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About Us

Background of the Group

The Group was founded in 1988 as the Ad-Hoc Industry Natural Resource Damage Group. In 2012, "Damage" was changed to "Management" in order to reflect the broad role of companies related to natural resource issues. Six companies -- Atlantic Richfield Company (now BP); American Smelting & Refining Company (Asarco); General Electric Company (GE); 3M Company; Phelps Dodge (now Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold); and United States Steel Corporation -- founded the Group in cooperation with Barbara Goldsmith who has served as the Group's Executive Director since inception.

In the over 30 years since its founding, the Group's geographic and topical focus has greatly expanded. In 2004, the Group established its European program in Brussels. Since then, the Group has continued to expand its reach to natural resource issues affecting industry and vice versa worldwide. A large number of the world's most influential multinational companies in every key sector have participated as members of the Ad-Hoc Industry Natural Resource Management Group. In 2006, the Group founded an Affiliates Program, open to law and consulting firms and individual practitioners in a variety of disciplines, in order to expand upon the Group's base of expertise and foster positive working relationships with the Group's member companies. A partial roster of Member Company and Affiliate participants may be viewed HERE and HERE.

Any company may advance a topic for Group consideration and by way of example, in 2024, at a member company's request, we will launch a Discussion Group addressing fulfillment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The Group has a strong track record of being on the cutting edge of natural resource issues and it can rise to action quickly as needed.

The Group does not lobby as a Group and operates on consensus.

Our Issue Focus

The Group was originally established to provide a mechanism for communication and practice exchange on the then newly passed natural resource damage (NRD) liability provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (Superfund). Today, the Group's focuses on the wide range of issues pertaining to natural resources -- a.k.a. nature -- that can impact a company's goals, priorities and operations.

While the Group is very well known for its seminal best practices work on natural resource liability regimes in the US, Europe and elsewhere related to oil spills, hazardous waste sites, transportation and industrial accidents and more, it is engaged in a very wide set of topics that arise on the broad natural resources spectrum -- from prevention and risk management to liability containment to resource restoration and conservation to biodiversity and sustainability. It is also concerned with a number of intersecting issues: namely, climate change and decarbonization, PFAS/related chemicals, site remediation, emergency response and more. In addition, the Group is examining the role of natural resources in the context of corporate transparency, reporting and disclosure requirements under the ever-evolving ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) matrix.

Our 2022 Natural Resources Symposium's theme "Natural Resources at a Crossroads: How Recent Events Have Affected Natural Resources Law and Policy and Highlighted the Importance of Public/Private Collaborations to Advance Shared Objectives" and a follow up program held in 2023, "Natural Resources Symposium Redux: Influences, Perspectives, Needs One Year Later" illustrate much of what has our current attention in the US. See the agendas HERE and HERE. Our input to the European Commission in 2023 HERE illustrates the depth of the Group's expertise on natural resource liability and financial security matters.

By way of reference, information on the natural resource damage liability regimes under Superfund, Clean Water Act, Oil Pollution Act and analogous state laws in the US can be found HERE. Information related to the Environmental Liability Directive and allied Directives in Europe and analogous laws in the 27 member states; and other liability regimes globally can be found HERE.