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Becoming Environment Friendly February 14, 2007

Posted by collage9 in Consumers, Organizational Environment, Stakeholder management.
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Just recently, some of the top corporations in the U.S. were called out publicly by some environmentally conscious investors for not doing more to prevent global warming.  Among them were ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Wells Fargo, and Bed Bath & Beyond.  I think it is interesting how some of the top corporations in the country are some of the last ones to join the movement to be more environment friendly.  It went on to say how in the future it could hurt their business as investors are looking for cleaner technologies.  You would think that these major corporations would be the first to ensure that they are part of this movement, especially if it is good for business.

Not only can it hurt their profits, but it can also hurt their public image as well.  People in general now are starting to become much more mindful of the environment.  With this said, companies ignoring the environment and global warming might be looked over for a more responsible company.  I just found it interesting, and a little surprising, that companies like this would put their business in some risk when they could easily find ways to fix the problem.  Not only should they want to do it for themselves, but I think companies should want to improve the environment seeing the state that it is in currently, and more importantly what it is heading towards.

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Comments»

1. Charley S - February 15, 2007

Sure, you’d think after a tanker disaster that ExxonMobil would end up being more environmentaly friendly, but the bottom line is that big corporations don’t help the environment unless it’s profitable to them. The interesting thing is that in a lot of cases it is actually cost efficient for a company to be environmentally friendly. Most companies do need a swift kick in the rear to realize that it doesn’t take much efort on their part to make a tangible difference.

2. Lady - February 15, 2007

In addition to it being cost efficient for a company to be environment friendly, I believe that it can also lead to increased profitability in the long-run. Of course in the short run, these changes to be more “environment friendly” may cause companies some money but I believe that it is worth the investment. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of this issue is the energy-efficiency efforts that businesses in NY make. NY is one of the world’s most energy-efficient cities. I know they have one particular green building that uses 25% less energy than the surrounding buildings and 80% of the building was constructed out of recycled material from the building that was knocked down. Efforts like these won’t “break” a company and I strongly feel that more businesses need to follow suit.

3. Elaine - February 23, 2007

Being environmentally friendly may be costly to a company in the beginning, but there are reaping benefits that eventually follow. For example, the Kyoto Protocol is a treaty that deals with different countries promising to keep their greenhouse emissions under a certain level. If they exceed their level, they have to “trade credits” from countries that are below their pollution levels. These trade credits can consist of extremely unappealing tariffs, etc. Eventually, the price of exceeding their pollution levels become more costly than just improving plants and reducing their pollution levels themselves.

4. Kira - February 24, 2007

I agree with Charley’s comment that unfortunately businesses make decisions on whether they will profit, regardless of whether their decisions are the “right” ones. Many businesses are like ethical egoists- each business ought to pursue their own self-interest exclusively. What is a business’s duty to itself? What is a business’s duty to society? I think that the actions of big corporations serve as a type of role model for society. I agree that in the long-run companies would be wise to become environmentally friendly. I know that I will be more inclined to invest in and buy from companies that are environmentally conscious.

5. K.C. - February 27, 2007

In recent years, the environment has come under much debate and most of the discussion has been aimed at these types of multinational corporations. While companies like these are to blame, I think we also need to ask why the U.S. government did not act sooner and place stricter regulations on companies that pollute. I think we are finally at a point where socially conscious companies will be far more successful than bottom line thinking corporations.

6. Brian Mulligan - February 28, 2007

Bouncing off Charley’s and Kira’s comments. I worked over break at public relations firm that did a study of how people percieve coporate America. The public responded by saying that they had little faith in coporate America. Coporate Social Responsiblity is a major factor in how consumers view companies and buy their products. Right now the public has terrible views and I agree that they are all out their to make a buck. Sooner versus later, they have to become aware of their brand and image in the public’s eye. The envirionment has become a central issue as seen at the Oscars last weekend.


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