There are companies that commit themselves to sustainable—or green—business practices. And then there are those companies who make symbolic gestures—or greenwashing—that suggest the company is committed to environmental friendliness.
Which do you think would lead to more success in business?
The cynical side of you is correct.
According to a recent study titled “Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words? The Case of Corporate Social Responsibility
,” researchers from Duke University found that it’s not easy being green—so you should just pretend.
From Environmental Leader
The authors found symbolic actions have a higher impact on market value than substantive actions, when the company has higher CSR-based assets. The study also concluded that a larger gap between symbolic and substantive actions has a higher positive impact on firm performance; and the more companies engage in both symbolic and substantive actions, the higher the value accumulates to the company.