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Green Variant

Offer a green alternative with the same outcome, utilizing different steps, resources, or partners, while retaining the previous existing process

How can the environmental impact of a process be decreased while keeping the original process?

Nowak, A., Leymann, F., Schleicher, D., Schumm, D., & Wagner, S. (2011, October 21). Green business process patterns. Proceedings of the 18th Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs. PLoP 11: Pattern Languages of Programs Conference 2011.


Within the optimization of business processes, organizations may not change their business processes to a greener one without making them, for instance, more expensive or violating internal policies (green trade-off). Doing so would probably lead to a decrease in market share. However, organizations may be able to offer an alternative business process variant that has less environmental impact than the original one and gives the customers the opportunity to decide between the conventional and the green variant.


In this case it is important to assure the same functional outcome of the process. Consequently, processes must be analyzed and restructured with respect to this objective, however, obtaining a decreased environmental impact.


The organization provides an alternative green business process variant that achieves the same result as before. However, it may use different process steps, resources, or partners to perform the process. The previous existing business process remains.


Based on certain criteria like the customers decision, different variants of the process with the same functional outcome can be provided. Depending on which of the variants is being executed, different key performance indicators and ecological parameters hold.


A trading company usually uses conventional plastic or styrofoam to wrap their goods. Using this pattern, the company can offer an alternative packaging method, using non-plastic and renewable materials, e.g. made out of corn, to pack the goods. In case of increasing costs they can provide this offer as a customer’s choice, i.e. customers decide whether they want conventional packaging or if they pay an extra charge for alternative packaging.


In the first place variations are achieved by conditioning the decision based on a certain criteria. Secondly, it would be possible to provide slightly different services or products. Depending on the business partners or customers choice, the service is performed differently (maybe with a different outcome) or products have another shape.

Performance considerations

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Green Compensation

Start implementing actions that can offset or counterbalance the environmental effects generated by business processes that cannot be changed.

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