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Eco Friendly Business Practices Can Create Opportunities For Innovation

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Innovations to Curriculum and Program

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.459.1 - 13.459.12



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Paper Authors


Ralph Ocon Purdue University

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Professor of Organizational Leadership & Supervision

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Opal McFarlane Hadady Corporation

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Safety and Training Engineer

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Eco-Friendly Business Practices Can Create Opportunities For Innovation


Global warming, along with other ecological concerns have made environmental health a national and global issue in every industry. The social, governmental and economic pressures have created the need for companies to develop eco-friendly business practices while maintaining efficiency. For decades, scientists and environmental groups have been warning industry, consumers and governmental leaders about the drastic effects of pollution and the depletion of natural resources. However, only recently have companies begun to recognize the opportunities created when implementing strategies to address environmental concerns.

Traditionally, business leaders regarded the environment and natural resources as unlimited factors of production that were readily available at little or no cost. Today, the concerns about pollution and the need for the efficient use of resources are forcing companies throughout the world to reevaluate their operations in order to become more ecologically conscious while remaining competitive.

Fortunately, due to creative problem-solving and a greater understanding of eco-friendly business practices, companies are discovering that they can satisfy environmental concerns, while simultaneously cutting energy costs, boosting productivity and promoting innovation. The recognition of eco-friendly business practices as win-win opportunities are encouraging more companies to undertake these initiatives. Conversely, those organizations that aren’t eco-friendly and fail to address ecological concerns will forgo the opportunities for positive change and suffer financially in the long run.

As future environmental managers and industry leaders, engineering and technology students need to understand the benefits of eco-friendly business practices. Consequently, it is important for their academic programs to provide students with an understanding of environmental health and related concerns.

This paper will describe how companies can use eco-friendly business practices as opportunities to promote innovation. The paper will identify the benefits to business organizations and the environment when eco-friendly business practices are implemented.


In today’s complex and competitive global economy, it is important for leaders to be trained to view every situation as an opportunity to engage in creative problem-solving. This will help to minimize the negative effects of problems and allow for the implementations of changes to prevent future concerns1. Furthermore, a creative problem-solving approach encourages leaders to recognize and take advantage of the opportunities presented with each situation2. Rather than simply reacting to problems as they occur, effective leaders can learn to be proactive and identify opportunities for innovation.

Ocon, R., & McFarlane, O. (2008, June), Eco Friendly Business Practices Can Create Opportunities For Innovation Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3682

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