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Managers and Leaders Who Can: How you survive and succeed in the new economy by Ruth Spellman

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CHAPTER 6
MANAGING THE ENVIRONMENT
Managing for the long term involves conserving resources rather than maximising short-term growth. All managers need to be encouraged to do this.
Stefan Stern, Director of Strategy, Edelman
As recently as a decade ago, the environmental agenda was regarded by many organisations as a fringe issue.
Very few UK executives would have seen environmental issues as having an influence on their day-to-day decisions. Even fewer would have recognised that tackling green issues could actually add value to the business in real terms.
How different things are today: the urgency of addressing climate change and depletion of the earth’s resources is now universally recognised. After years of discussion and debate, there is now widespread acceptance that we need to make fundamental and far-reaching changes in the way we produce and consume products and services.
Management practice, however, does not appear to have kept pace with this shift in thinking. Too few organisations are taking the urgent action needed to significantly reduce their carbon footprint. They may be tinkering around the edges – recycling their paper and turning the lights out – but they have not recognised the need to make ‘green’ behaviour an integral part of everything they do. Research conducted by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) shows that the environment is still very much a ‘side’ issue rather than a concern that is driving the business strategy and influencing the way organisations ...

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