ABSTRACT

The role of stakeholders in environmental improvement has changed in recent years (Hoffman 1997). In response to diminished expectations that governmental action will solve environmental problems, stakeholders have increasingly turned to forming partnerships with the private sector (U.S. Congress 1994; Schneider 2001). For example, Environmental Defense (formerly the Environmental Defense Fund) and the McDonald’s Corporation formed a partnership in 1990 to find a packaging material that would be both less costly and more environmentally benign than existing polystyrene packaging (Crane 1998). Following the enthusiastic public response to this joint project, other partnerships were formed between for-profit businesses and environmental organizations (EOs). In some cases, environmental groups have even formalized these activities by creating dedicated units responsible for initiating and managing partnerships with for-profit firms.