A definition of green management according to is the process within an organization of applying innovation in order to achieve sustainability, waste reduction, social responsibility and a competitive advantage by the aids of continuous learning and development. Organizations shall be doing such developments, by implementing environmental goals and strategies which match the goals and strategies of the organization. This will therefore help the organization to stay focused to its mission and vision.
Nowadays, it is found that companies advertise their products by promoting their environmentally – friendly behavior. It does not matter whether it is on TV or on banner; the message of “go green” is almost always used. But why green? Green is not simply a color. Going green is a way of making changes in the lifestyle of some organizations as well as the society also. This implies bringing in some changes which are friendlier towards the environment. It is to note that the mere truth while doing every simple thing impacting on the planet – good or bad, an individual has all the right to make choices, thus the later can control the impact generated.
Moreover, another main thing is the importance of going green. Not many organizations have realized the importance that going green can have on their business.
Firstly, adopting green management system means that it will be here forever. Other forms of energy are all finite, but green system will never be depleted. The renewable source of energy will always be here to keep the human needs ongoing.
Secondly, by using green materials and workmanship it helps to keep the environment safe as compared to the energy imports which is quite costly. It has been therefore proved that in the United States, green technologies have been able to provide a boost to the economy`s trade deficit.
Thirdly, going green will surely benefits the company in terms of its savings. Paying bills online means less money when companies go paperless, it is also a form of savings in terms of postages and paper costs. Hence both the individual and the businesses benefit from the green initiative. Similarly, if you use compact fluorescent light (CFLs) bulbs, you are like to save money on each bulb you purchase. According to Energy Star, replacing a fluorescent bulb you with an incandescent bulb consumes 75 percent less energy. Thus, if you replace a 100-watt incandescent bulb with a 25-watt CFL, you will save over $100 per year.
Going green can be also beneficial to economic growth. Following the National Recycling Coalition, the recycling industry employing over 1 million people and generating approximately $200 billion in annual revenues is extremely good for the economy. It is also stated that that “When you recycle, you are contributing to the sustained growth of the economy.”
In addition to the above, while using recyclable or organic products implies that toxic materials are removed from the production process hence it can be considered as an environmentally-friendly activity. This explains why organizations must reduce their disposal rates, because the more they dispose of, the more valuable and costly materials are being wasted, as well as producing more greenhouse gases as these landfills decompose.
Going green also means a more sustainable world. The rate at which we are utilizing the world`s resources and deteriorating the globe with several kind of pollution could be very disastrous. A result of these dreadful action is leading to the destruction of the earth`s ecosystem which implies that, we will soon be left with no clean air, water, land and food. It is also stated that the day we reach such a stage, there would be nothing which will be able to save us or even nothing to talk about. Our very lives would be threatened since there will be an atmosphere of impure air, undrinkable water, unhygienic food and probably nothing to save us from the ruthless climate change. Hence, it is primordial that each and every one of us contributes equally as a human community towards a greener environment and promotes green behavior as something which others must follow.
Following the competitive market in companies operates; organizations found it necessary to go divert their production towards greener products since consumers are becoming far more aware of green products are ready to move to competitors. The fact that a company uses a product which has already been used simply reduces the cost of production while at the same time reducing the needs for power as the company is consuming less energy. The Bank of America now uses much less paper as a result of which has lead to an increase in its customers. The bank also recycles paper internally and gives cash back offer facilities to employees up to a certain limit if ever they decide to buy hybrid vehicles in other words ecological vehicles. Few are those who moved from being traditional, but successful are those who took the risk and implemented the new green management system.
Furthermore, with the evolution of the technologies, companies have begun to adopt the EMS approach. This can be referred to as Environmental Management System. This approach helps in gathering information, formulating goals, making the right choices while at the same time improving performance. In other words, EMS is a broader version of quality programs to managing the environment. Hence over the past decades, increasing number of companies has initiated new strategies to integrate the environment into their business strategy so as to improve both their environmental and business performance.
To set the ball rolling on, while some managers are investing in the environment and this is most welcomed by the society, others will have to derive ideas about how to identify circumstances which will be favoring both the public benefits and corporate benefits. Some may want just the ISO 14001 label on their product while simultaneously for some other firms better utilizing their resources may be beneficial to the environment as a whole. All this gave rise to competitive advantage between firms. In the 1990s there was a big debate in the field of Business and Environment about “whether it pays to be green.” According to the following strategies put forward; “free lunch”, “double dividend” and “win-win hypothesis”, chances for businesses to be profitable in the environmental investments is uprising. However on the other hand, the question is not whether companies will be able to do it, but it was about the time factor, that is, when the companies will be able to implement such strategies and when they will begin to benefit from such investments.
A surge in products and services claiming more or less legitimate claims to environmental friendliness was noted in the 1990s, when a significant proportion of consumer advertising campaigns in many countries contained messages related to the environment. Today, however, observation suggests a decline in green claims for mainstream products. In some developed countries, this has at least resulted in a correspondingly less widespread occurrence of vague claims related to doubtful green product attributes, meaning that consumers are now more aware about green products.
Consecutively, it is found that when it comes to green consumption, women are doing their part of responsibility when making purchases (i.e.) they are making much more green purchases than men do. While doing so, they also promote their products and services to be environmentally-friendly. Following a study on the purchasing habits of consumers, it was found that women are more environmentally-conscious when it comes to decision making in business that their male counterparts. Women clearly disagreed on the fact that some business owners still believe that promoting their products and services as being environmentally-friendly has little impact on consumer’s buying habits. Consumers do take into consideration the “environmental” factor when making purchases either for them or their business.
