Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 252–258 | Cite as

Ethical motivations for green business and engineering

  • Jamie R. Hendry
  • P. Aarne Vesilind
Original paper


Corporate references to “sustainability” and the operative process of “green business” have become almost commonplace over the past decade. Companies not only seek to comply with environmental regulations, but many have discovered that techniques for reducing adverse environmental impact often have positive effects on corporate profitability as well. Such adoptions of green business and engineering practices are morally neutral because the driving forces behind them are legal and economic, but not ethical. In some instances, however, managers and engineers have undertaken green business initiatives with the notion of doing something positive for future humans and for the natural environment. In this paper we discuss the “green” driving forces behind moral decisions regarding the adoption of green engineering and business practices and conclude that most “green engineering” known to the public is simply good business practice. Only when engineering and business begin the “green engineering” program with the aim of reducing adverse impact on health or environment does “green engineering” become morally admirable.


Moral Judgment International Standard Organization Green Engineering Forest Stewardship Council Financial Concern 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bucknell UniversityLewisburgUSA

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