The Elm Consulting Group International, LLC was a sponsor for the 2nd Atlanta International Environmental Trade Mission.
The Trade Mission was presented in partnership with the Quebec Government Office, Consulate General of Canada, and other members of Atlanta’s Consular Corps and concludes this week.
The Mission brought together state and local governments, metro area companies and organizations and 14 international companies, including representatives from Canada, Germany and Uganda, who specialize in green products and services worldwide. The Mission’s goal is to facilitate international commerce and investment by working with the various Atlanta-based consulates, bi-national organizations and chambers of commerce to identify overseas companies and match them with the appropriate Atlanta-based entities. The Trade Mission spans five days, October 5th through October 9th and included presentations and meetings on sustainability and clean technology products, services and initiatives.
Mayor Shirley Franklin delivered the keynote address, who was also presented with the first “World Chamber of Commerce Visionary Award for International Environmental Stewardship”. Other distinguished speakers at the Mission included:
− Consul General, Stephen Brereton, Consulate General of Canada
− Québec Government Delegate, Ginette Chenard
− Consul General Reda Mansour, State of Israel and Dean of the Consular Corp of Georgia
− Lutz H. Görgens, Ph.D., Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany
− Kristian Wolf, President and CEO, German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States, Inc.
− The Honorable Lisa Borders, City Council President, City of Atlanta
− Jorge Fernandez, VP Global Commerce, Metro Atlanta Chamber
− Peggy McCormick, President, Atlanta Development Authority and Metro Atlanta Chamber
Lawrence Heim, Director at Elm, also delivered a welcoming address. Heim encouraged those businesses expanding into the US market for the first time to conduct a thorough analysis of the environmental business risks associated with American regulatory requirements and financial liabilities.
Companies who are not familiar with the environmental risks and legal constraints of the US must gain a detailed understanding of these issues in advance of setting business goals and expectations. Some examples of my discussions with other Mission participants include
− regulatory requirements for fluorescent bulb disposal (in the context of new lighting technology)
− potential state or federal permitting implications for manufacturing process changes that result in process efficiency increases from adopting new sustainable technologies
− long-tail off-site waste disposal liabilities
− environmental risk assessment and loss control options available in the US.
A recent AON study on EU Risk Managers’ perception of environmental risk illustrated a general view in the EU on the part of risk management professionals that environmental risk is not significant.
Elm’s goal in participating in the Mission is to help EU-based participants realize that environmental business risk assessment/management in the US is more complex and critical than they may initially realize.