The significance of environmental awareness has risen several times over the past few years compared to its previous rates (Reinhardt & Stavins, 2014). As a result, a range of organizations adopt green policies in order to satisfy all stakeholders involved.
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However, not all companies manage to comply with the key tenets of the sustainability principles when designing their environmental management programs. Of all modern corporations, these are IBM and Intel that comply with the five key principles of environmental management, as they have developed a flexible approach based on sustainability towards management of both renewable and non-renewable resources.
Indeed, according to the annual report, the IBM organization has been displaying an exemplary attitude towards the issue of environmental awareness and the sustainable use of resources, as well as the related aspects of environmental management, including design for environment. In fact, the organization has also implemented the principle of full-cost accounting as a tool for reducing the negative effects that its production processes have on the environment.
As a result, the company managed to minimize waste rates, create a design for environment, develop a design-side management and promote product stewardship. To be more exact, the organization has integrated a system based on TCO (total cost of ownership) into its operations in order to comply with the principles of full-cost accounting.
According to the official definition, TCO allows one to calculate the cost for acquiring and maintaining a system for resources location and distribution (Piedad & Hawkins, 2001, p. 5). In other words, the TCO approach helps IBM define the least painstaking avenues for managing the organization’s resources and, therefore, prevent irrational use thereof.
The Intel Company, in its turn, can also be classified as the firm that has created a specific pattern of operating, which allows for complying with the key principles of sustainability. As the annual report on current trends in environmental politics of major companies shows, Intel’s present-day approach is geared towards the conservation of not only materials, but also energy and water (Gee, 2001).
The specified approach towards utilizing resources can be viewed as a major foot forward in improving the company’s policy towards environment. In fact, the company has been credited for having a “greater reliance on pricing systems that internalise environmental costs” (Gee, 2001, p. 20) compared to the rest of the firms operating in the same domain.
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The sustainability approach adopted by the organization also created the means for enhancing the demand-side management, increase product stewardship and design a full-cost accounting system.
Unfortunately, not all organizations have managed to locate the means of improving their environmental policies. Some of the global companies operating in modern environment display a drastic inconsistency between their use of resources and the current trends of environmentalism. Alpha Natural Resources, for instance, has been involved in a scandal that revealed the company’s fault for polluting rivers and violating the Clean Water Act severely (Pearson, 2014).
As a result, it can be assumed that the organization does not comply with the basic requirements mentioned above. A closer look at the company in question will show that it has fallen short mainly on design for environment and waste minimization, yet the negligence of the above-mentioned issues made it fail at all other aspects of environmental management. Therefore, its approach cannot be credited as legitimate from the perspective of environmentalism.
Gee, D. (2001). Business and the environment: current trends and developments in corporate reporting and ranking. Web.
Pearson, S. (2014). Alpha Natural Resources agrees to $27.5 million fine. Bloomberg. Retrieved from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-03-05/alpha-natural-resources-agrees-to-27-5-million-fine
Piedad, F. & Hawkins, M. (2001). High availability: Design, techniques, and processes. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Professional.
Reinhardt, F. L. & Stavins, R. N. (2014). Corporate social responsibility, business strategy, and the environment. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 26(2), 164–181.