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Why Companies Go Green

Making businesses more sustainable starts with being aware of the issue at hand and understanding just how important it is to make changes — both for the business and the planet.

In 2000, Pratima Bansal, Professor of Strategy at the Ivey Business School wrote a seminal article on a model of ecological responsiveness. The article was widely cited and applauded. While the article was written in an academic journal, its importance can ony be utilised and sustained by corporate world; something which stood the test of time even after 23 years.


The intent of this resource is to help business owners, administrators, and leaders make their organizations more environmentally aware. Here, you’ll find a working definition of sustainability in business, an explanation of its importance, identification of the key players, a discussion of benefits and challenges, as well as information on how to improve sustainability in business.

This study focuses on understanding employee environmental behaviour in professional service firms that are implementing pro-environmental strategies. To date research has mainly focused on environmental management programmes (EMPs) within manufacturing, however, the size of the service economy’s contribution to GDP in more economically developed nations adds to the importance of exploring environmental issues in service firms (Kassinis & Soteriou, 2009).

The Research

The research seeks to develop a model to explain employees’ motivations to engage with the organisation’s EMP. Although EMPs have the potential to improve an organisation’s environmental performance, adopting an internal-marketing approach to promote positive environmental outcomes by service employees may enhance the realisation of environmental objectives. Basically this research conducted a qualitative study of the motivations and contextual factors that induce corporate ecological responsiveness.

Analytic induction applied to data collected from 53 firms in the United Kingdom and Japan revealed three motivations: competitiveness, legitimation, and ecological responsibility. These motivations were influenced by three contextual conditions: field cohesion, issue salience, and individual concern.

In this article, we also identify the conditions that likely lead to high corporate ecological responsiveness. It also proposed a framework of corporate motivations for sustainability based on the study of sustainability engagement most prevalent in the different UN-defined macro-regions. Four main motivations were uncovered in the literature: Legitimacy- the perception that the actions are appropriate within a system of norms and beliefs, Market Success – increase in turnover, brand equity, or innovation due to sustainable practices; Process Improvement-sustainability oriented optimization of processes; and Social Insurance preemptive insurance against reputation or goodwill losses. Field articles were selected via a bibliometric review to develop the propositions.

They indicate which motivations are of more academic concern in general and in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Northern America, and Oceania Legitimacy appears as the most prevalent motivation, followed by Market Success.

More developed regions tend to have more studies on Market Success, while Social Insurance seems linked to less developed markets, where corporations must provide access to needs beyond their business. This research investigated whether procedural and interactional justice affect workrelated outcomes through different social exchange relationships.

The findings extend previous research by demonstrating that :

(1) interactional justice perceptions affect supervisor-related outcomes via the mediating variable of leader-member exchange and,

(2) procedural justice perceptions affect organization-related outcomes via the mediating variable of perceived organizational support.

During the last decade, researchers concerned with organizations and the natural environment have investigated why firms respond to ecological issues. They have examined why some firms embrace ecologically responsive initiatives, while others in seemingly similar circumstances do not even comply with existing legislation.

Understanding the motives for corporate ecological responsiveness is critical for two reasons :

a) This understanding could assist organizational theorists to predict ecologically based behaviors.

b) This understanding could expose the mechanisms that foster ecologically sustainable organizations, allowing researchers, managers, and policy makers to determine the relative efficacy of command and control mechanisms, market measures, and voluntary measures.


A green business functions In the best interests of the local and global environment, meaning it supports the community and economy dependent on a healthy planet. An environmentally aware business considers more than just profits — it considers its impact on society and the environment. Such a business is sustainable because it contributes to the health of the structure within which it operates, thereby helping construct an environment in which the business can thrive

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