This research study aims to investigate the management practices of firms with regards to sustaining the environment and the performance of the firms after employing such techniques to maintain the environment.
Studies have shown that there has been a new trend evolving amongst firms to adopt environmental management practices so as to reduce the waste produced during manufacturing and production levels of the firm’s products. Research has indicated that corporate environmental management systems (EMS) have been brought about to reduce the waste effectively (Melnyk, Sroufe, & Calantone, 2003). Most researches indicated that a strong correlation exited between environmental practices and business practices and that those firms that were focused on such practices had an efficient team and waste disposal strategies to minimize cost in the process (Robert & Gehrke, 1996).
Evidence shows that when environmental policies are implemented a positive impact is felt on the financial performance of the firms (Li & Ye, 1999). Moreover, it was shown that when environmental problems occurred for the firms, an increase in managerial activity was observed so as to reduce those problems, especially by information technology related firms (Goldstein, Hilliard, & Parker, 2011). In relation to this fact, more support is drawn as researchers show that on analyzing the firms’ financial performance through different ratios and cost analysis it yielded a result whereby environmental friendly firms were able to enhance their performance considerably (Carter, Kale, & Grimm, 2000).
However, it was also observed that some firms that were induced into employing green policies would show reluctance and would not make the desired attempt to improve the environmental performance which would then lead to reduced toxic emissions but at the cost of the performance of the reluctant companies involved (Frondel, Horbach, & Rennings, 2002). Another research supported this observation by stating that a negative link comes about between the two variables, financial performance and environmental performance, thereby indicating that to promote financial performance a firm would have to reduce its environmental performance and vice versa (Horvathova, 2010). Deeper study also indicated that firms would have a positive impact on their purchasing performance, that is, the supply chain management functions of the firms would work effectively to bring about a positive impact on the performance levels of environmental sustainability (Large & Thomsen, 2011). Although another research generated the observation that small firms performed better when they employed environmentally sustainable techniques and were able to show an enhanced overall performance when given the incentives to do so (Clemens, 2006).
Do firms employ management practices that are environmentally sustainable, and if so what techniques and policies do they implement and how does such policies and techniques affect the overall performance of firms?
To test the hypothesis that environmental practices and techniques of firms significantly affect the overall performance of the firms and the environment.
Participation in this study is voluntary. I intend to carry out a survey by compiling a questionnaire which will target a few firms, that is, the personnel employed within the firms will be participating for this research. The data will thus be collected from the employees of those firms regarding their environmental practices and performance outcomes.
Each informant will be given 40 questions to answer. 20 of those questions will be aimed at finding information concerning the management of the firms in relation to the environment, the techniques that they use and the policies that they implement to maintain the environmental sustainability. In addition to this, 20 of the other questions will be based on the performance of the firm to evaluate the before and after effect of implementing policies and techniques that are environmentally stable.
I will then evaluate the responses received by each informant and would then try to determine the relationship that exists between the management, policies made, techniques implemented and the performance of the firms. I will use the level of significance determined by the p-value of those variables to test their significance.
The limitations that might be observed during this research could be the un-willingness of the personnel of the firms to answer the questions regarding their management policies. The data size may be small especially during such researches where statistical tests are involved to test the significance of the variables and thereby reject or acknowledge the hypotheses.
Carter, C. R., Kale, R., & Grimm, C. M. (2000). Environmental purchasing and firm performance: an empirical investigation. Transportation Research Part E
Clemens, B. (2006). Economic Incentives and small firms: Does it pay to be green? Journal of Business Research
Frondel, M., Horbach, J., & Rennings, K. (2002). What triggers environmental management and innovation? Empirical evidence for Germany. Ecological Economics
Goldstein, D., Hilliard, R., & Parker, V. (2011). Environmental performance and practice across sectors: methodology and preliminary results. Journal of Cleaner Production
Horvathova, E. (2010). Does Environmental performance affect financial performance? Ecological Economics
Large, R. O., & Thomsen, C. G. (2011). Drivers of green supply management performance: Evidence from Germany. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management
Li, M., & Ye, L. R. (1999). Information technology and firm performance: Linking with environmental, strategic and managerial contexts. Information Management
Melnyk, S. A., Sroufe, R. P., & Calantone, R. (2003). Assessing the impact of environemtnal management systems on corporate and environmental performance. Journal of Operations management
Robert, L., & Gehrke, T. (1996). Linkages between best practice in business and good environmental performance by companies. 189-302.