“Motivations of Pursuing and Becoming Energy Efficient”
Dr. Tingting Rachel Chung
October 21, 2012
What motivations influence a company’s decision to pursue energy efficiency? What organizational dynamics move a company from merely considering energy efficiency to tangible action? This paper seeks to shed light on the complex factors that influence corporate energy efficiency decisions. We utilized a scientifically validated integrative model that measures the effects of external influences, foundational organizational enablers, decision drivers, and inhibitors on sustainability implementation. Using data collected from a survey of 18 building managers across a wide variety of industries, we showed that this model predicts the likelihood that energy efficiency practices will be put in place. The results give insight into how energy efficiency incentive programs can be designed, how corporations can be influenced into becoming greener, and how to better market energy efficiency products and services.
This research project is a formal study of the motivations and factors that influence companies to pursue energy efficiency initiatives. We will use an integrative model developed by Fairfield, Harmon, and Benson (2011), which illuminates the reasons behind decisions to implement corporate sustainability practices, and test whether or not these same factors influence decisions regarding energy efficiency. The empirical study by Fairfield et al. (2011) was a continuation of the exploratory research done by Bansal and Roth (2000), who used extensive in-depth interviews to gain insight into corporate ecological responsiveness. Sustainability practices and ecological responses include a wide variety of corporate activities. We seek to further this work by testing if the same factors predict a specific kind of response. We seek to find out if the integrative model predicts if a company pursues specific energy efficiency initiatives and programs. The integrative model developed by Fairfield et al. (2011) identifies positive and negative linkages between External Influences, Foundational Enablers, Internal Inhibitors, and Decision Drivers. These variables were found to determine what practices are put in place and if the practices will have a positive effect on company performance. These findings are consistent with Bansal and Roth’s (2000) findings that contexts such as Issues Salience, Field Cohesion, and Individual Concern positively and negatively effect the motivations of Competitiveness, Legitimization, and Environmental Responsibility. Further, this confirms what other global research has found: that companies who establish a green image believe that they have a distinctive advantage in the marketplace (Saxena, Ravindra, Khandewlwal, & Pradeep, 2012), and companies that practice a green philosophy are able to sustain themselves for a longer period of time in the marketplace (Saxena et al., 2012). We seek to confirm that when a green image is present that corporate leaders feel they have a competitive advantage over non-green companies. In the global marketplace, there is growing awareness of the positive impact of energy efficiency initiatives. Corporate green projects and programs are not just a fad; they are the new way of operating. This is becoming true across a wide variety of industries. For example HealthCare Financial Management (2009) analyzed six case studies concerning the Health Care Facilities. They found that green initiatives resulted in significant cost savings, maximum efficiency, increased safety, sustainability, and the predictability of energy costs. In the construction industry, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is quickly becoming standard practice during the planning of new construction or renovations (Biblow, 2009). Our literature...