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E N V I R O N M E N T A L
M A N A G E M E N T
T A S K F O R C E
Purpose of the Environmental Management Task Force is to advise the President on the next steps in building the new environmental management framework of the 21st Century.
Carol Browner, Environmental Protection Agency
Harry J. Pierce, General Motors Corporation
Michael McClosky, Sierra Club
Task Force Coordinator:
David Monsma, Environmental Management Task Force Coordinator
The Environmental Management Task Force was made up of representatives from government, business, academia, and non-governmental organizations.
The need for better ways to protect the environment is now well documented. In short, many traditional and emerging regulatory and non-regulatory tools have inherent limitations for addressing the sources of current and future environmental problems. Increasingly, environmental professionals are recognizing that the source of these problems lie in the complex linkage among people, businesses and the natural world.
Many of the recent innovations in environmental management ranging from private sector initiatives such as ISO 14000 to government efforts such as the EPA's Project XL and brownfields redevelopment programs aim more or less vaguely towards these integrated goals of sustainable development. It is also fair to say that all the reform efforts are achieving some success, but not in the integrative way (or to the degree) all have hoped. Sustainable America, the PCSD's consensus report to the President issued in March 1996, recommended steps that could be taken to improve environmental management, but stopped short of characterizing the nature of a more fully integrated environmental management framework to foster sustainable development.
One of the most important revelations of Sustainable America was that meaningful and long term solutions for environmental, economic and social equity problems will require new strategies that address the source of problems, create mutual benefit throughout society and the chain of commerce, and solve multiple problems -- environmental, economic and social -- simultaneously. An environmental management framework that promotes sustainable development will be one that sets out to achieve the multiple objectives of economic growth, environmental quality and social equity simultaneously.
The PCSD provides a unique service at this important period in the discussion on the environmental management paradigm shift by moving it beyond regulatory reform to the more integrative goals of sustainable development. Development and agreement on an environmental management framework that better aligns economic, environmental and social factors could provide the needed linkages and unification of the many environmental innovations underway and provide direction for future reforms.
To carry out it's charter, the EMTF:
- more fully articulated a vision of environmental management that pursues environmental, economic and social equity goals simultaneously, in particular it's characteristics and the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders;
- identified and assessed current reform efforts in light of this vision; and
- assessed policy opportunities and recommend next steps in moving toward a more fully integrated framework.