Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Greening of management

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1.0 Introduction

In today’s world, views of social responsibility that are held by organisations, the government and the general public have changed dramatically over the last 100 years(Barney,11). Today’s organisations need to be aware that people want to see more socially responsible companies. A large proportion of social responsibility is taking responsibility towards the natural environment. It wasn’t long ago where companies were able to get away with simply dumping their sewerage and waste products from their production and just ignoring it or covering it up. It is now, however that many laws regulate the disposal of waste and companies are finding themselves having to become more socially responsible in their release and disposal of pollutants. Berry and Rondinelli (18) suggest that the trend toward proactive environmental management is being accelerated by public pressures on governments almost everywhere to assure a cleaner environment (Berry, Rondinelli,18).This means that societies need for a cleaner environment is becoming more prominent as we move on to the future and resources are becoming more scarce. The government regulations on environmental cleanliness and pollution have become more stringent and are coming down harder. Customers have also become more demanding in their views towards environmental management. Historically, efforts to reduce pollution were led by regulators and viewed as an additional, and often significant cost. Pollution gained a reputation from both regulators and companies as a problem that required either treatment or in an extreme case, disposal

.0 Defining “The Greening of Management”

Robbins, Bergman, Stagg and Coulter (00) stated that the greening of management is the recognition of the close link between and organisations decisions and activities and its impact on the natural environment (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg and Coulter 00). This shows how close companies have to be to their surrounding environment to be able to become actively involved to make a difference. Today, managers are being confronted by questions about the natural environment and how the environment impacts the organisation. Medhurst (1) says that the recognition of the link between the organisations decisions and activities and is impact on the natural environment is referred to as the greening of management. He goes on to say that if a company is genuinely socially responsible and “green” in their approach to their surroundings then it can work to an advantage for the company as the community will support that they are helping them out (Medhurst,1). Customers tend to be more loyal if they can se that the organisation or company that they support, supports them in return and is doing positive things for their community. This is such a bonus for a company that puts a little time and effort into respecting the environment. Businesses today need to be able to recognise the close link between an organisations decisions and its impact on the natural environment. According to Barney (11), there are 5 global issues that are affecting the environment, these are, natural resources, global warming, pollution, industrial accidents and toxic waste (Barney, 11)

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.0 How “The Greening of Management” has become an important issue in management

More than just a savvy marketing campaign, greening a companys facilities

can have recognizable benefits - to employees, the bottom line, and mostly,

the environment.(Masden,00) When a company receives a fine for an environmental violation, there is a range of possible outcomes that the organisation will undertake. At one extreme the company might make the minimum changes necessary to avoid further penalties and fines, which could include attempts to cover up or hide the offending behavior. At the other extreme, the fines and penalties could serve as a well needed wake-up call. In this case the firms managers not only correct the specific problem that brought the fine but also develop an infrastructure that would lessen the companys negative environmental impact and therefore its exposure to subsequent fines. The greening of management and the need to be socially responsible has become an important issue that organisations can no longer push aside as there are severe consequences. Petts, Herd and O’heocha discovered that most organisations have taken some proactive steps on the corporate greening ladder and have thus revealed certain characteristics of responsive management which support organizational learning discussions (1) an individual who leads and champions the cause; () a positive attitude to the business benefits of environmental performance, coupled with a belief that is important for companies to respond to the environment; and () an open approach to, and empowerment of, employees, particularly through training and also provision of opportunities for influence and comment (Petts. Herd,O’heocha,18).

4.0 How “The Greening of Management” has been used to improve business performance

There are many examples of organisations that have done well through their green attitude to the environment all you need to do is look at a prime example such as the Body shop. The Body shop say that they believe that a business has the responsibility to protect the environment in which it operates, locally and globally (Body shop,00). This is the statement made by one of, if not the most successful “green” company in the world, They support animal testing, community trade, self esteem, human rights and the protection of the planet. The Body shops products are made up of environmentally friendly products and this is why they are so succesfull, customers like the idea of a green organisation. The Body shop does not use mass marketing campaigns to promote it product yet are still very successful with their sales. Customers are drawn to the Body shop because of their ethics. Below is a diagram that shows the various stages of a businesses attitude towards green management. The more green an organisation is, the higher the environmental sensitivity and more appealing the company will be to the community

Hass (16) shows steps to becoming green are simple and the results for a company are very rewarding in the way of image and sales. Five steps to going green are provided 1. Reduce, reuse, recycle. . Implement a green procurement policy. . Investigate ways to increase energy efficiency. 4. Conserve water. 5. Implement sustainable design principles (Hass,16). These are all really easy steps for such a large outcome. Henriques and Sadorsky (16) show that case studies have indicated that companies experience a number of benefits from eco-efficiency including increased profitability and reduced liability through compliance with environmental regulations (Henriques, Sadorsky,16). Other companies have reported a saving in pollution control equipment and a competitive advantage through the development of eco-friendly products. Although environmental regulations continue to drive many companies to reduce pollution, there are a number of other factors that may influence a company. Desire to reduce costs, Process efficiencies, reduced waste and reduced raw materials ensures profits are enhanced and small businesses gain a competitive advantage. Another reason would obviously be customers, For many small businesses, customers can be a significant driver to improve environmental performance.. Recent evidence suggests that companies who appropriately manage environmental risk will be more profitable in the long term. A growing body of investors and analysts now review social and environmental performances of companies prior to making investment decisions.

5.0 Conclusion

Petts, Herd and O’heocha have found that individuals overwhelmingly support environmentally responsible actions by companies (Petts, Heard, O’heocha,18).Efforts to become green do make a difference. By making a decision to first reduce consumption of goods, then to reuse as much as possible, and finally to recycle what cannot be reused, you contribute to significant reductions in energy consumption, greenhouse gases, water pollution, acid rain, the movement of hazardous goods, and the depletion of natural resources. Customers appreciate organisations that show that they are socially responsible. The Body shop is so successful in sales because they are a name the customers can trust to do the right thing, and when customers buy Body shop products it also makes them feel good to know that they have supported a green business. Therefore if a business can show that they can manage their environmental impacts effectively and efficiently, the businesses image is going to soar as high as the profits.


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Barney, J. (11). Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage.

Journal of Management, 17, 771-7.

Davidson, P. Griffin,R (1) Management Australia in a Global Context pg 17- 1

Hass, J. (16) Environmental (green) management typologies an evaluation,

operationalization and empirical development, Business Strategy the

Environment, pg. -107.

Henriques, I., Sadorsky, P. (16). The determinants of an environmentally

responsive firm An empirical approach. Journal of Environmental Economics

and Management

Medhurst, J. (1). Environmental costs and industry competitiveness.

Environmental Policies and Industrial Competitiveness, pg. 7-47.

Madson., J (00) Going Green Volume6 Issue Pg 40-4

Petts, J,Herd, A, O’heocha, M.(18). Environmental responsibilities,Individuals and organisational learning, Journal or Environmental planning and management Nov 18, Volume 41, Issue 6

Robbins,S.Bergnam,R.Stagg,I.Coulter,M (00) Foundations of management. Prentice Hall Publishing Pg 145-148

Smith, D. (Ed) (1) Business and the Environment Implications of the

New Environmentalism (London, Paul Chapman).

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