Making Green by Going Green: 5 Steps of Corporate Green Movements
I always perceive that almost every aspect of our life is related to the environment somehow, no exception to marketing. I found an interesting book giving me an unequivocal reason to reckon my thought. There is a part of the book explaining the possibility of a cooperative, or co-op running its business, developing its economic opportunity and still taking care of the environment. Having known a little about economics, but I’m still sure that this can be a breakthrough to give another perception of how we perceive the environment as part of our life (“not only economy”). There has been always a hope to implement “a greener strategy” in real life in order to keep our environment sustained including running businesses.
Okay, now let me start with the best part of this book. This book is called The Green Management Revolution: Lessons in Environmental Excellence by Waldemar Hopfenbeck. In this book, I found the 5 Steps of Corporate Green Movements by Wicke (1982) on Hopfenbeck (1993) who has developed a program which he considers indispensable to improve environmental policy. It consists of five points which are Green Building, Green Organization, Green Resources, Green Waste, and Green Marketing.
1. Green building requires companies to qualify for two conditions. The first condition is about green industrial architecture. The aim of this green building is to produce buildings with material dimensions to the needs of people and the environment from the landscape, the front view, the color, the building materials, and the most important is the energy sources utilization. The second is an environmentally oriented site location. The industry should be more careful to choose a site because people are not ready as they used to be to accept the juncture with the environment through pollution and noise. Thus, industrial buildings that have the possibility of producing pollution near residential areas could endanger the surrounding living organism and human population. After green building, the next point is;
2. Green organizations require every company to have environmental thinking and the organizations changes in corporate culture.
It becomes a critical issue that corporate culture should be considered important by companies. A person working at the company should not see environmental protection in isolation or as a technical problem, but it needs to be appreciated its wider significance. For example, planning and company environmental audits are required in which the employee should act as an agent for change and also create ecological dimension to training programs. In practice, the appointment of an employee is handled in various ways. With official permission, the responsibilities can be devolved to outside agencies. I think the kind of organization that is perfectly suited for handling this issue is the EDF Climate Corps. I saw the EDF Climate Corps as a professional agency that provides expert hands-on support for energy management actions.
3. Green resources mean companies should confirm that the resources used for production don’t harm any environment and living things.
Back in the days when I was preparing to finish my minor thesis, I read a report providing an overview about the straight policies in running a forestry business in Canada. The Business Corporations must not harm any environment like they also preserve trees based on their species. Thus, the authority is only allowed to choose ones that are passed the study and process to export, and there are species that are not allowed to export. Trees should be labeled, the road surrounding the forest needs to be protected and maintained.
4. Integrative approach to logistic management by recycling. Recycling means reducing the burden of the environment, saving energy, and economizing. It can be applied by retailers’ acceptance and the customers’ willingness to use reusable grocery bags or anything we already have instead of single-use plastic bags. Reusing packaging materials and eco-friendly methods of waste treatment become major considered actions in the industry.
5. Green marketing. Marketing is always related to many aspects, but the point right here is the environmental marketing actions through advertising, public relations, and external groups like WWF or Greenpeace. Also, the products should pass the test of environmental compatibility and should be marked by international eco-labeling such as the Blue Angel, the green seal on the advertisement.
Indonesia has already had ecolabeling known as LEI (Lembaga Ekolabel Indonesia), but it seems that the government is still far from its goal of giving proper attention to this issue. I bet that people in Indonesia barely know about LEI. However, we need to see this as an opportunity to actualize the concept, so we will not face an export slowdown to the countries already adopting the ecolabel principle. I also believe that the goods with the label will be noticed by consumers, and the role of PR promoting the whole company and especially its involvement in green issues are also a key to the success of companies.
The next idea of the steps of corporate green movements for companies is to do an inevitable obligation because a company is an agent that has the first interaction with the ecosystem within part of the business process. In some cases, a business process causes the developing countries to have limited resources in the end. They have to adapt and they couldn’t provide their own needs anymore, and it will exacerbate existing pressures, such as habitat destruction and local pollution. For example in Indonesia, Tesso Nilo National Park, known as the largest lowland rainforest on the island of Sumatra, also as the habitat of animals. It is only 18% of total the land areas remains and the rest of 82% has become oil palm plantations based on what I saw on “Years of Living Dangerously” documentary, and national tv news reported that there was a forest fire in the national park which made things worse and many origin animals losing their homes even more death of animals and poverty are increasing. This is so heart-breaking, knowing the fact that humans are seeking blindly to become more profitable than their competitors, and it is the more important thing than maintaining the natural environment.
So, the idea is for the newcomers before selling products, they need to have legitimate statements from the authority who evaluates through the five steps of corporate green movements and for the companies that already exist, at the end of period coinciding with financial reporting, they need to inform what they are still working on and already achieved related on the five steps.
At What Stage is Indonesia Now?
The Indonesian government has already taken an action by imposing a carbon tax policy in 2022 because participating to decrease GHG emissions, it will make Indonesia be more attractive for investment. As I follow on news, Indonesia has been working on a carbon tax roadmap and this includes the carbon trading policy in the power sector. This is a great step for the government to participate with other OECD countries to lessen the impacts of climate change. I also hope someday, the solutions for averting the worst effects of climate change can be implemented by whole aspects of life, including marketing.