Investigating the phenomenon of environmental investments in the Swedish pharmaceutical industry - A qualitative analysis of the environmental work of three companies
Examensarbete för masterexamen
The environmental challenge of any company is to sustain long-term survival and competitive advantage through effective environmental practices (Epstein and Roy, 2000). This may be achieved if companies seek beyond legislative compliance through voluntary actions to resolve environmental problems. Implementation of such environmental practices requires various environmental investments to be undertaken. The impacts on the environment vary between industries, so companies have their own specific problems to address, thus also their own specific environmental challenge. In order to achieve enhanced environmental performance and competitive advantage, the company’s position in managing environmental issues has to be based on the context of the particular environmental challenge of the company (Reinhardt, 1999). Furthermore, it is assumed that a company’s level of environmental performance is proportional to how well environmental investments are undertaken to correlate with the environmental challenge. The pharmaceutical industry has previously been known for voluntary actions in terms of environmental practices, but some researchers proclaim the opposite (Blum-Kusterer and Hussain, 2001). For this reason, the purpose of this study is to map out the phenomenon of environmental investments in the context of the Swedish pharmaceutical industry. This study’s main finding was that not much has changed over the last 18 years since the latest survey regarding environmental investments in industry (Baumann and Bjerndell, 1990). The pharmaceutical industry is focused on managing environmental problems of today through pollution prevention strategies. Environmental investments are undertaken in resemblance with TQM thinking - preventing mistakes saves costs (Bring Procopé and Axelsson, 2003). In this study, different perspectives in environmental management literature have been applied to develop an analytical framework. The framework was used to investigate, and compare the environmental work of three pharmaceutical companies: AstraZeneca, Recip, and Pfizer. Empirical data has mainly been gathered from the companies’ publicly available environmental reports, but also from interviews with environmental representatives of the companies.
Miljöteknik , Environmental engineering