned to increasingly complex internal audits to verify that they were in compliance with the law. As potential liability for environmental
____________________
1
For a good overview, see Ehrfeld and Howard (1995) or Piasecki (1995). For a useful exchange of views among leading corporate executives and environmental specialists, see Porter and van den Linde (1995), Walley and Whitehead (1994), and Clarke et al. (1994). For a recent academic overview of these issues, see Starik, Marcus, and Ilinitsch (2000).

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