Kübler-Ross Grief Model of Environmental Compliance Requirements

The following is an excerpt of the article Assent authored for Live Better Magazine.

Assent Compliance global consultants have seen North American businesses react to REACH environmental regulations in a manner not unlike the Kübler-Ross grief model. The five company stages break out as follows:

1. Denial – an outright denial by some companies to acknowledge that this regulation can affect them. While the majority of companies are beyond this stage, it’s still a prevalent sentiment –about 25 percent.

2. Anger – any change from the status quo in a large organization may cause anger in those burdened with extra work. This can undoubtedly cause internal frustration with regard to means of compliance, budget decisions and plans for moving forward. During this early planning stage, companies have trouble making decisions and typically seek advice – about 30 percent.

3. Bargaining – with any legislation there can be exemptions, addendums or clauses that may absolve a party of some portion of their responsibility. This is not typically the case for REACH. Although the “bargaining” stage is not prevalent, it does occur in some companies – about 5 percent.

4. Depression – typically a company will tender several requests for consultants to make suggestions and to better inform internal stakeholders on instituting a compliance process or system. Although this phase does not effect the organization as a whole, the compliance team itself frequently feels incapable of undertaking the task either due to perceived understaffing or adverse impact by their supply chain. This stage is more of a “micro” state, which follows the organization’s acceptance of REACH requirements – about 20 percent.

5. Acceptance – once organizations accept the reality that environmental regulations are real, enforceable and can affect their bottom line, the typical response is an “Alright, let’s do it” approach – about 20 percent. As one Assent client noted: “Has our business model changed? No? If our business model includes selling our products globally then we’re going to comply with environmental regulations. It’s simple. We’re not afraid of challenges at this company.”

At Assent we encounter companies at all stages. It is important to note however, whatever stage your company may be at, this need not be a painful, expensive or largely time consuming process if executed with the right partners. We just have to:

1. Identify your obligations
2. Put a plan / system in place
3. Execute

While it is naive to think that in a large company the process is as simple as the three steps outlined but for the most part in a company large or small complying with REACH, RoHS / RoHS II , CLP and other environmental regulations can be done quickly and effectively with the right partners.

Where is your company in the K-S Stages ?

Assent Provides:

• Software Solutions for Environmental Compliance (RoHS, RoHS II, REACH, CLP etc)
• RoHS, REACH, WEEE Consulting
• Engineering Assessments
• Custom Solutions and Support
• General Sustainability Consulting

Contact Assent Compliance For a Free Assessment:


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