Gauging Green: The Vital Questions of an Environmental Risk Assessment

By Bunbury, Chris | Risk Management, March 2008 | Go to article overview

Gauging Green: The Vital Questions of an Environmental Risk Assessment


Bunbury, Chris, Risk Management


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

For years, businesses have been told that they must become green, but not how to do it. To promote growth and maximize profits, companies must proactively evaluate every aspect of their operations and ask the vital questions.

What are your environmental issues? Is government reporting required? Do you generate a waste stream? Is your neighbor contaminating your property? Is enterprise risk management right for you? Are you ISO certified? Are you impacted by SOX? Most importantly, how can you profit?

An environmental risk assessment will answer all of these questions.

In this day and age, every organization needs an effective environmental management strategy For some, this is already a mature, developed set of principles that play a role in all aspects of the enterprise. For others, the strategy will be a more loosely defined or ad-hoc set of procedures based upon due diligence.

Regardless of scope, however, every organization must ensure that their strategy is constantly is updated and reevaluated as the areas of environmental law, regulation and social responsibility continue to expand. At a minimum, it must be an evolving strategy based upon doing better today than yesterday and doing better tomorrow than today.

The foundation for achieving this simple goal comes down knowing the organization's exposures and liabilities. And there is only one way to be certain there is a proper level of understanding of all these complex and interconnected operations: by performing an effective environmental risk assessment.

When conducted comprehensively an environmental risk assessment incorporates team-based strategies to gather environmental intelligence from key employees, including risk managers, financial, legal and accounting. Once this information has been centralized, the assessment should center around four basic areas that will provide an environmental baseline to identify the environmental issues impacting a company: incoming supply chain, internal operations, outgoing shipments and local externalities.

The goal is to understand all the major questions surrounding all these strategic business components. If an organization can answer each of these comprehensively, it has conducted an effective environmental risk assessment. If it cannot, it runs the possibility of remaining exposed to liability from all sides.

There are many examples that illustrate potential environmental pitfalls. The risk manager that learns from these scenarios can avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

#1. What's coming in your front door?

This includes raw materials, supplies, business vendors, sales people, tenants, students, etc. What is your strategy if a vendor has an environmental loss that impedes their ability to deliver goods and services? Clients and vendors can create both direct and indirect environmental liabilities. It is critical to know with whom you are doing business.

Example A: While constructing a new sports stadium at a university, a contractor ruptured two abandoned, 10,000-gallon, underground storage tanks full of gasoline and diesel fuel. Since a private company donated the land to the university and the contractor did not have pollution insurance, the university was charged $200,000 for the environmental cleanup.

Example B: A transportation company was hired to long haul a liquid solvent used in making detergents and paints. When the truck carrying the shipment veered off the road and tumbled into the river below, the tank ruptured, leaking its contents. Neighboring towns were evacuated as 80,000 people fled the cloud of toxic vapor that settled over the area. Hundreds of gallons of chemical solvents traveled downstream polluting a nearby lake and destroying countless fish and vegetation. Claims costs were $3 million. In the end, poor vehicle maintenance was determined to be the cause of the accident. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Gauging Green: The Vital Questions of an Environmental Risk Assessment
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.