Re: make sure there is one before reporting
Worked for a company in a capacity that had me well aware of hazardous material spills. They regularly delayed reporting using the claim that they had to be informed of, or confirm there was, a spill before reporting a spill.
They also had a habit of under-recording the size of the spill (just under legal limit) to avoid having to report or explain delays when a spill could not be hidden.
That company, and it's industry, only ever mentioned the minimum quantity involved. If one liter contaminated one thousand liters it would only ever be referred to as one liter, even as the tanker trucks moved in for clean up the thousand liters of hazardous material.
I tell that story to remind people that publicly traded for profit business have one, and only one, driving purpose. To make money. Any efforts, any expenses, can only be justified by profit. Even charity has to give a ROI in PR or by ensuring support from "key" community members.
Under reporting is to be expected and can only be avoided by making companies pay far more (orders of magnitudes more) in fines than it costs them to act in a safe and responsible manner.
Putting board members in jail is so effective that businesses have spend considerable time and money creating a system where today that is almost impossible. IMO jail of board members and owners should be brought back as an option for companies failing to operate in a responsible manner.
Yes it is hard to operate responsibly and doing so while others do not puts companies at a major disadvantage but IMO demanding anything less is a race to the bottom.