After Greenwashing: Symbolic Corporate Environmentalism and Society

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Cambridge University Press, May 29, 2014 - Business & Economics
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Businesses promote their environmental awareness through green buildings, eco-labels, sustainability reports, industry pledges and clean technologies. When are these symbols wasteful corporate spin, and when do they signal authentic environmental improvements? Based on twenty years of research, three rich case studies, a strong theoretical model and a range of practical applications, this book provides the first systematic analysis of the drivers and consequences of symbolic corporate environmentalism. It addresses the indirect cost of companies' symbolic actions and develops a new concept of the 'social energy penalty' - the cost to society when powerful corporate actors limit the social conversation on environmental problems and their solutions. This thoughtful book develops a set of tools for researchers, regulators and managers to separate useful environmental information from empty corporate spin, and will appeal to researchers and students of corporate responsibility, corporate environmental strategy and sustainable business, as well as environmental practitioners.
 

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Contents

After greenwashing
15
Figures
18
Tables
21
Perspectives on symbolic corporate environmentalism
39
Drivers and consequences of symbolic corporate
55
Symbolic gaps in environmental strategies
109
Pollution control technology and
140
The evolution of measurement
181
Measurement and methods
206
Implications and conclusions
226
Notes
251
Index
291
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About the author (2014)

Frances Bowen is Professor of Innovation Studies at Queen Mary, University of London. She is a leading authority on when and how companies innovate in response to current and future environmental regulation. She is the 2014 Chair of the Organizations and the Natural Environment (ONE) Division of the Academy of Management, and President-Elect of GRONEN, the Group for Research on Organizations and the Natural Environment.

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