Chapter 5: Are all industries now green?
Open access

Going green is part of adherence to the 2015 Paris Agreement and the requirement that everyone needs to do their share. The chapter starts by presenting the call for a greener industry through international policy. Following sections highlight the role of industries in the environmental playing field and how focus has gradually changed performance practice and responsibilities. Sections also address commodification of nature and how industrial developments and job creation may come into conflict with ecological considerations. This is followed by focus on companies’ motivation, strategies, advantages, and costs of going green, to businesses that neglect paying attention to green matters. Issues including reporting, certifications, responsibilities, and regulative condition are also discussed. The final section reflects on the realism of industries’ aim of turning green by addressing green growth strategies, greenwashing and rebound effects. These are all matters which may involve different geographical contexts and scale.

  • Aras, G. and D. Crowther (2010), A Handbook of Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility, Farnham, UK: Gower Publishing Limited and Burlington, VT, USA: Ashgate Publishing Company.

  • Ashrafi, M., M. Adams, T.R. Walker and G. Magnan (2018), ‘How corporate social responsibility can be integrated into corporate sustainability: a theoretical review of the relationships’, International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 28(8), 672–82.

  • Barbier, E. (2009), Rethinking the Economic Recovery: A Global Green New Deal, New York: UNEP.

  • Brand, U. (2012) ‘Green economy the next oxymoron? No lessons learned from failures of implementing sustainable development’, GAIA Ecological perspectives for science and society, 21(1), 28–32.

  • Caiado, R.G.G., R. de Freitas Dias, L.V. Mattos, O.L.G. Quelhas and W.L. Filho (2017), ‘Towards sustainable development through the perspective of eco-efficiency – A systematic literature review’, Journal of Cleaner Production, 165(1), 890–904.

  • Cooper, T. (2010), Longer Lasting Products: Alternatives to the Throwaway Society, Farnham, UK: Gower Publishing Limited and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company.

  • Darko, A. and P.C. Chan (2018), ‘Strategies to promote green building technologies adoption in developing countries: the case of Ghana’, Building and Environment, 130, 74–84.

  • Directive (EU) 2022/2464 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2022 amending Regulation (EU) No 537/2014, Directive 2004/109/EC, Directive 2006/43/EC and Directive 2013/34/EU, as regards corporate sustainability reporting (Text with EEA relevance).

  • Dyllick, T. and K. Muff (2016), ‘Clarifying the meaning of sustainable business: introducing a typology from business-as-usual to true business’, Sustainability Organization and Environment, 29(2), 156–74.

  • Ekins, P., S. Simon, L. Deutsch, C. Folke and R. De Groot (2003), ‘A framework for the practical application of the concepts of critical natural capital and strong sustainability’, Ecological Economics, 44(2–3), 165–85.

  • Elkington, J. (1997), Cannibals with Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business, Oxford: Capstone.

  • European Commission (2019), The European Green Deal, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, COM 2019 (640) final, Brussels: European Commission.

  • European Commission (2021), EU Taxonomy, Corporate Sustainability Reporting, Sustainability Preferences and Fiduciary Duties: Directing finance towards the European Green Deal, COM 2021 (188) final.

  • European Commission Council Regulation 2019/1010 of 5 June 2019 on the alignment of reporting obligations in the field of legislation related to the environment. OJ L170/115.

  • Fowler, R.J. (1995), ‘International environmental standards for transnational corporations’, Environmental Law, 25(1), 1–30.

  • Franklin, A.B., B.R. Noon and T.L. George (2002), ‘What is habitat fragmentation’, Studies in Avian Biology, 25, 20–29.

  • Garforth, L. (2018), Green Utopias: Environmental Hope before and after Nature, Cambridge: Polity.

  • Grandia, J. and D. Voncken (2019), ‘Sustainable public procurement: the impact of ability, motivation and opportunity of the implementation of different types of sustainable public procurement’, Sustainability, 11, 1–17.

  • Hart, S.L. (1997) ‘Beyond greening: strategies for a sustainable world’, Harvard Business Review, Jan.–Feb. 1997, 66–76.

  • Hayter, R. and J. Patchell (2015), ‘Resource geography’, in J.D. Wright (ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioural Sciences, vol. 20, Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 568–74.

  • Henderson, D. (2001), ‘The case against corporate social responsibility’, Policy, 17(2), 28–32.

  • Hertwick, E.G. (2005), ‘Consumption and the rebound effect: an industrial ecology perspective’, Journal of Industrial Ecology, 9(1–2), 85–98.

  • Horrigan, B. (2010), Corporate Social Responsibility in the 21st Century: Debates, Models and Practices across Government, Law and Business, Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.

  • Kenis, A. and M. Lievens (2017), The Limits of the Green Economy: From Re-Inventing Capitalism to Re-politicizing the Present, Abingdon, UK and New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.

  • Meadows, D.H., D.J Meadows, J. Randers and W. Behrens (1972), The Limits to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome’s Project on the Predicament of Mankind, London: Earth Island.

  • Nerth, C. (1998), ‘Maintainability of first mover advantages when environmental regulations differ between countries’, The Academy of Management Review, 23(1), 77–97.

