Two principal factors, the complexity of environmental regulation and the growing propensity of governments to criminalize infractions, have prompted companies conducting business in the United States and elsewhere to develop management strategies to assess and ensure compliance. There is a contemporaneous business movement afoot to measure and continuously improve environmental performance as a means not only to limit liability, but also to attain higher levels of efficiency, drive down costs, and ultimately, to get the best of the competition. Ongoing efforts to formulate standardized approaches to environmental management, such as the ISO 14001 environmental management system (EMS) designed by the International Organization for Standardization, are in part a response to these imperatives. This Article emphasizes the importance of a well-conceived corporate compliance program for companies in the present business and enforcement climate. It begins by examining the evolution of criminal environmental law and suggests ways firms can minimize the threat of prosecution. Following that discussion is a brief survey of the ''beyond compliance" movement, focusing on the role of compliance auditing in ISO 14000 and other EMS programs. The Article concludes with several ideas on EMS design and, more specifically, how to integrate compliance program elements within a comprehensive EMS.
Recommended CitationDonald A. Carr and William L. Thomas, Devising a Compliance Strategy under the ISO 14000 International Environmental Management Standards, 15 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 85 (1997)
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