About Ira Feldman
Ira Feldman, president and senior counsel of greentrack strategies, cuts an interdisciplinary swath across three usually distinct spheres: "big picture" environmental policy; environmental law and regulation; and environmental management. He originated the “greentrack” or dual track approach to environmental regulation and management, championed the implementation of a new generation of environmental management tools, created voluntary environmental excellence initiatives, and advanced the state of the art in environmental auditing and disclosure. Today, he is widely recognized as a thought leader in linking the regulatory and non-regulatory trends that form the basis of strategic environmental management (SEM) and sustainable business practices. Mr. Feldman’s presentations at conferences and international policy events reflect his focus on the interrelated concepts of environmental management systems, environmental performance metrics, regulatory innovation, stakeholder engagement, and sustainable development.
In the US, Mr. Feldman has played a leading role in defining future domestic policy directions through his participation as a member of the Environmental Management Task Force of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD); the Multistate Working Group on EMS (MSWG); and the advisory board of the National Environmental Policy Institute (NEPI). Around the world — in Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia — Mr. Feldman has worked with governmental entities, multilateral organizations, NGO’s, and industry organizations (from large multinationals to SME’s) on a wide range of implementation, policy development, and training activities. He has served as a peer reviewer on sustainability issues for organizations as diverse as DuPont, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the Resource Renewal Institute. Mr. Feldman attended the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) representing the Environmental Law Institute and the American Bar Association; his paper presented at this event in Johannesburg offered the business perspective on stakeholder engagement in environmental decision-making.
Until December 1994, Mr. Feldman was Special Counsel in the Office of Compliance at US EPA Headquarters in Washington, DC. In that position he developed and directed the Environmental Leadership Program, EPA’s first program on corporate environmental excellence, and he led the revision of the Agency’s policies on environmental auditing and self-disclosure. Among other responsibilities, Mr. Feldman was EPA’s liaison to the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). Before joining EPA, Mr. Feldman practiced environmental law in the private sector in New York and Washington, with particular emphasis on the environmental aspects of large-scale merger, acquisition, and real estate transactions.
Mr. Feldman is perhaps best known for his leadership role in the development of the ISO 14000 series of standards in the US and at the international level, and for his early recognition of the policy and regulatory implications of voluntary environmental management standards. In the US Technical Advisory Group’s (USTAG), he served for six years as the vice chairman of the ST4 on “environmental performance evaluation” (EPE) relating to performance metrics. Mr. Feldman founded and co-chaired the ISO 14000 Legal Issues Forum (LIF to consider legal, policy, and implementation issues related to environmental management systems. Mr. Feldman has also played a prominent role in the development of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and in raising awareness of the importance of GRI in outreach to various stakeholder groups and competing standards organizations. He served as a member of its initial metrics work group which developed the GRI exposure draft, and more recently as a member of the metrics task group which developed the current version of the GRI protocol for sustainability reporting. He participated in the UNCTAD expert group which developed an international standard for accounting and reporting of environmental liabilities (ISAR); he currently serves on the North American steering committee for the UNEP Financial Initiatives, which focuses on the interface between the financial sector and the environmental management world; and, he is an active participant in the Corporate Responsibility task group of the US Council for International Business (USCIB), which monitors developments across numerous corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
An active member of the American Bar Association’s Section on Environment, Energy and Resources (SEER), Mr. Feldman is currently the Chairman of SEER’S Sustainable Development, Ecosystems & Climate Change Committee. He leads the Section-wide Sustainable Development Initiative, a multi-Committee awareness-raising effort which is intended to weave sustainability concepts into the activities of the ABA. He has also served as Vice Chair of the Section’s “Second Generation” and “International Environmental Law” Committees. He is a leading participant in the ongoing consideration of multidisciplinary practice (MDP) issues in environmental law. Mr. Feldman is a member of the Environmental Law Institute’s Council of Partners.
Mr. Feldman has both a legal and a technical background in environmental issues. He completed an interdisciplinary B.A./M.S. program magna cum laude at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia where he was a Benjamin Franklin Scholar.
Mr. Feldman completed additional graduate work in environmental risk assessment and toxicology at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, and he received his doctorate in law from the Columbia Law School in New York where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
Recently, Mr. Feldman has returned to Penn as a visiting professor affiliated with the Institute for Environmental Studies to promote interdisciplinary approaches and sustainability concepts in environmental policy, law, and management.
He has written two books on ISO 14000 with Tom Tibor, and he has published over 30 articles on strategic environmental management and sustainability issues.
He is currently a member of the editorial advisory boards of Corporate Environmental Strategy (NetLogex); Environmental Quality Management (Wiley); and International Environmental Systems Update (CEEM).
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