Frightening reports about the state of the Earth have forced businesses to claim that they care about the environment. At the same time, public authorities are also exerting pressure by introducing stricter environmental requirements. Various types of environmental certification are in vogue, and familiar industrial names are buying climate change quotas and cruising round in electric cars.
- How do stricter environmental requirements impact on the profitability and behaviour of businesses?
- Do businesses get anything in return for introducing environmental management within their organisation and being environmentally certified?
These are two of the questions which are answered in a new book entitled ‘Environmental Policy and Corporate Behaviour’ (2007), which presents the results of a comprehensive study led by the OECD’s group for national environmental policy together with a research team from Canada, France, Japan, Norway, Germany, Hungary and the USA.
The aim of the OECD project was to map the links between the environmental policies of authorities and businesses’ commercial motives, adaptation of management systems and organisational structure in connection with the implementation of the policies.
Data was collected during 2003 and 2004 and covers around 4,200 businesses with more than 50 employees from all goods-producing sectors.
“Stricter regulations will in themselves have an adverse effect on the profitability of enterprises. A policy-driven environmental approach is not profitable for entrepreneurs,” claims Bjarne Ytterhus against the background of the OECD project. Perhaps not such a surprising claim. The results are after all in line with the traditional view that stricter environmental requirements will increase the environmental costs of businesses and thereby reduce profitability. However, this is not the whole story. Businesses can also have commercial reasons for implementing environmental initiatives. These reasons could include a company’s desire to enhance its reputation, but they can also be directly financially motivated. Businesses give support to environmental organisations and initiatives within their local communication on the basis of a “license to operate” motive.
A better environment and greater profitability
The OECD study also shows that businesses which have their own environmental managers and invest in environmentally related research and development reduce their environmental impact and achieve greater profitability than businesses without specific environmental expertise.
“While policy-driven regulations increase costs for businesses generally, businesses with relevant environmental expertise can implement “smart” environmental initiatives which can both improve the environment and enhance profitability,” claims the BI researcher.
Bjarne Ytterhus explains the improved profitability through three factors:1. Faster environmental adaptation than competitors (“first-mover advantages”)
Audun Farbrot | alfa
Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon
09.12.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society
Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine