Going Green is An Empty Fad or An Effective Strategy For Modern Companies to Profit From Rivalry
Going green is receiving more eminence in the public minds and has increasingly spread the business realm at all levels from recycling to green technology startups. Our planet Earth is becoming increasingly polluted. Besides the environmentalist and socialist, the corporate world has also refreshed their working pattern to save the planet and go green. Going green refers to help the environment to become pollution free and to purchase eco-friendly and recyclable things so that the resources available are not wasted and the garbage is reduced. Several techniques like utilizing the energy of sun and wind, saving water, using laptops, fluorescent bulbs, conserve power cost, planting trees, taking Ayurveda medicines etc,. Pharmaceutical medicines should be replaced by natural remedies and medications so that home remedies like using of natural herbs can cure the ailments in a healthier method. Green living is a easy method which everyone can adopt in their daily life. One can plant trees to diffuse carbon dioxide, recycle the mobile battery, use biogas as a fuel, use solar cooker, solar fan and build eco-friendly houses. (Martin, 2010)
Benefits of Going Green
Going green will soon be identified as a cost of business. Turning to Eco-friendly can reduce the cost because it is noted that companies reduce what they use .Thus the development generates increased revenues from better products and can also make new business.
Business going green is not just an empty fad because fad always has followers and can change within a short term. But green living will sustain in the lifestyles of people. With various awareness programs, people today are conscious enough about the green living and they not only preserve the environment but also contribute towards it. Living green does not suggest to build eco-friendly houses which can be expensive but it suggest to utilize the natural energy like installing skylight roofs or using low watt bulbs, gardening, saving bills by investing solar panels or using of smoke free vehicles. (GGI, 2010; ANERN, 2010).For industries to acquire a leadership role in the world fight the requirement of greener tomorrow has increased drastically. Industries are nowadays being recognized and awarded for taking actions to go green. Subsequently, India’s top companies and industries are adopting ecological sustainability in the business practice.
Various industries like automobiles, IT, Thermal power stations, and banking sectors are adopting green technologies in their business for healthier improvement in their business. Under are few examples of the industry which have adopted green technology:-
Energy sector played a major role in focusing on green technology. For instance. Suzlon Energy, one of the greenest companies with the world’s third-largest producer of wind-turbine having a factory in Pondicherry, which works with wind energy. It focuses on the best practices to fuel stable growth and expansion in markets. (Thambi, 2010) Another company, Origin Oil, a Los Angels based company with an emerging leader in growing biomass and pollution absorbent. It is aiming at transforming algae through growth and extraction process. Algae are a source of renewable oil which is one of the competitors of petroleum and it can use as diesel, plastics fuel and gasoline. It is believed that the changing technology will lead to much modernization in the future. (OriginOil, 2010).ONGC’ a India based company has also launched green projects among the local society .The project regarding the Mokshada Green Cremation saved 70% of wood and the burning time per resources. (India Syndicate, 2009)
Lately, FMCG sectors also were not left aside in adopting the green culture in their stores. For instance, ITC Limited, a multi-business conglomerate having diverse expansion in FMCG, accommodation, stationeries, liquors, and tobacco has launched ‘Paper Craft Business Paper’ is a eco friendly multi purpose paper first in India using ozone-treated elemental chlorine-free technology to enhance the scare resources. The elementary chlorines used for bleaching during paper manufacture and the byproduct of which create harmful effect on the environment which as a result achieved solid waste recycling. (ITC Limited, 2008) Wal-Mart, an American based public multinational company, has large range of departmental and warehouse stores. This is one of the companies which were least interested to adopt the green technology, but it has now established itself as a company going green. It is now facilitating customers in stores by employing renewable energy sources. It is making its expertise more eco-friendly by using its waste eliminating corporate philosophy. According to the company’s executives, Wal-Mart is dedicated to using its waste-eliminating corporate values to make its own operations more environment-friendly than ever. (Wal-Mart, 2009)
Manufacturing sectors are the foremost sectors in need of green attitude within the employees and the working culture. For Instance, Paper Trail, a Britain based company established in 1890 in making paper from waste resources which has employed recycling over 110 years which gas lead to sustainable development. According to a survey in Britain by manufacturing business leaders it was notified that the pressure of going green has lead to a huge increase and requirement of green collar skills and services. According to the survey by ICM Research, there is high demand of green collars human resource .The companies yet to accept green collars are planning to do so within a short time period. The growing eco-awareness has created pressure on the industries to go green because of change in customer’s preferences and government policies. (ICM, 2008).Tata Metaliks Limited (TML), is one of the largest manufacturer of foundry-grade pig iron and a realistic instance that made people notice the company company’s policy. The entire office depends on the sunlight, so the lights are switched off during the day. Being one of the top green organizations, TML celebrates Environment day each day. The managing director also took action in reducing the carbon footprints. (JHA, 2007)
IT sectors are the recently the foremost industries in recruiting workforce. It is important for such sectors to look towards are the motivational factors of their employees to reduce the attrition rate. For instance, WIPRO Technologies, one of the largest global IT service, BPO and product engineering companies. The company believes ecology and sustainable growth are the key factors of the society, and the global business community is investing considerably. It is one of the members of ‘The Green Grid,” which aimed at broadening its green IT initiatives and is also helping its customers to go green. Even during the global financial crisis the company made a commitment towards energy effectiveness and was appraised for initiating energy star compliant goods in the market
(WIPRO, 2011). IDEA mobile service providers became famous for promotion of ‘Use Mobile, Save Paper’. It also arranged Green Pledge campaigns to protect trees and has also set up preserved plants and tendril climber’s bus shelters to communicate green messages (Bafna, 2010). HCL Infosystems, a leading IT based company in India. This company is one of the resemblances of Indian Green Initiatives through ‘Green Bag’ making an effort to take the go-green steps in solving the hindrance of e-waste and toxics by discarding old equipments and machines. It has also tied with leading recycling service provider and e-Waste collection. (Mehta, 2009)
Banking sectors have also started going green to provide better services to the customers. One of the strongest cases is the People’s Bank of China. China is developing the Green Banking system in there country. It is one of the initiatives introduced in 2007 and adopted by the government regarding the green credit policy. The green credit has two different ratings-an entry and exit, where ‘entering’ industries relate to energy and environment protection and ‘exiting’ is to provide loans to high polluted and energy-intense industries, it also involves monitoring the green financial management, green tax and insurance. In 2007 the bank has issued methods requiring disclosure of information involving risks. The bank jointly with China Banking Regulatory Commission have issued guidance documents to make credit performance of energy-saving and emission reduction industries forming an crucial part of bank agency ratings. (Ho, 2011). Bank of America, one of the conglomerate banking and financial services company having largest bank holding of assets in the United States and is second largest by market capitalization. Since 2000-2005, the company reduced the paper use by 32% by recycling 30 thousands tons of paper, saving nearly 2lacs trees. Besides saving the trees, the company also encouraged employees to buy hybrid vehicles by rewarding them. The bank has already launched $20 billion initiatives for business growth through eco friendly operations. It has also planned to encourage such operations through lending, depositing, humanity, and designing new products and services. It has encouraged the clients to implement ecological building designs by providing customized solutions and assisting them in financing advisory services. It has also focused on developing low carbon technologies by encouraging private and public enterprises to adopt green and low emissions technologies. It has also promoted eco-friendly credit cards, rewarded those customers investing in green house gas reductions, and launched various green mortgage programs. It has also donated $ 50 million to support those non-profit organizations focusing on environmental activities. (Bank of America, 2007)
Drawbacks of Not Using the Green Technology
Going green can take diverse forms in using our own bag in grocery stores instead of plastic bags. It offers many potential benefits, but sometimes it provides negative consequences also. Adopting decisions which are eco-friendly in reducing waste and energy can help the environment and pad the pocketbook.
First and the foremost is the cost factor, which makes people reluctant to bring change in the system because new installations require large capital investment. At times it is difficult to estimate the bill amount in spite of savings utility bills. In the same way purchasing a hybrid vehicle is expensive, and there is no assurance that the extra costs will be recovered in fuel savings.
The environmental impact is one of the most crucial benefits of going green that can be done by using little energy and producing little waste. Green measures can reduce pollution, but at times, they may not be able to reduce savings. Another consequence is the physiological impact of the customers buying from small retailer rather than concentrating on the large brands. But being too compulsive about going green can lead to negative impacts. Further, the conversion expense for a corporation can be high to go green initially. For example, moving towards solar power would give rise to the need to install solar panels for business uses. The techniques in reducing costs through energy-saving strategy are not always conducive owing to the initial cost incurred for establishment. At times the customers’ hostile response can make the companies reluctant to change as they are making false statement of the process of greenwashing, because they think that if the customers become aware of that fact, it may be harmful for the company’s integrity. (Joseph, 2011)
Few examples citing the drawbacks of not implementing green technology include the cases of the Bhopal gas disaster and the Exxon oil spill. Bhopal gas is one of the disaster occurred Madhya Pradesh, India in 1984 due to methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals resulting in loss of many lives and leaving people with gas-related diseases. The cause was mainly due to legal, expertise, managerial and human errors. The disaster became a part of the green revolution; the main objective is to plant crops. Essential effort was made in agriculture and pesticides production. (Sharma and Carr, 2009) Exxon Valdez oil spill is also an instance of not implementing the green attitude. It took place in Alaska in 1989, which is regarded as the environmental disaster which caused loss of natural resources and much environmental damage. (Hughes, Butler and Wells, 1995)
The companies above have cited the benefit they have received from accepting the green technologies, which not only made the work environment healthier but also helped them to get recognized worldwide. Thus it is accomplished that the use of Green technology can not only save a lot of human lives but it also teaches to live healthier and happier.
Mr. Taylor, the Environment and Ethic Manager of a UK owned Restaurant Chain Company is facing various hindrances in the structure of the business. The company has more than 5000 employees with 200 outlets globally with annual revenue of more than 300 pounds. The company at present requires an external consultant to resolve the issues regarding the technology, products, compensation structure, suppliers and green strategies.
As an external consultant, the role is to provide advisory services on a contractual basis for a specific purpose. The consultant’s role plays at the stage when there is any lack of capability, time, and human resource in the organization. The work should be framed in a simple format mentioning the standard solution to assist in efficient expansion of the problem that can give facilitate in achieving future challenges. The work should be carried out in a uniform way, starting with defining the problems, identifying solutions and their alternatives, analyzing the consequences of the solutions, implement them, evaluate the consequences of the decisions and finally redefine and regenerate the problem-solving solutions.
Define the Problem
The issues regarding dealing with the suppliers’ poor human rights, decreased use of local suppliers, excess executive compensation, unhealthy products, and lack of green strategies. A business cannot be claimed as an ethical firm if the deceitful human rights of the suppliers are ignored. Such rights can be violations of the rights of the employees, unhygienic work environment, lack of safety, use of child and forced labor. An ethical business has to be concerned with the behavior of all business that applies in the supply chain like suppliers, contractors, distributors, sales agent.
