Going green sells! Macdonalds, Walmart, Hewlett Packard and many aggressive international brands make climate conservation claims. So it’s a no-brainer right? Well I think it is a no brainer but there’s more to be said than that.
Surprising as it may seem going green encapsulates everything you should be doing as a ruthless business: eliminate waste and inefficiency, get maximum value, and engage your staff. There can be a perception that going green has a cost or inconvenience to it. Actually it’s about being more commercial not less. Being green and making profits are in total alignment.
Consumers prefer green companies and are prepared to pay for it. Many studies show this. So if you are green then shout about it and increase sales. Don’t be meek: make the most out of it.
And here lies the danger. Your attitude must be heart and mind because to be found out as not authentic can elicit a green-wash backlash. Green-wash is where a company is exposed as making untruthful claims about its green credentials. The back lash can be vicious in the social media age where not only do opinions, right or wrong, spread across the globe in a flash, but also, where perceptions are very subtle. The key is to be open, transparent, and authentic in your attitude and in what you do.
Studies have also shown that staff work harder if they believe they are working for an ethical company. Staff can be highly motivated by a sense of making a contribution to society and performance can improve by 30% or more. Fast going companies understand this. Build the team that builds the business.
Probably the single most important thing you can do to green-up (apart from stop flying and you’re not going to do that!) is spend less fossil fuels heating and cooling your work spaces. Save money too. Fuels prices have been rising and are set to continue to rise. Improve insulation, air tightness and switch to renewable energy sources. Not only do you cut costs but also, done in the right way, this improves staff comfort and so may also improve efficiency.
What else could you do? …….recycle, use less water, use local suppliers, select your suppliers according to their green credentials, associate yourself with other green companies?
Independent certification and accreditation could be an important part of your strategy. Many labeling and verification schemes exist to authenticate green products. But remember products don’t sell because they are green. They sell because they are better.
Going green authentically makes sound business sense.
Author: John Wolfendale
Bio: John is a founder of Eco Vida and is passionate about bringing modern design and construction practices to Spain. He believes a home which is warm in winter and cool in summer is largely a matter of design and selective use of materials. He is British and a Chartered Surveyor with 18 years experience living and working in Spain.