Business decisions have long been guided by the invisible hand of economics, responding to
prices, supplies and consumer preferences. But the guiding hand was soulless; unaware of and uncaring
about the consequences of business activity. The SEIS creates a new conscience in the marketplace, an
invisible heart, if you will, to insure that the hand of economics is unclenched, so that it can go about its
business with a gentle touch.
END OF REPORT
Language requiring a Social/Environmental Impact Statement, which would apply only to
the largest of corporations, might read as follows:
Businesses shall periodically prepare a Social/Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS).
The SEIS will address issues of societal importance, including the impacts of company operations on
workers, on communities, and on the quality of the environment, locally, regionally and globally. The
report shall include the impacts of operations directly owned by the business, or with which the business is
directly involved. It shall also include the impacts of major materials required for the business'
functioning irrespective of whether or not such materials are supplied by company-owned facilities. The
impacts to be reported on can be both negative and positive, but the report should also include impacts
even if their value is difficult or impossible to assess.
More specifically, the SEIS will trace the flow of major materials throughout their life cycle,
and will report on the impacts of: material extraction from the earth, including mining, drilling, logging,
fishing, farming, hunting, animal husbandry, and the use of water, soil, rock and atmospheric gases;
material transportation; all stages of processing and manufacture; product testing; intermediate and
ultimate consumer use; material disposal.
The impacts to be considered include, but are not limited to: impacts to all environmental
media (air, water and land) at all stages of material life cycle; ecosystem impacts; impacts on animal
welfare; impacts on workers at all stages of material life cycle, including health and safety, adequacy of
wages, opportunities for betterment, and an assessment of the status of adherence to basic principles of
human rights; impacts on communities at all stages of material life cycle including impacts on basic
services such as water, education, housing and health care, population movement and possible
dislocations, cultural impacts, especially through introduction of unfamiliar technologies, crops, foods,
and people, and impact on the local economy.
Businesses that consider some or all of their operations to be essentially non-material in
nature (for example, financial services or communications) will report on the impacts of the materials
which make their services possible as well as the impacts of the activities which their services make
In the case where companies are acquiring materials from other companies that have
already prepared an SEIS, the purchasing company may reference the SEIS of the supplier company as
long as the purchasing company certifies that it is satisfied with the coverage and detail of the supplier's
SEIS. For instance, a car manufacturer buying tires need not include a life cycle assessment of tires in its
SEIS, but can simply incorporate the tire manufacturer's SEIS by reference, if the company is satisfied
that necessary information is already adequately covered in the SEIS prepared by the tire manufacturer.
END OF BOX A