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The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management
better understanding of the public's knowledge and thoughts on a particular subject using the more rigorous and time-consuming one-on-one interview process.
In many instances, industry actions intended to improve environmental performance can be taken without public debate or an assessment of the public's understanding of complex issues. That is not the case when it comes to communicating risk and developing policy to address industrial green game concerns such as global warming, health effects of electromagnetic radiation, or the use of genetic engineering in agriculture. The development of risk communication material that is based on an understanding of what the public knows and thinks will be important in managing a range of environmental and technology risk issues that are central to a winning green game strategy.
IMPROVING THE GAME
The industrial green game, executed primarily in firms, is played within larger physical, economic, and organizational systems and associated metasystems. Rejeski (this volume) characterizes the role of government as that of a navigator providing a broader and longer-range view than that of firms or individuals. He suggests three actions government can take to move the green game to a higher level of play and thereby improve the environmental performance of production and consumption activities.
Mainstream environmental concerns into national accounts. This requires altering fundamentally the system of national accounts to get at the total environmental costs of the nation (and firm) by including natural capital and its depreciation and subtracting remediation costs and monetized environmental damages.
Track and benchmark materials and energy use. This requires analyzing and continually improving environmental quality by mapping the metabolism of materials and the use of energy to provide policymakers with better contextual and historical snapshots against which national policies and alternative strategies may be assessed. It also requires benchmarking system efficiencies against ''best-in-class" systems to identify potential improvements in the metabolism.
Forecast technological change and set goals. This requires mapping potential outcomes of various technological trajectories on the economy and the environment and examining the trajectories for convergence with some set of long-range, socially defined and agreed-upon goals.
These suggested actions are not prescriptive or regulatory. They relate to developing important information that can be used in the policy making and decision making of firms in pursuit of environmental quality.