Preventing Pollution Benefits Firms and the Environment

Preventing Pollution Benefits Firms and the Environment

Pam Laughland August 19, 2010
Manufacturing plants can improve their performance and help the environment by investing in environmental technologies. However, if given the choice between remediating pollution or preventing it at the source, the latter was more related to corporate profits. Indeed, this study shows that corporate profits actually decreased as increasing investments were made in end-of-pipe solutions and remediation. Background

Few numerical studies support the idea that investments can benefit both the environment and performance. The relationship between environmental management, technology implementation and performance is unclear. This article investigates how different approaches to environmental technologies influences environmental performance, manufacturing performance and corporate profits.

Findings

Implications for Managers

Implications for Researchers

New research can explore market or technological factors that affect the adoption of environmental technologies. Since this research is not new, it would be useful to examine whether the interplay of strategic resources in relation to environmental outcomes and technologies is changing. 

Methods

The authors surveyed U.S. furniture manufacturing plants. Managers were asked to allocate 100 points across subcategories of environmental technologies based on the use of capital, operating and managerial resources in the preceding 2 years. This data, along with archival data, was used to test the relationship between investment in different types of technologies and plant performance using hierarchical linear regression. 
Klassen, R.D., & D.C. Whybark. (1999). The impact of environmental technologies on manufacturing performance. Academy of Management Journal, 42(6): 599-615. 

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