Table of contents
This chapter introduces the “Green Wave” that has swept the commercial world. It reasons that both the natural world and the global opinion force companies to go green. It then presents the logic for going green as a main part of one’s business strategy. This chapter also details the “mega forces,” such as globalization which highlights the need for environmental sustainability above all things. Lastly, this chapter gives an overview of how it conducted its own research about the companies it focused on throughout the book.
The authors foretold of the vast changes and the transitions in thinking that took place in the corporate world on environmental issues, and how corporate environmental strategies were being made to adapt to these. Admittedly, no company can deny the green effect or ignore it. Businesses around the world are applying environmental strategies to remain competitive. Smart companies can be regarded as those which incorporated environmental sustainability in their overall business strategies and are reaping its rewards.
Those companies which do not join the bandwagon will be losing their business advantage in the context of global competition. Even when these green companies have not found the perfect combination in implementing its environmental standards and policies, it is evident that the business world has started to realize the value of environmentalism in the commercial scheme of their interests.
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This chapter introduces the new natural and human pressures burdening the companies today. These forces require an environmental approach which is a key to attain business success. It is evident that it is not the governmental laws and policies which are taking the companies’ attention to environmental concerns. Companies have become more proactive and creative and resourceful in their approaches towards environmental sustainability and protection. They do this not only because they want to achieve their business goals but because they want to address the sustainability issue which they acknowledge as part of their responsibilities.
They now acknowledge the impact of their business activities to the environment. They also know that their environmental activities can enhance or degrade their image and their profitability. For instance, the operation of global brands like Coca Cola in India was illustrated to have made a negative impact on the company when its business operations in the country was accused of causing water pollution and scarcity. It led to the general protest of the community, causing serious damage to the Coca Cola’s credibility and profitability in terms of damage control and mitigation costs.
Hence, this chapter details and highlights the environmental concerns and problems that companies face. Such problems range from global warming to water shortages. Specifically, the top ten environmental problems are: climate change, energy, water, bio diversity and land use, chemicals, toxics and heavy metals, air pollution, waste management, ozone layer depletion, oceans and fisheries, and deforestation. Each environmental problem is tackled in terms of its summary, the possible effects it may cause, and an evaluation of the problem’s impact on the total business operations.
This chapter assesses the growing group of environment oriented “players” on the field of business. There are twenty different categories of stakeholders from the historic government administrators to strong non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to increasingly environmentally focused financial institutions. Specifically, the eco advantage playing field is composed of the following: Investors and Risk Assessors; Rule makers and Watchdogs; Idea Generators and Opinion Leaders; Business Partners and Competitors; and Consumers and Community.
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The chapter highlights the questions these stakeholders are throwing to companies with regards to their environmental stewardships. Succinctly, this chapter details the context of how and why these companies have turned environmentalists as part of the general business strategy. It sets the stage for the review of the crucial elements of business environmental strategy. It also reflects the clandestine thoughts about how environment stewardship can make up as a formidable business advantage.
The authors pointed that the three critical factors for this new approach are: a) the impact of business activities on the environment; b) increasing costs such as the cost of energy that has doubled over the last five years; and c) enhanced value put by stakeholders (i.e. consumers and investors) on environmental protection.
The environment has become an important competitive strategy. It differentiates companies from those which deploy the usual land, labour and other forms of production. Hence, a little environmental footprint can have a great impact. This chapter illustrates this through the cases of Ford Motor, Toyota, General Electric, DuPont, among other companies which pursued their green vision alongside market differentiation.
The following steps are the actions which companies must take to pursue their green strategies:
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For the last forty years, environmental strategy has strut itself to the corporate world. It has established acceptance now as more and more companies realize its utmost importance and value. The next rules are the Green-to-Gold steps on sales growth, including the enhanced brand value and increased trusts of stakeholders:
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