Environmental knowledge and the adoption of ready-made environmental management solutions

Schaefer, Anja and Harvey, Brian (2000). Environmental knowledge and the adoption of ready-made environmental management solutions. Eco-Management and Auditing, 7(2) pp. 74–81.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/1099-0925(200006)7:2%3C74::AID-EMA129%3E3.0.CO;2-6


In this article we study organizational learning with respect to environmental management or corporate greening in six UK water and electricity utilities, concentrating on information acquisition and dissemination. We find that companies make use of a variety of information acquisition strategies, including learning from experience, e.g. environmental incidents leading to prosecution; learning by observing other organizations (bench-marking); by importing environmental knowledge through outside experts and management systems and by building up an information searching and collecting system. Environmental managers play a heavy role in acquiring and disseminating information. We feel that, while organizations try to rationalize environmental learning and make it as efficient as possible, a lack of redundancy of information, heavy reliance on a limited number of outside sources of expertise and the use of environmental management systems may also bring with it the danger of institutionalizing environmental management and closing environmental questions prematurely.

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