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“Green” company or “green” consumers: a Kantian retrospective

Fulong‐Daniel Feng (Nokia, Farnborough, UK)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 31 August 2010




The purpose of this short paper is to re‐examine corporate social responsibility (CSR) in terms of the ethical criterion of “greenness” through an assessment of one company's response to green consumers during the past number of years.


The ethical evaluation proceeds along the lines of a case study analysis of the significance of “green” as a value and the likely implications for a company.


There is a need for all companies to shift to Kantian responsibility with the appointment of a chief ethical officer and creation of an ethics department in an attempt to balance the short‐term profit‐oriented pursuit and the long‐term pursuit of fulfilling one's duty.

Research limitations/implications

The paper addresses the ethical issue of “greenness” from a Kantian perspective of fulfilling one's duty.

Practical implications

Public companies should adopt full transparency on CSR so that the public can be assured that the company is ethical and acting in an ethical manner.


The paper provides a brief application of a Kantian time‐variant responsibility in terms of fulfilment of one's duty now to be a green company. It asks: how can a company best achieve “greenness” as a time‐invariant ethical standard?



Feng, F. (2010), "“Green” company or “green” consumers: a Kantian retrospective", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 37 No. 10, pp. 779-783.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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