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Organisations, environmental management and innovation
Organisations, environmental management and innovation

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2.4 Recognising connections

Recognising connections is not always easy or desirable, or accepted by those who manage, own, invest or work in organisations or those who may be affected by an organisation’s activities. In other words, the connections between an organisation and its natural environment are often ignored or disputed or not fully understood.

Reading 6 Kiernan, 2012

Approximate reading time: 5 minutes

Read the article ‘Why investors don’t care about corporations’ environmental performance [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] ’ (Kiernan, 2012).

Activity 22 Understanding connections

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

What are the key points raised in the article about the way organisations recognise environmental connections?

Provide your answer...

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According to the article, an organisation’s environmental connections are often ignored or unseen for two main reasons. First, because the majority of investors do not see a direct connection between environmental performance and financial results. Second, because if a connection is recognised, it is generally regarded as a negative connection – i.e. it will increase costs for the organisation.

The article goes on to explore a disconnect in some organisations that espouse and support environmental causes through various means, but continue to pursue strategies and investments that undermine their environmental aspirations.

You may or may not agree with the main premise of the article, but it does highlight that you cannot assume an organisation, as a whole, accepts its connections and responsibilities to the natural environment. In particular, the article is a reminder that organisations have tended to see environmental connections as a negative element in traditional business models.