Dealing with the Suppliers’ Poor Human Rights
In many companies, human rights are viewed in a narrow aspect, and the companies fail to apply it in the day to day business. It is thought that these are rights are mainly for security issues in the extractive sectors, labor rights in clothing companies. But in true sense, the rights should be covered in supply chains and from discrimination to health for safety, poverty eradiation and to minimize the pollution. Thus the impact on human rights falls in the relationships with both the internal and external sources of the organization in which it operates. The Information Center for Enterprise and Human Rights has intended to motivate the companies to respect human rights, avoid harming people, and to capitalize on positive contribution. The resource centre also provides various public discussions and facilitates the companies in making decisions. Approach taken by one of the food retailing industry, Marks & Spencer in human rights is that they respect the code of ethics and behavior in there activities behaving properly with the employees so that they feel they are the part of organization. The company respects the customers, investors, and suppliers, value the environment and the stakeholders and abides by the policies of the government. They also believe in doing the right thing in the right way they can achieve success. The governance of M&S also focused not only in the board rooms but also across business and other international activities. (Marks & Spencer, 2011; Wyburd, 1998)
Declining Use of Local Suppliers
Local suppliers not just refer in geographical terms but also the ease of contacting those suppliers. Local suppliers can also form a good tie-up with the society because they are easily available at any time and are also lucrative. It is one of the growing trends as more than 30% of customers prefer buying from these sources. Customers prefer such sources because they can purchase goods at reasonable price than to spend in traveling distant stores. For local grocers, it has turned into a sales strategy with locally produced goods creating improved balance in their business. Promoting the use of local suppliers can increase the PR in the industry and demonstrate investment in the community. They are much more familiar with the preferences of the customers and become successful in satisfying their needs. Internet is also one of the sources creating new markets through access to different website for business to business market available all over the world. A well known leading restaurant McDonald’s suppliers play a vital role in supply of quality product at reasonable prices having more than 100 Canadian leading suppliers. The company jointly creates new product with low costs with the suppliers and ensures maximum satisfaction to the customers. It has always been successful in developing local suppliers and working with them, and they sustain their suppliers as their true partners with an intention to make the best use of quality across the supply chain. Local suppliers like Arab suppliers play a vital role in supplying products in Middle East, which as a result, served the community in a better way. (Morrell, 2010)
Excess Executive Pay and Bonus
Excess pay to the executives or the CEO’s reduces the shareholders market value of the public holdings. Some firms exploit the publicly traded firm and extract private benefits in the form of excessive pay. A $100 million IS considered as bordering on excessive pay to the executives. J. SAINSBURY, a leading food retail store in London, is against the excess pay process of the executives. The shareholders of that esteemed company refused to agree with a payment of above £2.3m to one of the executives during the turndown of revenue and profits and consequently he was removed from the board before the annual general meeting. (Ellig, 2007)
Unhealthy products are those products which contain ingredients that are unhygienic for one’s health. The consumption of such can affect the health or may cause disease. Justin King, the chief executive of Sainsbury’s, had rightly commented that there is nothing as termed as unhealthy foods but an unhealthy diet which he meant that the food intake should not only be healthy but it should also be balanced diet. The very retail store also promotes fresh fruits and vegetables in front of the store for easy access. Marker and Spencer have also made an effort for health and nutrition by providing balanced diet supplement and a diet chart leading in a reduction of weight loss. LONDON RAMSAY, one of the leading individual restaurants in London, has also advised to go on an improved balanced diet without sacrificing the flavors. (Marks & Spencer, 2010)
Lack of Green Strategies
Green strategies have become a crucial necessity of various sectors. Shoppers are emerging more of a green attitude in their technology, and retailers are also there to meet those source. There are few ways retail chain can implement to go green like buying in large quantity, purchasing recyclable packaged products, fresh fruits and vegetables, use e-billing and e-statement instead of papers. Marks and Spencer focused on different areas like the climatic change by reducing emissions, reducing wastage by recycling, and reduced the use of plastic bags. It has also taken steps in sustaining raw materials by butterfly conservation and animal welfare and focused on health by framing a balanced diet. SINGITA, world’s best hotels has launched a Grumeti reserves in Tanzania’s Serengeti national park The esteemed hotel considers ‘fewer beds in larger areas’ which benefit the environment by having minimum impact on its flora and fauna, providing opportunities to relate to the surroundings and get knowledge about conservation principles (Singita Game Reserves, 2009).
Therefore, from the perspective of an external reviewer, it is suggested to focus greatly on the ethics and environment of the organization and also pay head to economic, legal, ethical, philanthropic responsibilities. It has been identified that by undertaking the policies of the leading restaurants and retail chain, both the company and the customers are benefited. So, Mr. Taylor may try to implement similar policies to improve the ethics and the environment.
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