How does a company Go green? : Important steps towards a sustainable business strategy
The results of the supposed man-made climate change have lead to a concern for the environment that is affecting how businesses operate. Businesses are facing greater pressure from stakeholders and government regulations to take more responsibility and care for the environment. Thus companies are facing a wide spectrum of new problems, but also new opportunities. In facing these problems companies must react to how the world is changing and to integrate environmental concerns into the vision and company strategy to become a more environmentally friendly and thus greener company. An issue pressing is how to maintain sustainability for the environment as well as pursuing to be a sustainable company facing the threats of today and the future to come due to climate change. Important aspects a company must take into consideration in order to go green are: sustainability, company strategy, government regulations, internal processes and policies, corporate social responsibility and how to form a corporate culture as these are all parts of how a company changes into focusing on becoming greener and thus more environmentally friendly.
This study brings forth the actions and reactions of three companies perceived as pioneers towards becoming greener in their respective industries. During the course of mapping out how a company goes green, an analytical model has been created with the help of already existing and accepted theoretical frameworks. The purpose of the model is to create structure and consistency to map out what important steps the company has taken to become greener. A qualitative method of research has been applied. Three respondents active in various fields, all with environmental connections, from Wilhelm Wilhelmsen (WW), Statkraft and Statoil has been interviewed with questions concerning their work towards sustainability and a green vision within the company. The analysis is based on relevant theories combined with the empirical data collected. What stands out in the conclusions is that the companies researched have taken different important steps when becoming greener and working to achieve sustainability. The differences can be illustrated in the own-developed model. The model is applied to crystallize what dimensions in the companies that are affected. Factors such as government regulations and how internal processes and policies are changed are standing out as examples of how a company’s dimensions are affected differently depending on the respective company’s strategy and business model.
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