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Center for Environmental InnovationCenter for Environmental Innovation
Organizations in Transition (OIT)

The Need

Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) departments are in transition. Companies are "right-sizing" their EHS departments and integrating responsibilities into line organizations. Traditional health and safety issu

es are expanding to include corporate social responsibility. In addition, the EHS profession is reaching a new level of maturity with the evolution of standardized management systems.

Clearly, the dynamics in play present competitive opportunities for companies that are properly staffed and structured to take advantage of emerging trends.  But what is the structure of this ideal organization; the one that improves a company's competitive position, assures proactive social responsibility, and meets the challenges of sustainable development? 

An objective look at the opinions held by today's decision makers about organizational practices in relationship to competitive issues and sustainable development is needed.  What are the leading companies doing to achieve success?  What strategies and tactics do corporate decision makers believe in, especially in the wake of major mergers or divestments?  No framework currently exists to: examine these issues; sponsor discussions and learning across company boundaries; and provide managers with the information required to adapt the practices others believe are effective to meet their company’s specific needs. 

Program Management

The program is managed by the Center for Environmental Innovation (CEI), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, in collaboration with Boston University's School of Management (BU).  The program combines the talents of senior university researchers Richard MacLean at Arizona State University School of Business and Andrew Hoffman at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

Support for this ambitious effort comes from a variety of sources:

Companies that participate in interviews and workshops that are not sponsors to the overall research program have early access to only those research segments in which they contribute.  All companies that directly support the effort have a significant early lead on the access to the results, since the normal cycle time for review, edit and final publication of the final research reports and articles is six months to one year. 

Additional funding will be derived from the non-member fees charged for future forums, future conferences, workshops and training sessions, and sale of final reports.  Funding will be also sought from foundations and interested NGOs.

Published Information

Articles by the Project Investigators

A number of articles on the future of EHS in organizations have been authored by Richard MacLean , Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Innovation and in some cases, co-authored by graduate student interns. Contact Richard MacLean for copies.

  • Get Organized! - How should facilities organize their environmental, health, and safety (EHS) functions?, Environmental Quality Management, Winter 2007, Pages 95-98.

  • The Six W's of Leadership - What Kind of EHS Leader Are You? Environmental Protection, June 2006.

  • It's NOT My Job - In a changing business environment, just what are your job responsibilities? Environmental Protection, May 2006.

  • Merger Mania Math - Restructured EHS organizations face the new math: 1+1=3/4, Environmental Protection , May 2005.

  • The Shifting Roles Of NGOs - Moving Toward a “Superpower,” Co-authored by Brijesh Nalinakumari, Reports – The Magazine of Free Market Environmentalism, Volume 23, Number 4, December 2005, 14-15, PERC.

  • Corporate Environmentalism: In search of vision, leadership, and strategy , Environmental Quality Management, Volume 15, Issue 1, Autumn 2005, Pages 1-14.

  • NGOs: A Primer on the Evolution of the Organizations That Are Setting the Next Generation of “Regulations,” Co-authored by Brijesh Nalinakumari, Environmental Quality Management, Volume 14, Issue 4, Summer 2005, Pages 1-21.

  • Global Drivers: Dealing with the next generation of regulations, standards, and corporate watchdogs, Environmental Protection, June 2005.

  • EHS Organizational Quality: A DuPont Case Study - Best practices in corporate environmental, health, and safety organizational design Environmental Quality Management, pages 19-27, Winter 2004.

  • The New Rule Makers: The Paradigm Shift in Environmental, Health, Safety, and Social Responsibility "Regulations" Now Underway , Co-authored with Brijesh Nalinakumari, Corporate Environmental Strategy: International Journal for Sustainable Business, Vol. 11, Issue 8, September 2004, 16 Pages.

  • Organizations in Transition: An Annotated Bibliography of Published Literature on Environmental, Health and Safety Organizations
    Co-authored by Elizabeth Karan, Corporate Environmental Strategy: International Journal for Sustainable Business, Vol. 11, Issue 7, pages 2-163 - 2-182, July/August 2004.

  • A Template for Assessing Corporate Performance: Benchmarking EHS Organizations
    Environmental Quality Management,
    Spring 2004.

  • Corporate Environmental Organizations: Evolving Business Management Strategies,     Corporate Environmental Strategy, September 2003.

  • Countdown to ZeroEnvironmental Protection Magazine, October 2001.

  • EHS, By The Numbers, The Green Business Letter, October 2001.

  • Should E be Separate or Combined With H&S? , with Cord Jones, Organizations Resources Counselors, Washington, DC, EM Magazine, April 2000.

  • Right-Sizing Organizations for Quality, Three-part Series Appearing in EM, The Magazine of the Air & Waste Management Association.
         Part 1, Right-Sizing EHS Organizations, May 1999
         Part 2, Optimizing the Organization's Structure, June 1999
         Part 3, Making the Business Case to Executive Management, July 1999



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This page last updated 7/20/2018