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The Challenge of Environmental Responsibility and Sustainable Development. Environmental Responsibility within the Global Business Community. The topic has become more prominent Not uniformly adopted Environmentally responsible firm is: One which seeks to limit or prevent damage to

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environmental responsibility within the global business community
Environmental Responsibility within the Global Business Community
  • The topic has become more prominent
  • Not uniformly adopted
  • Environmentally responsible firm is:
    • One which seeks to limit or prevent damage to
    • Or consciously improve the existing environment
what can a firm do
What can a firm do?
  • Reduce, recycle, and reuse raw materials and waste materials
  • Minimize the impact on
    • Transportation
    • Energy
    • Water usage
  • Donate to environmental groups
  • Adopt formal environmental policies
iso 14 000 summary
ISO 14,000 Summary
  • The ISO 14000 series of environmental standards includes the following standards:
    • Environmental Management Standards
    • Environmental Auditing
    • Environmental Labeling
    • Environmental Performance Evaluation Standards
    • Life Cycle Analysis Standards
      • Inventory Analysis
      • Impact analysis
    • Environmental Aspects in Product Standards
environmental responsibility
Environmental Responsibility
  • Is just one part of Sustainable Development
  • Sustainability involves
    • Economic growth
    • Environmental responsibility
    • Social Responsibility
    • It is a long-term “win-win” situation not a competition between these areas
united nations world commission on environment and development brundtland commission 1987
United Nations World Commission On Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission 1987)
  • Defined sustainability as:
    • “Development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
  • This concept has been evolving over the last 50 plus years
    • Concerns developed in the 1960s
    • Government regulations and policies began to respond to the concerns in the 1970s
business managers and leaders
Business Managers and Leaders
  • Began to respond in the 1980s and 1990s
    • Began to accept the need for sustainable business practices
    • Accepted the legitimacy of stakeholder environmental issues and needs
    • Started philosophy of Market Based Environmentalism
      • Being Green could be a source of:
        • Innovation
        • Competitive Advantage
        • New business generation
      • The most effective way of protecting the environment was to provide economic advantage to do so
greening business
Greening Business
  • Has become an established body of research
    • Regular conferences
    • Industry groups
    • Academic Groups
  • However, mostly focused on large corporations
small and medium sized enterprises sme
Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME)
  • Often overlooked in this area
  • Larger companies have more noticeable impact
  • SMEs
    • Levels of waste, energy use are small
    • More service sector so no dirty footprint is obvious
    • While they are small in size
      • Their collective impact is huge because of their numbers
        • They are approximately 95% of all businesses
common issues for smes
Common Issues for SMEs
  • Most owners believe the environment is important
    • 80 to 90% support environmental protection
    • However awareness is small of:
      • Environmental regulations
      • Laws
      • Management systems
      • Remediation processes
  • They are less likely to embark on environmental improvement programs
smes cont
SMEs cont.
  • Significant discrepancy between personal viewpoints and business activities
    • Similar to asking consumers about environmental issues
  • Tend to be reactive in programs rather than proactive
issues in fixing the problems
Issues in fixing the problems
  • Little quantifiable data available to base programs on
  • Issues are hard to measure
  • Consideration should be given to measuring the impact of Micro-Businesses
  • No clear understanding of the “SME Gap” (the differences between attitudes and actions)
  • Need to understand what drives businesses to become greener
so how do we foster positive change
So how do we foster positive change?
  • Need to point out the advantages
    • Economic
    • Competitive advantage
  • What is the difference between and Ecopreneur and a standard entrepreneur?
    • How do you measure it?
    • Is there a difference in success rates?
    • Where do you find advocates?
  • What barriers or triggers are there?
  • Is there a relationship between innovation and sustainability?
where does education fit in
Where does education fit in?
  • What is the role of the university and other learning institutions?
    • Can they create greater awareness among students?
    • Few university programs really address these issues and their relationships to SMEs
  • So it is fertile ground for universities
support services and policy frameworks
Support Services and Policy Frameworks
  • Appropriate regulations can spur development
  • Most regulations aimed at large corporations and exempt SMEs (to spare them costs)
    • May reduce pressure on them to become more environmentally conscious
  • There needs to be:
    • More easily available information
    • It needs to be practical
    • In a form which can be applied quickly
  • Adoption of green policies can pose significant challenges
  • They also can provide opportunities
    • For the SMEs
    • For Academics
  • The businesses and the planet both stand to succeed if these issues are prosecuted successfully!
  • Michael Schaper,The Challenge of Environmental Responsibility and Sustainable Development: Implications for SME and entrepreneurship academics,