I just came across this excellent blog exposing a bunch of corporate safety myths. The first myth exposed by the writer is this: “Safety is our number one priority”.
While it sounds good and looks good on paper, most people know that it is simply not true. It is just “happy talk”. Companies exist to make a product or provide a service with the expectation of turning a profit. THAT is its number one priority. Without profit, it will soon go out of business. Even a non-profit organization exists to pursue a goal and that goal in most instances is not safety.
You can extend this thinking to environmental policy as well. It is a myth and it stretches credulity also to claim that environmental protection is your number one corporate priority.
To be effective in safety or environmental protection, you need to be credible – first and foremost with your stakeholders.