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Creating an enterprise‐level “green” strategy

Eric G. Olson (Senior Managing Consultant, Strategy and Change Practice, IBM Global Business Services, Downey, California, USA.)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Article publication date: 29 February 2008




Over the past decade, concepts that focus on environmental stewardship have gripped the collective intellect of humankind, challenged our capacity to be self‐aware, and established a common global imperative to respond to critical issues that arise from world‐wide climate change and natural resource conservation. Yet, while most enterprises have already undertaken some form of “green” initiative, very few have established an enterprise‐level “green” strategy that responds to the new global imperative. This paper aims to provide a methodology and tool‐set to help close that gap.


The article provides a methodology and tool set needed to assess an enterprise and formulate green strategy. The scope covers: a definition of “green” strategy and the guiding principles for its formulation; best practices and illustrations of how they are being adopted; a methodology for developing an enterprise‐level green strategy that integrates with all the other areas of strategy formulation in an enterprise (business, operating/organization/information/technology applications, and infrastructure).A “green” maturity model and maturity assessment framework are also developed to help business leaders determine what their current state of “green maturity” is, and guide decisions on where they would like their business to be in the future.


The paper finds that business leaders and decision makers increasingly miss‐out on significant benefits because they do not consider “green” opportunities in a strategic context.


The methodology and tool set provided in this article can help business leaders capture new value from green opportunities. It can also accelerate changes to existing methodologies for formulating strategy to include important “green” dimensions. Each area of an enterprise is discussed in the context of how it can be affected and improved by having a green strategy.



Olson, E.G. (2008), "Creating an enterprise‐level “green” strategy", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 22-30.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Company

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