Harvard Business Review). Green Business Strategy Book Report

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Harvard Business Review, (2007). Green Business Strategy. Harvard Business School Press.

Green Business Strategies

Overview- in the international business arena, particularly as a result of globalization, multinational corporations are beginning to understand that being "green" or ecologically minded, is not simply for environmentalists. British Telecom, for instance, noted in 2007 that it had reduced its carbon footprint by 60% since 1996, setting itself a target of 80% reductions by 2016 (Hawser, 2007). Frangois Barrault, CEO, BT Global Services, said that by supporting sustainability his company hoped not only to reduce its carbon footprint but also to attract younger people who prefer to work for environmentally and socially responsible companies. He didn't always think that way, though. Barrault said that when he first met former U.S. vice president and environmental activist Al Gore, who showed him pictures of icecaps melting, he thought Gore was crazy (Ibid).

The advantages of "going green" are both tangible and intangible: lower operating costs, less energy use, increased property value, and a positive, proactive, public image. Historically, there has been a battle from the so called "enivornmentalist cadre" who wanted slow or no growth in favor of the environment and the "capitalist right" who believed in a strong economy and the aggressive use of resources. In the contemporary environment, however, there is no doubt that both a template for robust economic growth can merge with a cleaner environment (Brown, 2007).

Chapter 1 -- Charles Lockwood, "Building the Green Way."

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Green building is also known as green construction or sustainable building. It is a model in which structures are created using processes that are environmentally responsible and efficient through the entire building's life cycle. Technology is advancing to the point in which changes in materials and utility usage occur regularly, but the common objective remains historically similar: to reduce the overall impact of buildings on human health and the natural environment by:

Efficiently using energy, water, and other resources

Book Report on Harvard Business Review, (2007). Green Business Strategy. Assignment

Protecting occupant health and improving productivity in the workplace

Reducing waste, pollution, and environmental degradation (Green Building, 2010).

Four effects are typically used to provide guidance for Green Building:

Aspects of Built Environment


Environmental Effects

Ultimate Effects











Natural Resources


Air Pollution

Water Pollution

Indoor Pollution

Heat Islands

Storm water Runoff

Noise Pollution

Harm to Humans

Environmental Degradation

Loss of Resources

Talking Points:

Perception about "going green" has had a major impact on the industry and the public's willingness to accept sustainable development

It is now possible to realize up to 20% savings on costs using sustainable technologies, with greater savings ahead as more companies provide green services.

Focus on the larger view; spend time looking at the overall project and hire the right company; not on the tiny details of saving cents.

Choosing a sustainable site is more than half the battle -- work with the land, not against it.

Similarly, appropriate landscaping is a part of designing and building green, let the landscaping plan work for the project.

Integrating a plan to save and manage water will help the overall strategy more than any one thing.

Insist upon green materials and processes within the construction plan.

Revamp and refresh -- just like any project, keeping up-to-date will be essential as technologies change; this is particularly true in green energy -- the technology changes so rapidly that it must be continually updated to save money.

Keep abreast of green standards and EPA and governmental information, regulation, and most importantly, tax incentives

Chapter 2 -- Kimberly O'Neill Parckard and Forrest Reinhardt, "What Every Exeutive Needs to Know About Global Warming."

The concept of globalization in economic and cultural development is a reality for the 21st century. The Internet and advances in telecommunication has made it easy to do business with any country in the world, to increase cultural and social contact, and to extend more timely communication between individuals. Similarly, the end of the Cold War signaled a different type of realignment of nations -- rather than East West philosophically dividing the world, global cultures are now looking to trade and economic growth to change the pattern of their own structures. The developing world, able to see and hear news and entertainment from the developed world, wants to change. Europe has evolved into a union of concerned states; even the United States, Canada, and Mexico are cooperating on a trade agreement to benefit the Americas (Lanza, 2000).

As with any period of growth, there is also strife and disagreement. The anti-global warming contingent, that sees the entire view as scientific hogwash, finds that summits such as Copenhagen are little more than a shell game in which rich countries promise to bail out poor countries. "Obama called Copenhagen an 'Unprecedented Breakthrough.' Hardly. The accord, thankfully, sets no limits on CO2 emissions and really doesn't require any countries to do anything (other than look bad for not meeting self-imposed goals."

Rapid development has ecological consequences, and more and more scientists are becoming concerned about the carbon footprint of individual nations, as well as the vast amounts of pollutants being pumped into the air and waters of the world. Humans have come to understand that no one lives in isolation when it comes to ecology -- the world is tied together. Rampant pollution in China does have an effect on other countries of the world, as does the high consumption rate of fossil fuel in the United States.

Talking Points:

Expect and plan for insurance rates to increase due to preponderance of inclimate weather patterns.

Similarly, plan for greater "green" regulations when looking at long-term fiscal strategy.

The climate of public opinion varies, but most believe it will continue to insist upon green planning and applications.

Embrace local environmental causes, promote anything your company can do that is green friendly on packaging, advertising, etc.

Encourage employees to get involved in ecological friendly pursuits -- teach recycling and utilitiy use awareness at work.

If in a multinational situation, lead rather than follow in terms of governmental regulation for green behavior, building, and applications.

#1. Explain the factors involved in the equality-efficiency trade-off.

There are three major reasons why efficiency and equality are sometimes explained as being in a continual "trade-off" relationship. First, the motivational approach holds that quality eliminates the differential rewards that are psychologically necessary to motivated individuals to be more productive. Any move toward income equalization, whatever that may be, reduces individual effort and drive. This is almost explained on a demand curve, with the relationship between external funds (grants, taxation breaks, restructuring of wages, etc.) structurally aligned. This is not really a new paradigm, but probably tied together with the development of advanced capitalism and urbanization. Second, there is a presumption that if outside forces (e.g. The government) interferes with use of resources, quality and innovation will suffer. If a large bureaucracy exists, for instance, to maintain or "equalize" the time and energy spent on adhering to the rules will bring down the level of performance. Finally, and in line with the former argument, any outside control over a business not only ties up resources for that business, but creates a unit that is neither necessary nor productive. So, in essence, there are two levels of waste: the outside organization that is monitoring and controlling and the waste and lack of productivity from the resources inside the monitored organization. In a sense, then, this is an argument against state capitalism and socialism, or excessive governmental control of the market. While individual situations may result in small gains, over time the average effect is more negative than positive (text; see also Martinez, 2009).

#2. Explain the process of why counting is political.

Aristotle once said that "Man by nature is a political animal." Indeed, the idea of the political exists when one deals with more than oneself in a situation: there is negotiation, compromise, strategic planning, and implementation of actions that are beneficial to the group, not just the individual. The idea of a census; or counting of people, organizations, inventory, and more expresses a desire to both control and to separate and define a hierarchy. Depending on the size of the human organization, for instance, counting separates individuals into various groups: by task (their work); gender; ability; wealth (economics); or whatever distinction seems necessary for those in power to make decisions and/or judgments. To count is power -- power is political.

By its very nature, then, the idea of counting organizes the individual -- boxes them, if you will into not necessarily a self-defining unit -- examples given were women due to their capacity for childbirth, ethnic minorities based on preconceived notions or information about trends and statistical probabilities. This is not necessarily nefarious, though. For example, a 10-year national census may indicate that X County has a high population of disenfranchised individuals; grouped together that indicates changes politically as well as socially. Funding may be required in schools, social programs, and resources to bring that area to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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