Download After Greenwashing: Symbolic Corporate Environmentalism and by Frances Bowen PDF

By Frances Bowen

Companies advertise their environmental knowledge via eco-friendly structures, eco-labels, sustainability studies, pledges and fresh applied sciences. while are those symbols wasteful company spin, and while do they sign actual environmental advancements? in keeping with 20 years of study, 3 wealthy case stories, a powerful theoretical version and various sensible purposes, this e-book presents the 1st systematic research of the drivers and effects of symbolic company environmentalism. It addresses the oblique expense of businesses' symbolic activities and develops a brand new thought of the 'social strength penalty' - the associated fee to society while robust company actors restrict the social dialog on environmental difficulties and their recommendations. This considerate e-book develops a collection of instruments for researchers, regulators and bosses to split worthwhile environmental info from empty company spin, and may attract researchers and scholars of company accountability, company environmental technique and sustainable enterprise, in addition to environmental practitioners.

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Extra resources for After Greenwashing: Symbolic Corporate Environmentalism and Society

Sample text

To provide a foundation to better understand this new concept, I next outline the differences between narrow greenwashing and symbolic corporate environmentalism. The primary difference between greenwashing and symbolic corporate environmentalism is the way in which symbol and substance are connected. In conventional definitions of greenwashing, a firm’s communications can be separated from actual environmental impacts. ‘Greenwashing’ is the label given when deliberate positive disclosure exists in parallel with poor substantive environmental performance.

But the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) countered, ‘What we really have here is yet another high-tech building calling itself “green” but that warrants the label only if you completely discount the sprawling, totally automobile-dependent location . . [that] cause[s] far more carbon emissions from employees and visitors driving to and from than they save with energy-efficient building technology’ (Benfield 2008). Obviously, it is not the building that calls itself green but rather the people commentating on and describing the building – in this case, The New York Times, HSBC and the LEED agency that awarded the Gold certification.

Matten 2003 and Rhee and Lee 2003). Current research tends to define greenwashing as it relates to policy implementation depth – that is, the extent to which a disclosed policy is actually translated into improved firm-level environmental performance. This emphasises social costs because incorrect information about a firm’s environmental quality creates distortions in firm valuation. However, analysing the breadth of the diffusion of symbols, rather than simply the depth, allows a more sophisticated understanding of how new greening ideas spread and become established in a particular organisational field.

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