After Greenwashing: Symbolic Corporate Environmentalism and by Frances Bowen

By Frances Bowen

Companies advertise their environmental expertise 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 response to 20 years of analysis, 3 wealthy case reports, a robust theoretical version and various sensible functions, this publication presents the 1st systematic research of the drivers and effects of symbolic company environmentalism. It addresses the oblique price of businesses' symbolic activities and develops a brand new suggestion of the 'social power penalty' - the fee to society while robust company actors restrict the social dialog on environmental difficulties and their ideas. This considerate ebook develops a collection of instruments for researchers, regulators and executives to split priceless environmental info from empty company spin, and may entice researchers and scholars of company accountability, company environmental method and sustainable company, in addition to environmental practitioners.

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I then position this difference within broader treatments of corporate symbolic gaps, borrowing ideas from organisational theory and strategy, sociology, psychology, anthropology, law and economics. The goals are to (1) provide key insights from the research to date on the important phenomenon of symbolic corporate environmentalism; and (2) generate themes, issues and questions that have not been fully addressed in the current literature. Two perspectives on corporate environmentalism Corporate environmentalism is the voluntary attempts of managers to adopt, implement and communicate solutions to environmental problems.

Quality circles, lean production and total quality management), ‘greening’ was always a more difficult ‘sell’ than other management fashions with more obvious managerial benefits (Fineman 2001). 1). 5 However, looking more closely at these articles reveals that, more 20 After greenwashing often than not, greenwashing makes a guest appearance in most contemporary corporate environmentalism scholarship. Of the 752 Google Scholar hits in 2012, for example, fewer than a dozen were peer-reviewed academic journal articles that discuss greenwashing in more than a cursory way.

The rise of greenwashing was driven by a combination of increasing environmental consciousness and poor environmental information through the 1980s and 1990s. Today, we may be witnessing the fall of greenwashing because the most egregious examples can be easily exposed by anyone with a copycat URL address, slick production values and the wit to help a spoof go viral. com enable users even to view and rank examples of greenwashing posted by others. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines ‘greenwash’ as ‘disinformation disseminated by an organisation so as to present an environmentally responsible public image’ (Oxford Dictionary of English 2012).

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