Measuring Corporate Environmental Justice Performance

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Measures of corporate environmental justice performance can be a valuable tool in efforts to promote corporate social responsibility and to document systematic patterns of environmental injustice. This paper develops such a measure based on the extent to which toxic air emissions from industrial facilities disproportionately impact racial and ethnic minorities and those on low incomes. Applying the measure to 100 major corporate air polluters in the United States, we find wide variation in the extent of disproportional exposures. In 54 cases, minorities, who represent 31.8% of the US population, bear excess burden; in 15 of these cases, the minority share exceeds half of the total human health impacts from the firm's industrial air pollution. In 66 cases, poor people, who represent 12.8% of the US population, bear excess burden. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.