Three Stages in Environmental Management
Anneke Zwart, Moderator
Researchers have broadly identified three environmental management stages in organizations. Since environmental management is an intrinsic part of CSR, these stages are also important to understand the development of CSR-processes. The stages are:
1. Reactive: In this stage the first CSR initiatives are taken. This stage has a relatively low level of environmental commitment. This stage is called reactive in that CSR initiatives are taken as a result of legal requirements by way of internal adjustments. Examples are investing in equipment for regulating pollution, inspecting the waste of resources and collecting internal residues.
2. Preventive: This stage is a bit more evolved. Now CSR initiatives are not only taken because of legal requirements, but also because of evolving social-environmental requirements in a new market with customers that are more aware of these issues. As a result, the efficiency of implementing CSR-initiatives is higher when compared to the reactive stage. Therefore the number of organizations involved in CSR implementation has risen in this stage. The level of environmental commitment in this stage is also higher than the reactive stage.
3. Proactive: In this stage, environmental management has developed to an integrated strategy in order to discover new chances and innovations to create competitive advantages and to maximize environmental commitment and social participation. Environmental problems are not seen as a threat anymore. Rather, they have become opportunities for organizations regarding technologies, market and production.
Source: Angelo, F.D, Bartocci, L. Amui, L. Caldana, A.C.F and C.J.C. Jabbour (2012) “Towards a strategic CSR: a Brazilian case study” Business Strategy Series Vol. 13 Iss.5 pp. 224-238