Notes on Carl Frankel's A Short History of Corporate Environmentalism

Notes on Carl Frankel's A Short History of Corporate Environmentalism

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A Short History of Corporate Environmentalism by Carl Frankel In a very broad sense, corporate environmentalism can be categorized into three phases, with a fourth in its new beginning: 1.) The Era of Compliance : The first era was launched in 1962 with the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring , which depicted in chilling detail the environmental damage wrought by chemicals. The resulting uproar provoked the introduction of new environmental laws that came to be for the next 20 years. During this period, good corporate citizenship meant simply obeying the law. Thus the industry went from being unprepared , with no strategic goals regarding environmental issues, to an attitude of complying with legal requirements . 2.) The Era of beyond Compliance : This era began in December 1984 with the Bhopal incident (in Bhopal, India). There was an accidental release of 57,000 litres of methyl isocyanate from a Union Carbide plant into the air. This resulted in 1500 people dead and thousands more were blinded or harmed in some way. It shook many nations and firms and it became clear to business executives and to the public that corporate environmental practices had to change. The chemical industry responded aggressively by improving their environmental, health and safety performance . Companies improved their external corporate communications with local communities (improving public relations) by taking into account community concerns . The U.S. Congress also enacted SARA to require companies to publish their annual emission levels of hundreds of chemicals. This resulted in a new era of public accountability and stakeholder involvement . This activity was highlighted also as a result of the 1989 event when the super-
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This note was uploaded on 03/07/2012 for the course ENVIRONMEN 102 taught by Professor Weber during the Spring '12 term at Waterloo.

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Notes on Carl Frankel's A Short History of Corporate Environmentalism

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