We have considered the integrated and complicated nature of environmental risk management. In doing so, we identified a critical management issue: the various definitions of environmental risk that arise within and without the corporation. Additionally, we saw what Toll (1999) describes as the inseparability of the scientific and socioeconomic dimensions of environmental problems. To deal with this reality, we identified the need for a front-loaded management process (Figure 3.1) using good science, objective/subjective integration, and sound business calculus that is able to:
• identify and define the peril as a loss exposure from a holistic, multidimensional perspective;
• network with various sources of knowledge and “players” within and without the company to understand their goals and values in order to inform the process;
• apply integrative assessment methods to define and understand the risk system within its operational abiotic, biotic, and cultural environment;
• develop management options to control the risk system based upon this information, allowing the manager to seek mutual gains with involved stakeholders; and
• apply a communications approach, based upon a synoptic understanding of the definition of risk, that argues from a position of knowledge-strength and follows the process principles of engagement, explanation, and expectation clarity (Chan Kim and Mauborgne, 1997).