  • Olsson, D. and A. Öjehag-Petterson (2020), ‘Buying a sustainable society: the case of public procurement in Sweden’, Local Environment, the International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, 25(19): 681–96.

  • OECD (2011), Towards Green Growth: A Summary for Policy Makers, accessed 29 June 2020 at https://www.oecd.org/greengrowth/48012345.pdf.

  • Park, S.K. (2019), ‘Green bonds and beyond: debt financing as a sustainability driver’, in B. Sjåfjell, and C.M. Bruner (eds), The Cambridge Handbook of Corporate Law, Corporate Governance and Sustainability, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 596–610.

  • Pearce, D., A. Markandya and E. Barbier (1989), Blueprint for a Green Economy, London: Earthscan.

  • Poelhekke, S. and van der Ploeg, F. (2015), ‘Green havens and pollution havens’, The World Economy, 38(7), 1159–78.

  • Porter, M.E. and R.E. Kramer (2011), ‘Creating shared value’, Harvard Business Review, Jan.–Feb., 1–17.

  • Porter, M.E. and C. van der Linde (1995), ‘Green and competitive: ending the stalemate’, Harvard Business Review, 73(5), 120–34.

  • Prakash, A. (2002), ‘Green marketing, public policy and managerial strategies’, Business Strategy and the Environment, 11(5), 285–97.

  • Rendtorff, J.D. (2015), ‘The need for a theoretical re-examination of sustainability in economics and business’, in G. Aras (ed.), Sustainable Markets for Sustainable Business: A Global Perspective for Business and Financial Markets, Farnham, UK: Gower Publishing Limited and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, pp. 41–58.

  • Rusten, G. (2016), ‘The structure, strategy, and geography of green certification services’, in A. Jones, P. Ström, B. Hermelin and G. Rusten (eds), Services and the Green Economy, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 51–73.

  • Salminen, J. (2019), ‘Sustainability and the move from corporate governance to governance through contract’, in B. Sjåfjell and C.M. Bruner (eds), The Cambridge Handbook of Corporate Law, Corporate Governance and Sustainability, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 57–70.

  • Schmelzer, M. (2016), The Hegemony of Growth: The OECD and the Making of the Economic Growth Paradigm, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Seele, P. and L. Gatti (2017), ‘Greenwashing revisited: in search of a typology and accusation-based definition incorporating legitimacy strategies’, Business Strategy and the Environment, 26(2), 239–54.

  • Sharma, S., and H. Vredenburg (1998), ‘Proactive corporate environmental strategy and the development of competitive valuable organizational capabilities’, Strategic Management Journal, 19(8), 729–53.

  • Sjåfjell, B. and C.M. Bruner (eds) (2019), The Cambridge Handbook of Corporate Law, Corporate Governance and Sustainability, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Sjøtun, S.G. (2019), ‘A ferry making waves: a demonstration project “doing” institutional work in a greening maritime industry’, Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift – Norwegian Journal of Geography, 73, 16–28.

  • Testa, F., E. Annunziata, F. Iraldo and M. Frey (2016), ‘Drawbacks and opportunities of green public procurement: an effective tool for sustainable production’, Journal of Cleaner Production, 112(3), 1893–1900.

  • United Nations Environment Programme (2011), Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication – A Synthesis for Policy Makers, accessed 24 August 2021 at www.unep.org/greeneconomy.

  • United Nations General Assembly (1972), United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, 15 December 1972, A/RES/2994, accessed 24 August 2020 at https://www.refworld.org/docid/3b00f1c840.html.

  • Vildåsen, S.S., A.M. Keitsch and A.M. Fet (2017), ‘Clarifying the epistemology of corporate sustainability’, Ecological Economics, 138(8), 40–46.

  • Vivanco, D.F., W. McDowall, J. Freire-Gonzales, R. Kemp, and E. van der Voet (2016), ‘The foundation of the environmental rebound effect and its contribution towards a general framework’, Ecological Economics, 125, 60–69.

  • Walker, H., L. Di Sisto and D. McBain (2008), ‘Drivers and barriers to environmental supply chain management practices: lessons from the public and private sectors’, Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 14, 69–85.

  • Wang, S., H. Yuqing and M. Song (2021), ‘Global value chains, technological progress, and environmental pollution: inequality towards developing countries’, Journal of Environmental Management, 277, 110999.

  • Williams, P.F. (2015), ‘What is sustainable: the need for sufficient reporting and its accounting implications’, in G. Aras (ed.), Sustainable Markets for Sustainable Business: A Global Perspective for Business and Financial Markets, Farnham, UK: Gower Publishing Limited and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, pp. 239–56.

  • Willums, J.O. (ed.) (1990), The Greening of Enterprise: Business Leaders Speak Out on Environmental Issues, ICC Publication 487(E), Paris: ICC International Chamber of Commerce.

  • Willums, J.O. and U. Golüke (1992), From Ideas to Action – Business and Sustainable Development: The ICC Report on the Greening of Enterprise 92, Paris: ICC International Chamber of Commerce and Oslo: AdNotam Gyldendal.

  • World Commission on Environment and Development (1987), Our Common Future, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Zadek, S. (1998), ‘Balancing performance, ethics and accountability’, Journal of Business Ethics, 17, 1421–41.

Edited by and
Handbook