Advancements in technology over the last 100 years have provided mankind with an unappalled material wealth. According to the WorldWatch Institute Report, the world economy has expanded from $4 trillion in 1950 to more than $20 trillion in 1995, and in this same time period world population has more than doubled (WorldWatch Institute, as cited in Valasquez, 1998). But this technological and material prosperity does not come without its costs; there have been terrible consequences on our natural environment. Much of the burden can be placed onto the shoulders of unscrupulous business's operating in the latter half of the 20th century under the 'Classical view' of social responsibility (Shaw, 1998). That is, that their only social responsibility is to maximise profits. Luckily, in the late 1980's and throughout the 1990's the attitudes of businesses towards looking after the environment began to change for the better. The widely used term for this is now know as, 'The Greening of Management".
2.0 Define and Discuss 'The Greening of Management'
In the rapidly changing business world of the 21st century it is now widely accepted that "A primary concern of many businesses now is how to manage their environmental impacts effectively and efficiently" (Berry & Rondinelli, p38). The name for this fairly new style of management is called "Green Management". The Greening of Management is concerned with companies embracing environmental protection as part of their competitive strategies, as well as "the recognition of the close link between an organisation's decisions and activities and its impact on the natural environment" (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, Coulter, p145). Greening of management has helped business's understand that proper environmental protection requires the prevention or pollution rather than just the control of wastes at the end of the pipeline. (Berry & Rondinelli, 1998).
3.0 Development of "Greening of Management"
For centuries business institutions, under the orders of management, were able to treat natural resources such as air, water and land as free, limitless resources. Because no one entity owned them, these companies used and polluted as they pleased without considering their impact on our environment (Valasquez, 1998). In the 1960's and 1970's, there was a large amount of pressure being put on both the government and corporate sector to become more environmentally friendly. Yet most companies attempted to avoid government environmental regulations at all costs. In the mid 1970's a few multinational corporations began to re-structure their style of management to take a more pro-active approach to environmental management and ease pressure from activist groups (Berry & Rondinelli, 1998).
During the 1980's business's started to bow to pressure by environmental activist groups and government agencies to increase pollution control and further comply with regulations. Instead of waiting for environmental problems to happen and then deal with them, the companies began to actively seek improvements and solutions as a preventative measure. It wasn't until the early 1990's greening of management as a mainstream business practice really became popular. Not only were companies now totally complying with government regulations, they were setting their own stringent environmental standards. For example, in a time period of five years General Electric decreased toxic emissions by 90 percent and Xerox reduced their hazardous waste output by 50 percent (Berry & Rondinelli, 1998). Overall the development of green management has lead to a significant reduction on pollution output across the corporate sector.
4.0 Types of 'Greening'
There are 4 main categories that each corporation will fall into regarding their attitudes towards managerial greening. These are Legal, Market, Stakeholder and Activist (Robbins, et al, 2003). These attitudes range from doing very little towards greening right...