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
Despite government claims, orangutan populations have not increased. Call for better monitoring
06.11.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Increasing frequency of ocean storms could alter kelp forest ecosystems
30.10.2018 | University of Virginia
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
Scientists developed specially coated nanometer-sized vehicles that can be actively moved through dense tissue like the vitreous of the eye. So far, the transport of nano-vehicles has only been demonstrated in model systems or biological fluids, but not in real tissue. The work was published in the journal Science Advances and constitutes one step further towards nanorobots becoming minimally-invasive tools for precisely delivering medicine to where it is needed.
Researchers of the “Micro, Nano and Molecular Systems” Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, together with an international...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
12.11.2018 | Life Sciences
12.11.2018 | Materials Sciences
12.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy