Environmental offending such as pollution and the clearing of native vegetation can have devastating consequences for victims. Victimhood is not confined to presently living humans but can include future generations of humans and non-humans, such as flora (trees and flowers), fauna (animals), ecosystems and the environment more generally. Perpetrators of environmental offending can include individuals and corporations, both small and large. The application of restorative justice conferencing to address the harm caused by environmental offending is an expanding area of practice, particularly in New Zealand, and is attracting increasing academic attention. Apology and forgiveness can play an important role in restorative justice conferencing, at least regarding non-environmental offending, as a way of repairing the harm caused by offending. The application of apology and forgiveness to environmental offending needs exploration and may face particular challenges especially where offenders are corporations and victims are non-human or non-living (ie., future generations of humans). This paper undertakes an exploration of the first challenge, that being offending where the perpetrator is a corporation. The role of apology and forgiveness in such a context is explored.
Key words: environmental offending, restorative justice, apology, forgiveness, human victims.