By Frances Bowen
Companies advertise their environmental knowledge via eco-friendly constructions, eco-labels, sustainability stories, pledges and fresh applied sciences. whilst are those symbols wasteful company spin, and while do they sign genuine environmental advancements? in accordance with 20 years of analysis, 3 wealthy case experiences, a robust theoretical version and quite a number functional functions, this ebook presents the 1st systematic research of the drivers and outcomes of symbolic company environmentalism. It addresses the oblique expense of businesses' symbolic activities and develops a brand new proposal of the 'social power penalty' - the associated fee to society whilst robust company actors restrict the social dialog on environmental difficulties and their recommendations. This considerate publication develops a collection of instruments for researchers, regulators and executives to split helpful environmental details from empty company spin, and may attract researchers and scholars of company accountability, company environmental method and sustainable enterprise, in addition to environmental practitioners.
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Extra resources for After Greenwashing: Symbolic Corporate Environmentalism and Society
Corporate environmental concern). In greenwashing, there is no necessary link between the symbol and materially improved environmental performance. Greenwashing is a special case within symbolic corporate environmentalism in which firms deliberately manipulate symbols so as to open up a gap between their symbolic and substantive performance. Symbolic corporate environmentalism is both broader and more nuanced. This concept captures all of the shared meanings relative to changes that managers make for environmental reasons.
Strategies often actually emerge as ´ middle managers support their own pet projects and local managers respond to specific local environmental concerns or provide ‘kneejerk’ reactions to a perceived environmental crisis. It is easy to see the potential for environmental practices within firms to become diffuse or contradictory. If a firm’s practices are messy, then the symbolic aspects of those actions can also be messy. All environmental practices have symbolic meanings, whether or not those shared meanings are deliberately manipulated.
However, assuming that greenwashing is deliberate narrows the phenomenon and seriously limits how we conceptualise it. Mintzberg and his colleagues famously pointed out that not all strategies are deliberate – some emerge from a pattern of actions rather than a pattern of decisions (Mintzberg and Waters 1985). A firm’s words and actions on environmental issues can become disconnected because its intended strategies can be unrealised or because this disconnect emerges from a pattern of actions conducted in different parts of the firm.