Carol Singer Neuvelt, Executive Director, NAEM
The professionals who are responsible for environmental, health and safety (EHS) regulatory compliance in their companies and institutions have been enjoying a lot of attention the last few years as a result of the focus on climate change and the emerging recognition by the “C suite” of the need to address sustainability as a business strategy.
EHS functions have been expanding to drive, influence and implement corporate sustainability strategies, but will the newly energized focus on corporate stewardship be thwarted by the melt down on Wall Street?
From where I sit, it’s hard to tell. On one hand, an increasing number of our member companies recently reported that they have some type of sustainability initiative underway, yet more and more of our professionals are also telling me that their companies have frozen budgets, reduced staffing, and stopped all non-essential travel.
Will sustainability be lumped under the “non–essential” category as the ripple effects of the Wall Street meltdown and a slowing global economy play out over the next few months and beyond? Or will CEO’s embrace corporate sustainability even more tightly as they look for ways to drive competitive brand value and cut costs through better resource management? What’s going on in your company in these areas?
I would be eager to hear how you, your company and your sustainability programs are being impacted by the current financial crisis.