Corporate environmental law is increasingly an important part of the compliance world for any business. It continues to involves more and more topics. These topics range from safety and prevention of environmental hazards, to ensuring business operations comply with the requirements of environmental laws and regulations. Further, this area of law includes attempts at reducing emissions (even just from corporate buildings) and business issues that result from climate change.
Examples in Business Law
Businesses can also help to shape new environmental law standards, particularly when they work simultaneously. Also, businesses create pressure for other companies to join them as they move toward progressively more “green” business plans. As examples, JP Morgan’s new financing rules and AirBnB’s new sustainability program for its home and apartment rentals. Both push their business sectors in a new direction. However, as this article points out, the number of businesses adequately pushing the climate change agenda is low, and can do better.
Some corporations and businesses hire in-house counsel, and some hire counsel on a retainer basis (or only as needed). But how many of those attorneys are knowledgeable and current on issues in corporate environmental law? The answer is: probably not too many, despite the potential costs of violations. In fact, a guide was developed recently for in-house counsel on climate change and environmental regulations.
Knowledge of the Law
Risk mitigation analysis of potential climate change impacts, for one, is critical for businesses to conduct now. It allows businesses to get ahead of those potential impacts, so that each business is prepared. Another effect of knowledge on environmental laws and regulations prevents hurdles further into business development projects down the road. This is done by understanding the necessary information early on.
As an example, knowing which agencies you must receive permits from will prevent challenges on that topic later on. In addition, environmental compliance in particular can keep a business away from highly expensive violation issues and equally expensive litigation. These problems affect small companies as well as the giant corporations of the world. Corporate environmental law applies to all businesses equally.
It’s not always clear what the corporate environmental rules are. The regulations for environmental laws tend to change fairly often (just see some of the more recent regulatory changes here, and add in changes based on environmental litigation such as here). Also, seemingly benign changes may have unforeseen consequences.
Knowing which environmental measures to implement will help keep the business out of litigation! The business can stay well ahead of the curve if there’s a desire to implement more environmentally friendly methods. The social ethics of the company may lead to “doing more,” and the business can profit by responding to consumers’ shift toward greener businesses and sustainability practices.
If you’ve never had an environmental attorney take a look at your business practices, company policies, or for environmental initiatives, call our office. If you’ve never thought about environmental compliance as it relates to your business. or if you’ve fallen below the curve and face violation enforcement, call our office. We are prepared to help your business stay compliant with corporate environmental law, call us today at 401.477.0023.