Likewise, it is quite obvious that cannot consume the same thing for a long period of time. Consumers always tend to move to other new products and sometimes their behavior are affected by means of advertising or even their past experience they had with a particular product. By consuming more of less environmentally harmful products and services, consumers can bring in positive changes and therefore lessen the impacts on Earth. Consumers don`t realize, but they have enormous power to improve the world. While on one hand, consumers are advised to consume less in order to protect the environment, on the other hand the money saved can be utilized in order to advance the green economy. Green shopping can be termed as a situation where consumers normally spend money on products that are less harmful towards the environment which is likely to build a more sustainable world. Small changes in consumer behavior like adopting products that comes with less packaging and those which are made with plastics can improve the green economy. Hence, the spending pattern of consumers will determine the type of world they will create in the future.
In addition to the above, most consumers consider the welfare of the environment when they shop. The “green” thinking has been increased among consumers’ minds. Environmental concerns are now becoming important to firms also since they have the opportunity to develop their green products demanded by consumers and therefore position their company on the market as a being a green company. This will also help the firm in terms of competitive advantage and increased performance. Following globalization, consumers now have access to information which raise their awareness about the manufacturing processes of the products and this made them seek green products. For example; consumers may be interested in the green attributes (whether the product is recyclable, biodegradable, etc) of a product as well as the manufacturing process (whether environmental norms have been respected during the process).
Practically, with the new trend of green management, consumers are willing even more to spend greener. This means that consumers tend to behave more positive towards the sustainability of the environment than the green movement. In other words, the green products will gradually replace the traditional power products because of their environmental benefits. This is likely to be a successful venture because consumers are willing to pay for green products. As a result of this, it will generate a new market for renewable energy products. Hence, this may help to put forward green marketing as a successful tool in the energy market.
However, sometimes it not about meeting the consumers’ expectation; businesses have to surpass the expectations to meet quality products demanded by consumers. Another option which may help the company to build a relationship with its customers is to create a strong brand image so that it the purchaser decision will rely more on perceptions than on reality. This also helped organizations to realize the fact that they have to shape the perceptions of consumer in regard to their products by making use of every marketing communication tools at their disposal. This has therefore led to a situation where consumers were overflowed with adverts and became unresponsive over a period of time. As a result of this, the job of producers to influence the mind of the consumers became much harder and needed extra effort. Hence it can be said that consumer decision making is therefore based on information processing.
Also, when it comes to accountability, a company must be ready to accept its responsibility for its operations and their impact on society and natural environment. Companies should work for welfare of the society as a whole and therefore towards a greener world. Similarly, Corporate Social Responsibility is not always generating the monetary and economic value for the firms, but it help firms to differentiate among themselves. When a third party endorsed its corporate efforts, the reputation of a firm is reinforced in the eyes of both market and non-market stakeholders.
Eventually, the environmental issues were all in the hands of the government. Hence marketing strategies along with government aids can help to build strong green marketing campaign and therefore helps to protect the environment in better and efficient way. If a firm is introducing a highly differentiated product, it is maximizing the stockholders returns and effectively using environmental strategy. A firm engaged in the cause related marketing because of its long term benefits i.e. to attract and retain consumer for longer period of time. In such type of marketing activity, consumers are emotionally motivate to take part and because they wanted to feel different from other members of society or in their groups.
The Cost Factor
While going green, several factors influencing the financial aspect of the project should be taken into consideration; one of the most important one is the energy cost. It is found that over time, energy costs usually change and thus it becomes difficult to reap profit from the investment. It is assumed that if the energy costs are low, then the cost benefit of implementing the green system will be low too, but on the contrary assuming fluctuations in the economy, the energy costs might increase which will result in striking payback in the future. For example; the cost of buying a hybrid car may be as the same as a normal car for a long term basis assuming a constant price of gas, but suppose the price of gas experience an increase in the future, then the hybrid car will help one to save much more money than expected.
Besides, the fact that several practices and behaviors of “going green” slogan are all motives of saving money, but still there are still ways while adopting green living can be from moderate to very expensive. It is found that, the technology associated with green living is not beneficial to the environment but often at a much higher cost than their traditional counterparts. For instance: lets consider the installation of solar panel. It can be very useful in saving money on a long term basis, but at the same time it may cost thousands of dollars to install the equipment. Energy saving appliances is normally to be used so as to save water and energy, but they usually come in a high priced package which sometimes is very costly to organization’s. Similarly, eating organic food is another to go green, but in order to get these; one has to pay a significant price unless you decide to grow your own food.
Basically, when companies implement environmental norms within the organization, it always ends in costlier products. This implies the switch from the traditional way of production to producing green products which can lead to expensive products to the consumers. It can affect the organization’s source of revenue if it is operating in developing country, since consumers in developing country have less buying power compared to those in developed country.
As a whole, while companies decide to go green, many consumers would like to see the organization actively doing things so as to prevent the depletion of natural resources. Going green does not happens in a matter of minutes, it is a whole process and it involves huge costs which is not always effective for the company. Deciding on whether being environmentally responsible or the level of spending is more will be crucial. If ever the spending out way the desire to be eco-friendly, then it will not be a successful project. Problems may pop up on the side of suppliers also. The company will now need to find new suppliers who will be providing materials on time; else significant losses will be incurred by the company. Producing the same quality of finish product will be primordial for the organization in order to maintain its image on the market – failure to do so will be disastrous. Similarly, implementing the green system within the company will mean; training the employees. Employees will have to be trained to deal with the new approach and different method of work. Training may be costly and at the same time lowering productivity while employees are at their training session.