Symposium

The William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review’s annual symposium, titled “Managing Green Business: Defining, Regulating, and Supporting Environmentally Responsible Businesses” will be held over January 27-28, 2012. Discussion shall cover a number of topics examining more closely aspects of the concept of “green business.” As currently scheduled, three speakers are scheduled to present on Friday: Judd Sneirson, Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Hofstra University; Kemi Fuentes-George, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Middlebury University; and Paulette L. Stenzel, Professor at Michigan State University. On Saturday, six individuals are slated to give five presentations: Peter A. Appel, Alex W. Smith Professor of Law at the University of Georgia, and T. Rick Irvin, Adjunct Professor at the University of Georgia; Heather Hughes, Professor at American University; Antony Page, Professor of Law at Indiana University; Robert A. Katz, Professor of Law at Indiana University; and L. Preston Bryant, Jr., Chairman, National Capital Planning Commission.

Professor Sneirson’s presentation is titled “The Myth and Reality of Green Business.” He plans to discuss how companies can and do genuinely engage in green business practices, what that means, and how many companies portray themselves as green when in fact they are far from it.

Professor Fuentes-George will present information on biodiversity economics, based in research in Latin America, and will focus his discussion on organic certification.

Professor Stenzel will give a talk entitled In an Age of Green Business, How Does Fair Trade Promote Sustainability?” This subject will cover how the United States ought to move toward demanding sustainable products and how fair trade regulations can support this goal.

Professors Appel and Irvin will present on achieving real time Green Product and Green Business Metrics, meaning results measured in months and years instead of decades. They will base the material in their work on case studies on the law governing the use of private ordering systems and corporate management systems.

Professor Hughes will discuss “Green Business and Private Law.” She will indicate how most environmental initiatives surrounding business are grounded in public law, such as through state and federal regulation. She will then explore the private law field, including commercial, property, contract, and corporations law areas, to demonstrate the potential within this under-utilized sector, specifically with a focus on finance.

Professor Page will compare and contrast two corporate legal forms recently introduced to assist in the formation and operation of environmentally responsible businesses. Elements examined should include qualification requirements, certification programs, and the standards applied to the corporate legal forms.

Professor Katz’s presentation will explore the use by the affluent of financial support of social enterprises in the developing world to discharge their ethical duties to humanity. Katz will examine a number of elements in the social enterprises to see which are most frequently chosen by donors; one element for example will be a “double bottom line” organization (focusing on profit generation and a societal mission) as opposed to those with a “triple bottom line” (which focus on environmental concerns as a third element).

Mr. Bryant will discuss his work on the Southwest Ecodistrict, a planning initiative in the District of Columbia that aims to redevelop a corridor of the Southwest quadrant in an environmentally responsible manner. The ecodistrict will integrate mixed-use zoning, green infrastructure practices, innovative technologies, willing commercial participants, and other elements to build a net-zero energy development.

The “Managing Green Business: Defining, Regulating, and Supporting Environmentally Responsible Businesses” symposium will focus on a number of issues related to managing the growth of the “green business” concept in today’s commercial world.

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