Green Business: An Indian Perspective

Green Business: An Indian Perspective

Rabindra Ku Jena (Institute of Management Technology, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7095-0.ch018
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Green business is an enterprise that has minimal negative impact on the global or local environment, community, society, or economy. It is the way of doing business that strives to meet the triple bottom line. Green business embraces sustainable operating procedures, product and material sourcing, labor practices, and shipping methods. The goal of green business is to eliminate any negative impact on the environment on both a local and global scale. This chapter elaborates on the challenge and perspective of green business and explores different dimensions to creating environmentally sustainable organizations in India. Towards the end, this chapter also discussed the initiatives taken by different organizations in India to transact eco-friendly business according to the guidelines of GreenCo, India. GreenCo rating is the first of its kind in the world holistic framework that evaluates companies on the basis of their environmental friendly activities using life cycle approach.
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The notion of “green business” emerged at the end of the 20th century in the wake of the ever increasing public concern about the sustainability of economic development (Wright & Nyberg, 2015). Latter, in turn, the term Green business was roused up by the growing awareness of environmental issues such as the accelerating depletion of natural resources and the deterioration of environmental quality. While the origins of the modern “green movements” can be traced down to the middle of the 1960s. It took almost two decades for business to adapt to the “greening” trends and adopt them into its ideology and practice (McNeill & Engelke, 2014). However, even today, the substance of the green business concept is rather ambiguous as demonstrated by the variety of its definitions that could be found in different sources. Furthermore, green business practices are still far from being universally embraced and applied by business entities around the world with perceptible differences of business penetration by the “green” ideas in various countries. This is due to several reasons, one of them being the fact that the “greening of business” is still largely perceived as an extra burden (in terms of cost increase or revenue loss), and the other reason being related to the national specifics in terms of cultural, political, and economic differences (Jones, 2017).

In the same time, the ever-increasing world-wide population, the demand for living standards, and the on-going exploitation of natural resources have increased a wider awareness for the necessity of sustainability in living as well as organizing, performing, and managing work. Sustainable practices are more than ever on the agenda of organizations, triggered by a growing demand of the wider population towards approaches and practices that can be considered “green” or “sustainable” (Jones, 2017). With the emergence of environmental sustainability as an additional dimension of organizational performance, however, these classical process imperatives are increasingly subjected to critical scrutiny. This is because they do not appropriately reflect environmental objectives such as “minimize energy consumption”, “reduce carbon footprint,” or “provide ecologically sustainable solutions” (Reijers & Mansar, 2005).

Figure 1.

In effect, the classical management of business processes for business improvement, known as the devil’s quadrangle of time, cost, quality, and flexibility (Reijers and Mansar, 2005) (see Figure 1) is due for replacement. As contemporary organizations become increasingly aware of the need to become more sustainable, they look for information technology (IT)-enabled business processes that are successful in terms of their economic but also their ecological and perhaps also social impact. Exemplary ecological key performance indicators that increasingly find their way into the agenda of managers include carbon emissions, data center energy, or renewable energy consumption (Reijers and Mansar, 2005). The devil’s quadrangle, therefore, becomes a devil’s pentagon, which recognizes sustainability as an important emergent dimension in the management of business (see Figure 2).

Figure 2.

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