Environmental management is important since it helps fix some areas in institution that are characterized by inefficiency thus slowing the rest of the business processes down. One of the companies that have recently been under pressure to take on environmentally responsible approaches to conducting its activities is DekaBank. Its corporate governance is based on four pillars with the environmental management for sustainable banking being one of them (DekaBank 2011). At present, the business argues that it aims at reducing the impact that its actions have on the surroundings (DekaBank 2014).
In DekaBank’s case, the evaluation performed by the environmental management team revealed that its business operations had several impacts on the world around. Furthermore, the study detected that there were inefficient business processes that were a result of a lack of reliable data (DekaBank & PE INTERNATIONAL 2009). To be precise, DekaBank did not have a centralized data analysis scheme (DekaBank & PE INTERNATIONAL 2009). Therefore, the conclusion was made that its environmental performance had to be improved so as to remove any problems and, at the same time, follow its corporate social responsibility principles. After the research, a few strategies have been implemented. Consequently, DekaBank has got substantial savings while creating a new path for the integration of sustainability principles throughout the organization. Moreover, in such a way, the bank has fulfilled its corporate social responsibility requirements while being economically successful. With the help of the new strategy, the institution has been able to reduce the cost of raw materials and that of energy which it needs to run its entire business network. Throughout the implementation of the strategy, various challenges were observed and dealt with accordingly thus making sure that the problem of unreliable data was sorted out.
As it has already been stated, DekaBank’s main problem was the unreliable data that was used in the business process. To be specific, the team of consultants highlighted the need for a continuous upgrade of how the bank performed with regard to the management system as well as the necessity of creation and implementation of an environmental program. All the achievements experienced while following the strategy were communicated to all the stakeholders of the organization in a manner that was transparent and in line with the established norms of the environmental reporting and Corporate Social Responsibility standards.
To overcome the problem of unreliable data and implement the environmental program, the institution undertook three phases (DekaBank & PE INTERNATIONAL 2009). During the first one, the institution sought for an integrated management system. The second one involved the creation of the environmental program while the third step was the implementation of the measures. Throughout all stages, DekaBank relied on the experience of a consultancy firm PE INTERNATIONAL that helped the business to actualize and evaluate the scalability of the scheme (DekaBank & PE INTERNATIONAL 2009). The role of the mentioned above firm was to offer advisory services as well as ensure the optimal integration of the EMS into DekaBank’s existing management processes.
During the first phase, the experienced consultants offered advisory services to the institution with the aim of the implementation of the environmental management system (EMS) that was in line with the recognized DIN EN ISO 14001 standard established by the Association for Environmental Management Sustainability in Financial Institutions (DekaBank & PE INTERNATIONAL 2009). The consultancy firm also helped ensure efficient integration of the Environmental Management System into the business process that was in use by DekaBank. The aim was reached through the installation of the SoFi Software Solution whose main objective was to centralize its data so as to enable efficient data collection, analysis, and evaluation (DekaBank & PE INTERNATIONAL 2009). This measure helped in the benchmarking of structures, places, and the business units owned by DekaBank. Thus, the first phase showed different inefficiencies found in the establishment’s environmental performance and offered potential improvements.
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At the second stage, PE INTERNATIONAL’s role was to evaluate the bank’s environmental program and establish areas in which it had to be improved and the specific measures that should have been included into the scheme. The consultancy firm carried out an inspection within the institution through two sustainability workshops with the internal stakeholders so as to distinguish the spheres that needed changes and to develop steps necessary for the implementation of the environment program (DekaBank & PE INTERNATIONAL 2009). As a result of the research, 20 projects were initiated with the main aim of improving resource efficiency and ensuring better environmental performance (DekaBank & PE INTERNATIONAL 2009). These schemes were arranged based on the contribution that each of them had to the advancement of environmental performance, their cost of implementation, and the amount of savings that they were anticipated to bring (DekaBank & PE INTERNATIONAL 2009). Consequently, after the realization of the parts of the scheme, one could make the conclusion that it proved to be fruitful since the institution saved more than 500000 Euros in a period of about two years (DekaBank & PE INTERNATIONAL 2009).
Finally, the last stage involved the implementation of an environmental management system and the improvement of the environmental program in the institution. It saw the employment of the designated measures with the aim to ensure sustainability. As a consequence, the success of the EMS and the new environmental policy ensured that the company developed principles of resource efficiency and sustainability.
Moving on to the analysis of the strategies employed by DekaBank, one can claim that they have a few strengths and weaknesses. The first strong point was that the company under consideration asked PE INTERNATIONAL for help throughout the whole process. The consultations and pieces of advice given by another firm during the implementation of the solution to solve the data inefficiency challenge played a huge role in ensuring that the whole process went on seamlessly and without bias. The neutrality of the consultancy agency meant that it would deliver in the best way possible. Another strength observed in this case is the decision to move to the use of centralized data. By doing that, the problems experienced in the past have been removed thus ensuring that data is easily accessible to anyone who is in need of it.
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Apart from the positive sides of the strategies that have been distinguished above, a few weaknesses should also be stated concerning the issues the bank failed to address in this situation. The first one is absence of the plan aimed at the reduction in energy consumption. To ensure business efficiency, apart from the implemented environmental program, the institution should have provided measures on how to decrease the levels of the energy used. Another weakness is that while developing the new environmental strategy, there was not stakeholders’ dialogue on sustainability issues. From the description of the case, one can make a conclusion that different stakeholders were not brought in together to participate in the process. In fact, to ensure better environmental performance, various interested parties should have worked jointly and discussed the main issues related to the problem the bank tried to deal with. Additionally, such cooperation would have led to the development of a variety of ways to solve the issue.
To overcome the weaknesses presented above, several solutions should have been applied. The first one relates to the reduction of energy consumption. According to Michalzik and Hazenberg (2010), the company should have outlined different measures to lower the use of energy by the business. One of the ways to reach it is the purchase of the office equipment that requires less power. Furthermore, one can decrease the level of paper consumption in the office. Additionally, the DekaBank should have considered the stakeholders’ dialogue on sustainability issues. What this means is that there should have been an exchange of ideas between the different interested parties with the objective to get newer thoughts on the measures that the institution should have employed that would be acceptable to everyone.
In conclusion, the DekaBank case study presents an illustration of efficient environmental management and sustainability. Not only has the new scheme proved to bring substantial savings for the institution but also has paved the way for a group-wide implementation of sustainability principles in their business process. The main reason of why DekaBank undertook the mentioned above steps was the need to centralize their data to make it reliable. Moreover, this measure helped to make the processes of data collection, analysis and evaluation better. As a result, the business activities turned into seamless while reducing the cost of doing business at the same time. Through the procurement of services from PE INTERNATIONAL, the company was able to integrate the Environmental Management System as well that ensured better performance management by focusing on a continuous improvement process. This case serves as a benchmark for other institutions who wish to work on different environmental programs.