The shaping of environmental concern in product chains: analysing Danish case studies on environmental aspects in product chain relations

Marianne Forman, Anne Grethe Hansen, Michael Søgaard Jørgensen

Research output: Book/ReportReportResearch

Abstract

Companies and governments, particularly in the industrialised countries are increasingly aware of the environmental consequences of production, and ‘greening activities’ have increasingly played a role in company strategy and government policy. This has also been the case in Denmark, and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency has supported a number of greening activities in the 1990s. On the background of ten case studies of greening activities within the textile sector, the mechanisms of emergence and stabilisation of environmental concerns and practices are analysed and the interaction between the systems of production, consumption, knowledge and regulation are discussed. The role of boundary objects is discussed with eco-labelling as case. The role of and the impact on the product chain relations are analysed as part of these mechanisms. From the case studies, green innovations in the product chain, which the case company represents, are identified. Direct customer and regulatory demands, as well as indirect societal and regulatory demands are mapped, and their role for product chain greening analysed. The case studies point to the importance of customer demand, regulation and potentially indirect demand for greening activities. The analysis shows the co-construction of environmental concerns and demands, companies’ environmental practices and technological developments, and their stabilisation in the supply chain. The case studies also point to how the greening of frontrunners might make the way for further greening and for further company and product chain shaping of green demand. The case studies thus lead to suggest to continue the three types of governmental regulation to support the needs for greening: demands to the environmental impact, support to competence development and development of the market conditions for greener products. The analysis also shows a number of environmental consequences of textile production and consumption not addressed by either company initiatives or governmental environmental and industrial policy. The paper was presented at EGOS (European Group on Organisation Studies) Conference 2003, Copenhagen Business School, 3-5 July 2003
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDepartment of Manufacturing Engineering and Management, DTU
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

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