Green to Gold: A Review
Daniel C. Etsy and Andrew S. Winston compose a number of innovative strategies within their work Green to Gold. The most powerful part of this book is the attention it calls to the fact that our resources are fixed, and that we are quickly moving towards a demand that will deplete those resources too fast. Thus creates a situation where environmental issues are not just a societal or governmental concern, but a business one as well considering that less resources typically means a limited profit potential in the long run. One of the biggest key points covered in the book is the limitation of natural resources like water (Etsy & Winston p 44). There is a fixed quantity of water on the earth at any given time. Yet, the increase for water increases on a daily basis, making this a huge issue for companies to deal with. Incorporating green friendly strategies in a business model will not help reduce costs and expenses, while increasing the overall gain of the organization as a whole (Etsy & Winston 9). Thus, the authors posit a conservational approach to conducting a greener style of business, not just out of corporate responsibility, but out of corporate necessity.
To do this, the authors present a number of strategies. Each are specifically tailored to the reduction of costs and the opportunity to increase profits on a much longer time scale than current business models allow. First, the authors posit the importance of cultivating within the organization an eco-friendly mindset (Etsy & Winston p 145). Moreover, the authors present the need to focus on eco-tracking using the tools from AUDIO and Life Assessment (Etsy & Winston p 167). Redesigning the capacity of innovation towards green objectives is another key point, and incorporating eco-consciousness into every day behaviors and decisions within the organization and within the mindset of employees is a final point that proves crucial in the work.
To examine this further, two strategies will be examined in this research. First, the concept of embedding a notion of green well being within an organizational structure will be examined in order to discern whether or not it actually helps decrease costs as well as increases potential profit. Etsy and Winston posit the idea that helping cultivate an eco-friendly attitude within the organization from the ground up will help provide an essential foundation for green practices and production that will help the organization stay strong in the uncertain future. Essentially, other research does show that empowering the individual employees helps secure a stronger devotion to eco-friendly principles (Carmazzi “Organizational Culture-Based Leadership — Affecting Corporate Culture Through Systematic Psychology” p 1). This includes focusing on retraining company executives to embody these eco-friendly practices in order to increase the strength they have within the whole organization. The research shows that it is difficult for an organization to cultivate eco-friendly attitudes if the leaders do not set an example (Carmazzi “Are Your Leaders Environmentally Friendly?” p 1). Otherwise, initiatives by management or middle management feel superficial rather than pushing for a true change in organizational culture. Changing the initial structure from the ground up is crucial to influence powerful developments in organizational culture (Mallinger et al. 2009). Therefore, organizations will need to redesign their entire scope in order to fit an eco-friendly motive to influence the adoption of the ideas. Thus, organizations can reconstruct simple operations, like featuring recycling bins and limiting water usage, as a way to increase the belief in the company’s mission by employees.
The second strategy examined here is the one focusing on the redesigning towards green innovation. Typical beliefs assume that consumers are more willing to pay a premium for products that utilize eco-friendly production practices. Essentially, this idea postulates that consumers are willing to pay higher prices for products produced with and in eco-friendly circumstances (Green Biz p 1). This means that the organization must employ eco-friendly products in order to still charge a premium without damaging its consumer reputation. However, contemporary research does show that there is a limit to what consumers want to spend, and on their devotion to green friendly principles (Bonini & Oppenheim 1). Thus, it can be hard to market more expensive eco-friendly concepts and products. Redesigning innovation can be both on the product and marketing sign, as consumers often need a good push in the right direction to be willing to part with extra cash. Innovation helps establish value, and thus it can be a crucial factor on how much more customers are willing to pay for particular products, despite the presence of cheaper alternatives. Moreover, there is the opportunity to reduce costs through innovative decisions that help cut costs because of utilizing eco-friendly practices. Essentially, adopting greener initiatives help implement practices that can reduce overall overhead (Gingichashvili p 1). Switching to a paperless system, for example, can save tremendously on paper and ink costs. Additionally, for new start ups or businesses on the moves, spending initial money on designing innovative green building elements can help save on utility costs, and also earn credits back from local governments. These small reductions will eventually add up, and by being able to combine them with charging a premium, this can amount to huge revenue increases overall. Thus, it is clear that investing into green friendly innovation can prove beneficial for the organization and the world as a whole community.
Bonini, Sheila & Oppenheim, Jeremy. (2008). Cultivating the green consumer. Stanford Social Innovation Review. Web. http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/cultivating_the_green_consumer
Carmazzi, Arthur F. (2010). Are your leaders environmentally friendly? Write for HR. Web. http://www.writeforhr.com/are-your-leaders-environmentally-friendly/
Carmazzi, Arthur F. (2010). Organizational culture-based leadership — Affecting corporate culture through systematic psychology. Eco-Friendly Ideas. Web. http://www.ecofriendlyideas.co.uk/eco-friendly-articles/organizational-culture-based-leadership-affecting-corporate-culture-through-systematic-psychology.html
Etsy, Daniel C. & Winston, Andrew S. (2009). Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage. John Wiley and Sons.
Gingichashvili, Sarah. (2007). Green computing. The Future of Things. Web. http://thefutureofthings.com/articles/1003/green-computing.html
Green Biz. (2009). Several studies say conscious consumers willing to pay more for green. News. Web. http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2009/06/03/several-studies-say-conscious-consumers-willing-pay-more-green
Mallinger, Mark; Goodwin, Don; & O’Hara, Tetsuya. (2009). Recognizing organizational culture in managing change. Graziadio Business Review. Web. http://gbr.pepperdine.edu/2010/08/recognizing-organizational-culture-in-managing-change/
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