Environmental Justice practice, Stacey Sublett Halliday and Julius Redd (Washington, DC), briefly recap current EJ coverage developments, the launch of the Council on Environmental High quality’s Local weather and Financial Justice Screening Software (CEJST), and what’s to return.
They then speak with two EJ leaders from the U.S. Environmental Safety Company (EPA): Matthew Tejada, Director of EPA’s Workplace of Environmental Justice, and Samantha Phillips Beers, Director of the EPA Area III Workplace of Communities, Tribes, and Environmental Evaluation. They talk about how EPA defines environmental, social, and governance (ESG); how corporations can advance EJ by means of complete ESG packages; and the way such initiatives may be reported and evaluated in a significant means.
“ESG is an attempt to quantify and display the risks and opportunities that can impact a company’s ability to create long-term fiduciary value. So, there’s three pillars: Environment, which includes climate change, natural resources, and environmental justice principles – pollution and waste and environmental opportunities; Social, which includes labor, products, safety, and data security; and of course, Governance. For me, Governance is where the rubber meets the road. It’s all about accountability of the Board for the company’s practices.”
— Samantha Phillips Beers
“You have to invest in environmental justice. Environmental justice is not the meeting at the local library that you send your baby lawyer or your junior engineer to on a Wednesday night and expect that to count as meaningfully engaging the community… Environmental justice is a practice. It is a profession. It is something that takes skill. It is something that takes experience. It is something that takes an acute level of emotional intelligence that most professions never scratch the surface of. And until business and industry invests in a practice of environmental justice in the same way that business and industry invests in engineering, lawyering, or in science, you’re not going to get there.”
— Matthew Tejada
“Groundtruth” is a podcast collection, produced in partnership with the Environmental Legislation Institute’s People Places Planet Podcast, that explores EJ tendencies and developments.