It is rare nowadays to see, read or hear anything that doesn’t have a reference to ‘green’. The question of the relevance of ‘green’ to management action is both important and tricky. ‘Important’ because there are vast amounts of money involved as well as numerous vital environment issues; and ‘tricky’ because so much of what we read about things ‘green’ is, to put it very kindly, distorted.
Numerous environmental issues and related effort by many involved are making a better world. But because so many have got on the ‘green’ bandwagon to make money, gain power, or push some hidden agenda, it is extremely difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff.
If one relies on popular media, chances are you’ll be scared witless. Most media push the scary stuff because it attracts readers/viewers. The astute manager will check a range of views on any important matter, including things ‘green’, and form an objective view.
Fortunately there are some media that present factual and balanced views. Most importantly there are numerous websites that provide a vast range of information on ‘green’ subjects.
So there really is no excuse for any modern manager to not be informed on almost any aspect of ‘green’ as it may apply to their role. Which poses the question: why do so many managers put forward views and make decisions that are plainly at odds with evidence?
One factor is that some stakeholders in organisations have their own beliefs, agendas and incomplete information. Telling a stakeholder they are wrong, even if this can be proven, often does little more than annoy the person.
Another really tricky issue is that so much Government money – many billions of tax-payers money - is tied to demonstrating that man-made carbon dioxide is causing global warming. So should an individual or organisation that does not have sufficient genuine evidence say so? Or should they take Government money and present views that seem to support the contention? Ethics versus earning money? Is it that tricky? Well, yes it is, particularly if you have a family to support, or shareholders expecting a large dividend.