After Greenwashing: Symbolic Corporate Environmentalism and by Frances Bowen

By Frances Bowen

Companies advertise their environmental wisdom via eco-friendly constructions, eco-labels, sustainability studies, pledges and fresh applied sciences. whilst are those symbols wasteful company spin, and whilst do they sign genuine environmental advancements? in accordance with 20 years of study, 3 wealthy case experiences, a robust theoretical version and more than a few useful functions, this e-book offers the 1st systematic research of the drivers and outcomes of symbolic company environmentalism. It addresses the oblique fee of businesses' symbolic activities and develops a brand new idea of the 'social strength penalty' - the associated fee to society while robust company actors restrict the social dialog on environmental difficulties and their options. This considerate e-book develops a collection of instruments for researchers, regulators and executives to split valuable environmental details from empty company spin, and should attract researchers and scholars of company accountability, company environmental method and sustainable company, in addition to environmental practitioners.

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In 2008 seventy-three articles mentioned greenwashing in The New York Times alone (with seventy-one in 2009). The earliest widely cited works on greenwashing are Greer and Bruno’s (1996) Greenwash: The Reality behind Corporate Environmentalism and Tokar’s (1997) Earth for Sale. Both of these books are firmly rooted in the US environmental justice movement, focusing on the power and ideology related to corporate environmental activities. The provenance of these early books explains a subtle difference in the definition of greenwashing between US and UK English.

Plus environmental technologies, job titles, strategic plans, internal environmental programmes, measurement and reporting systems, compliance registries, physical infrastructure, partnership agreements and so forth Interactions among actors Emergent strategy Costs and benefits for both firms and society May be connected or disconnected; symbolic and/or substantive effects Gold’. The current corporate environmental strategy literature tends to underrate symbolic corporate environmentalism by looking only at merely symbolic activities, such as greenwashing, and not at the shared meanings around greening that might also have a substantive impact.

Contemporary definitions of greenwashing tend to emphasise deliberate strategies. This view implies that firms make strategically interrelated deliberate decisions about disclosing environmental information and about levels of environmental performance. But a more realistic view recognises that the shared meanings about corporate greening emerge from a broader pattern of practices. Corporate environmentalism is a systematic pattern of voluntary practices across a firm (AragonCorrea and Rubio-Lopez 2007).

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