Focus On the Enhesa Team: James Olaleye

by James Olaleye 08 Jun. 2018

Enhesa is a multi-national, multi-cultural company that helps global companies be aware of and stay in compliance with environmental, health, and safety laws. Enhesa is able to provide our services thanks to our in-house team – based across our three corporate offices. In this regular feature, you will be able to meet and get to know some of the Enhesa Team, the people that make our services what they are

 ORIGIN/ ROLE AT ENHESA/JURISDICTIONS COVERED:

I am a Nigerian American and work for Enhesa as an EHS Regulatory Consultant. I cover a number of jurisdictions, namely: Nigeria National, Canada National and the United States: Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota and Oregon.

Education and Credentials:

James
 

I graduated from the University of Connecticut where I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. I then, like several of my Enhesa colleagues, attended Vermont Law School where I obtained a Juris Doctor/Masters in Environmental Law and Policy. I have also been admitted to the New York State Bar.

When did you join Enhesa?

September 2015

What languages do you speak?

Yoruba and English.

What are your hobbies?

Futbol! I consume and participate in a copious amount of football. I also enjoy playing ping pong and I am an event photographer.

When did you know you wanted to study law?

I took an Environmental Law class at the University of Connecticut, and suddenly, all the dots were connected. I was attracted by the process of using creative policies to solve environmental, social, moral, and economic issues.

What EHS issues are you most passionate about?

I am interested in the confluence of energy and climate change policies. Therefore, I have worked on several issues on renewable energy, maritime, and oil and gas sectors as they affect EHS.

What are some trends or hot issues occurring in your jurisdictional coverage at the moment?

Because I cover both the United States and Canada, I get to see as issues trickle down from the federal level to provinces or States. On some issues, the trends are congruent. On other issues, there is a clear divergence.

For instance, considering the current political climate, Canada has been in the forefront of pushing progressive climate change initiatives. These are sometimes done in collaboration with provinces. Recently, Canada set a deadline for which each jurisdiction must outline how the jurisdiction would implement carbon pricing systems that would meet the federal standard. Currently in the United States, these issues are not driven on the federal level.

On the other hand, both in the United States and in Canada, addressing workplace harassment is an issue several legislatures are attempting to tackle. Canada recently proposed a framework to address workplace harassment and sexual violence. The Illinois legislature has created a task force to study and make recommendations on combatting sexual discrimination and harassment in the State.

What do companies need to know about EHS in your jurisdictions or what would you tell companies thinking about doing business in one of your jurisdictions?

Companies doing businesses in a country like Nigeria should know that navigating various regulations and enforcing agencies may not be as straightforward as rigid regulatory frameworks like the United States or Canada. The complexities of multiple agencies regulating different EHS aspects allows Enhesa to provide value in guiding our clients. For example, the Nigerian Police Force can enforce environmental crimes against businesses directly. Corporations need to be aware that most times, simply dealing with an agency on an issue may not be enough due to the regulatory fluidity.

What is your favorite aspect of working at Enhesa?

The chocolates, without a doubt.

With an office in Brussels, the Washington D.C. office gets a stable, consistent, almost expected supply of Belgian chocolates. Being able to gather around the kitchen table to talk to colleagues who cover other jurisdictions, and share project knowledge, and individual experiences over chocolates, is indeed my favorite aspect of working at Enhesa.

Do you have a memorable or amusing story working at Enhesa you would like to share?

At Enhesa, we celebrate Halloween. A staple of the celebration is having our colleagues at Brussels judge our costumes. About a month after I had started working at Enhesa, on Halloween, I had a meeting with my team lead and a colleague. I can’t remember if it was a training exercise, or the colleague was providing quality control for my work.

I was in this meeting dressed as a Manchester United fan, complete with the scarves, gears, and bag. Sitting across from me was my team lead in a panda suit, and a colleague, dressed as The Log Lady from the show Twin Peaks. Who wouldn’t want to work here?