Environmentalism and the New Logic of Business

Environmentalism and the New Logic of Business : How Firms Can be Profitable and Leave Our Children a Living Planet

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The Exxon Valdez incident in 1989 sparked a firestorm of public debate over the role of business in ensuring a safe, healthy environment for ourselves and our children. Today, consumers, employees, shareholders, politicians, and interest groups all demand more environmental awareness from business. To help executives meet the challenge of being profitable, doing the right thing, and helping save the Earth, Environmentalism and the New Logic of Business outlines a program for change that firms can use to maximize their profits and minimize their impact on the environment. Drawing on examples from corporations large (DuPont, McDonald's) and small (Johnsonville Sausage), the authors demonstrate how companies around the world are putting values and a concern for the environment to work to motivate employees, improve service levels, and respond to the constant pressure for innovation, competitive advantage, and care for the bottom line. A highlight of the book is the author's discussion of "the four shades of green" which can be used to gauge of firm's environmental policy and highlight where it might be improved. "Light green" or legal green logic relies on the public policy process to drive its strategy; "market green" logic focuses on customers' demand for better, cheaper, faster; "stakeholder green," similar to the logic of quality processes, includes suppliers, employees, communities, and shareholders; and "dark green" commits a company to being a leader in making environmental principles a fundamental basis of doing business. Challenging the conventional wisdom that green thinking leads to red ink, the authors show how executives can add environmental awareness to the strategic mix and still compete successfully.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 160 pages
  • 146.6 x 217.9 x 18.3mm | 368.26g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195080939
  • 9780195080933

About R. Edward Freeman

R. Edward Freeman is Olsson Professor of Business Administration and Director, Olsson Center for Applied Ethics, The Darden School of Business, University of Virginia. He is the well-known author of several books on management and strategy, including Management (now in its 6th edition) and The Portable MBA. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. Jessica Pierce is Assistant Professor, Department of Preventive and Societal Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she is Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy and Religion at Chatham College. Richard H. Dodd is a consultant with A. T. Kearny in London.show more

Review Text

Freeman (Business/Univ. of Virginia), Pierce (Medicine/Univ. of Nebraska), and business consultant Dodd argue that US business must not content itself with meeting environmental standards mandated by the state: it must instead assume a leadership role in the struggle for conservation.Progressive environmental practices are more than just a question of ethics, suggest the authorsthey make for long-term profits. By melding business needs with environmental concerns and a principled stance, companies tap into employees innovative capacities: they thus have something at stake (namely, the world their children will live in) other than employer profits, and will be motivated to exceed standards. Such a business neednt espouse deep ecology (though it could do that, too, as Patagonia has): it could assume a green image as it meets the markets demands for better and cheaper products, or it could mirror the environmental preferences of its stakeholders. It might simply trumpet it abroad that it meets government standardsthere are many shades of green, after all. How to get started? Probably not with the painfully superficial outline of contemporary environmental thought that Freeman, Pierce, and Dodd rather unhelpfully provide. Their strong suit is a clear ethical framework (read: we are responsible for our actions and our actions have environmental effects), yet their defense of capitalisms decency and promise rings hollow: If firm A invents a product or improves a product firm B depends on, firm B is not destroyed; rather, it creates yet another innovation. This has an unsatisfying sound. Ultimately, we are told, taking action to ensure a future for our children is up to each of us as individuals. Without individual commitment and concern, societal institutions will always provide too little, too late. In a sense this puts us back to square one.Can American business assume a green mantle? Yes, assure Freeman, Pierce, and Dodd. Will they? Not until enough individuals demand it. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

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