Reengineering a Green Business

Reengineering a Green Business

Yi-Chen Lan (University of Western Sydney, Australia)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/jgc.2011010101
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Abstract

A green environment is a social as well as business issue. Business enterprises, as a large part of the global community, are obliged to make endeavours toward an environmentally sustainable operation that reflects their corporate social responsibility. One of the effective approaches of making business operations more environmental friendly is to undertake business process reengineering with the strategic focus on green perspective. This paper discusses the reengineering of a green business from its process viewpoint. This reengineering of business processes is undertaken in the context of five areas of green business characteristics (necessary, effective, efficient, agile, and measureable) and their corresponding life cycles. This analysis paves the path for an in-depth research agenda for developing and operating green business processes in organizations. The framework is explained with five key phases namely, 1) examining business processes with green process characteristics, 2) integrating business processes with the environmental standards, 3) green business process redesign, 4) training programs development and change management, and 5) performance monitoring and process improvement. The paper concludes with a suggestion of the framework validation and future research directions.
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Introduction

Business processes, representing the way in which business operate, play a significant role in contribution towards the carbon footprint of an organization. Repetitive erroneous processes not only make for an inefficient business but also result in high carbon generation. The “Carbon footprint” of an organization represents the CO2 from emissions throughout the life cycle of a product, service or activity (Wiedmann et al., 2006; Barthelmie et al., 2008) and contributes to increased atmospheric carbon levels (Luchsinger, 2009). One approach for businesses to maintain sustainable operations whilst addressing its carbon footprint would be to identify the extent of carbon emissions resulting from their business processes. This has to be followed by a framework within which green business process operates that is based on Business Process Reengineering (BPR) to minimize carbon emissions.

This position paper presents a framework for “Green Business Process Reengineering Life Cycle” with a specific focus on CO2 emitting business processes. This paper further proposes a carbon reporting mechanism as part of the business reports, identifying and evaluating alternate processes, and moving towards measuring and justifying their changes. Starting with a literature review in identifying carbon emitting business processes and characteristics in transforming them to green processes, a discussion is developed on challenges in implementing green processes. From this discussion, a green reengineering framework is proposed that establishes a research agenda in the Green Business domain from the information systems management perspective. The paper concludes with delineating concepts of validating the proposed framework and future research directions.

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